Lindsay McComb / Posted 3.6.2013
If you want to be found by like-minded individuals you need to self-market like crazy on Twitter, Facebook, and what-have-you. You have to tag and meta tag, StumbleUpon, and pray that someone will find you.
Blogging can be pretty intimidating.
Medium hopes to change that.
Created by Twitter co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, Medium is a self-publishing platform that is “optimized for quality, rather than popularity.” It’s like a group blog, organized into collections (both public and private). Using a combination of algorithms and human interaction, Medium features the “best” or most popular posts on the front page.
There are no comments, no likes, no reblogs, no reader count. It’s all just writing for writing’s sake.
Log in with Twitter and you’re ready to go.
I’ve used Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr to date (and have abandoned all but Tumblr). I think that Medium could easily join the “pantheon” of blogging platforms if it integrated some sort of tagging or search function. While there are “Collections,” they seem sort of random. I like that there’s a front page, sure. But I also like to look around and search for writing on specific topics.
Medium is beautiful, simple, clean. When creating a new post, you can choose a featured image. Or not. Add a headline, subhead. Format the text with italics, bolds, blockquotes and hyperlinks. Smart quotes and em dashes are built in, so all you editors out there can breathe a sigh of relief.
It’s not merely a WYSIWYG editor. What you are typing is exactly what it will get. You’re not just creating the words, you’re creating the entire package -- presentation and all.
But the presentation is limited. You can’t change fonts, you can’t change the size of the text. You can’t underline or strikethrough or create tables. Rumor has it that bullet points are on the way.
It would be nice to have a little more freedom to customize, but I can also see a certain kind of freedom in not agonizing over font choices and paragraph spacing. I do also enjoy being able to peek under the hood and format a bit with HTML if the need arises - Medium doesn’t allow it at all. At least not yet.
I’d like to see Medium add a little more flexibility while still maintaining the simplicity and/or lack of distractions.
What I like:
- No videos, animated GIFs or music. It’s all about the writing.
- No ads. It just looks so clean.
- Simplicity. Again, it just looks so clean.
- No likes, reblogs, and no pokes. I like social, but not all aspects.
What I don’t like:
- No comments. For a “community” environment, there’s no feedback at all.
- Formatting is limited. I’m all for the clean look, but a little more creative control would be nice.
- No tagging or search feature. Give me a chance to find those hidden gems.
- No following capability. If I find someone I like, I’d like to keep track of their writing.