On the design front, it’s true that some people love the way The Outline looks, and some hate it. But no one is neutral about it. No one says “eh” when they see it. And no one thinks we’re another anonymous blog populated by random people churning out random content. But perhaps most importantly: The web is ugly. Media brands are ugly. They all look the same. They all use the same tools. They all try and replicate a form that is ancient by any conceivable metric. They all rely on someone else’s idea about what storytelling looks like.
I’m in the “hate it” corner, although that’s too strong a word obviously, but he’s right. The Outline not only has good content, it’s also a publication that make you react upon first glance.
Topolsky also fires a salvo at the banner industry in his piece. You should read it if you’re interested in online publishing and the future of media.