Poking around on Medium, I came across a post written by Josh Miller, now busy building Branch. Dating from last August, it examined "The liquidity of ideas".
Miller makes three really useful points:
- Online, space is a commodity
- Every great Internet thing is a marketplace, affording liquidity
- Right now, ideas are fundamentally illiquid
At the end of his post, Miller positions services like Medium ("collections") and Branch ("branches") as options to "empower new audiences and the exchange of ideas amongst them." If he came back to his post, I imagine that Miller might now include "subcompact publishing", the thinking behind Craig Mod's October 2012 Books in Browsers talk.
The approach that Branch embodies is simple, cross-platform and ultimately agnostic about format or medium. That might offer hope to those who see Amazon acquiring Goodreads as a loss.