Why Medium Might Be Large

Medium I’m pretty interested in this nifty longer-form platform, Medium, from the founders of Twitter. I don’t normally like to write about specific tools (especially after I keep telling people I’m not into social media, but this might be an exception.

First, Typography and Clean Design Is Ruling

I love Google+. I’m a huge fan of the look and feel of the platform, and it’s serving my business interests well. Similarly, what’s going on at Medium is that it looks really nice, partly due to the typography and very clean design. Writing a post in Medium is the opposite of writing a post in WordPress (and before I get hate mail, I’m writing this on WordPress, and my business runs 100% on WordPress, so shush). It’s gorgeous. Let me show you what it looks like:

Medium 2

That’s both the “composition” view as well as the “what it’ll look like when published.” Beautiful, right? Just clean and gorgeous. Things just kind of appear like ghosts when I need them. But that’s just one feature. It’s not the killer feature that will make Medium potentially have a long future.

Medium Is Organized Around Collections

Turn that word “collection” into “conversations” (it would’ve been called that if this were 2007, but there are Social Media police, and we’ve all decided that “conversation” is no longer an okay term to use. Ditto, rockstar, guru, ninja (unless you’re Christopher S Penn), and so on.

So far, as of this posting, I’ve written five posts, all of them in a different collection (check my writing out here). I’ve written about what mantras and chanting have done to improve my business. I’ve written about Microsoft Windows 8 and how it’s a disruptor. I’ve written about my mostly plant-based eating choices. All over the map.

If I wrote this way on this blog, it’d be hard to know whether to subscribe or not. (Yes, I write somewhat varied material here, but there’s still a general theme.) That, to me, is the magic button of Medium.

How it’s curated and how it appears (so clear and simple) is what will endear people to dip in and read.

Will It Be a Great Place For Marketers?

Absolutely. Sponsored posts could slip into the collections, labeled somehow differently, and life would be just fine. The folks who own this could even charge for the posting of such sponsored posts and make money (Shhh. Don’t tell them. They’re still trying to figure out how to make money on their other platforms.)

Should Medium Replace Your Blog

No. Nay. Never. Nothing will. Sorry folks who’ve fled to Google+. That’s like renting a hotel room, putting up your Zeppelin posters and thinking you’re home.

Can You Get Into Medium?

Not right away. There’s a waiting list. So wait. It’ll come. It always does. And in the mean time? Go read some neato posts. There are tons.

Go Medium or Go Home. Hmmm. Not sure that’s a great line, but I bet it’ll wind up on a shirt.

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  • http://www.ideagrove.com/ Scott Baradell

    Can’t wait. You’re so right about the impact of a clean, elegant experience for both audience and author.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Isn’t it pretty? No idea if it’s business.

  • # jeffyablon

    Chris, you make a great point about making “what to subscribe to” easier to delineate.

    Otherwise, though, this is an exceedingly bad idea. Whither Posterous?

    Hey wait … Twitter bought and shut down Posterous, didn’t they?

    Better idea: if you have five content streams, start five self-hosted blogs.


    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I’ve found that doesn’t work because it’s hard to get volume and mass.

      • # jeffyablon

        Sure; they attract the volume, you hope to participate. Makes perfect sense. But you’re still playing in someone else’s sandbox. It’s just a bad idea unless your content (a la Twitter) is disposable.

        • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

          Or unless you link to content that’s less disposable. : )

  • http://www.mikestenger.com/ Mike Stenger

    Interesting. Got an invite just recently. Aside from the organizing of content with Collections, not sure the benefit over say Tumblr which allows you to customize just about everything, long as you know what you’re doing. I guess Medium is more of a “jump in and jump out” kind of solution where you’re ready to go the moment you sign up.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Tumblr’s fine, for sure. This certainly intends to compete with that.

  • Marcus Byrd

    I like it! It is really clean and makes for good reading. Thanks for sharing I have not heard of medium before this.

    My problem is that I am growing tired of social media myself. It overwhelms me how big the digital world is. You are wise to focus on the stories and not the tools.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      The tools aren’t interesting unless they equip you to tell a better story.

  • Mary G. Robinson

    If you think Rosa`s story is nice, , 1 weak-ago mom in-law
    basically also got paid $6825 just sitting there a thirteen hour week in their
    apartment and they’re roomate’s step-aunt`s neighbour done this for 4 months
    and brought home more than $6825 part time on-line. follow the instructions on
    this address, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • http://pjrvs.com/ Paul Jarvis

    This is a good point about systems/app/networks at large—as long as your data is in someone else’s platform, it’s basically like you’ve got a room in their hotel. sure it’s secure and nice, and might get cleaned once a day—but you can’t exactly decorate or put posters up.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Exactly. I’ll always keep a site.

  • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

    Interesting. Do you see Medium as being similar to LinkedIn’s “Thought Leaders” feed? I note that it’s in beta at the moment, so I’m curious what the set-up will be once fully open to the public, and if Twitter will share content based on quality over quantity (font vs. followers).

    One to keep an eye on.

    • goldiagodschalx77vr

       a job for eight months but last month her paycheck was $20044 working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I don’t. I believe LinkedIn actually has a chance at making that thought leaders feed good. But they also have a chance to ruin it. I think of Medium as more like a digital magazine stand where you and I can fill in the articles on the magazines we’d most want to read.

  • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

    Chris, this is timely. I just got in yesterday, and browsed the collections.

    Not finding the one that spoke to me, I started one for brief lessons and crisp personal storytelling. It’s called View Askew (the lessons we learn while looking the other direction.)

    It isn’t an open collection right now, I wanted to play with it as a curation of people to give it a voice before opening it up.

    You have anything to fit? Let me know.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Oh wait. I can start a collection? Hmmm… *rubs hands together*

  • Avery G

    Hey Chris, great article. I had never heard of Medium until you blogged about it and it seems like it’s going to be a very big deal. The sleek and simple layout of Medium is sure to get a lot of people interested, but how do you see it being a good tool for marketers? And aren’t these ‘collections’ a bit similar to facebook’s new graph search? I’m sensing some overlap.

    Tulane University

    • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

      Avery, you asked:

      Aren’t these ‘collections’ a bit similar to facebook’s new graph search?

      I don’t believe so.

      The Facebook Graph Search seems to build its trade on what people are posting and including about themselves on their profile. Only a tiny percentage of the intentionally-placed information on collective profiles are done with any intentional Search in mind.

      The Medium Collections are curated by hand, and the titles of them aren’t exactly SEO quality descriptions. That’s quite alright, because from a design standpoint Medium seems to be built around reading and writing. I don’t know there is even a Search button on the site – but you are welcome to browse the Collections. Medium is about serendipitous discovery.

      (Cue the part where Chris tells me I missed something…)

      • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

        What you said.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I don’t see it being a good tool for marketers. But no, definitely NOT related to Graph search at all. More like a magazine rack that you and I fill in the articles.

  • http://www.paulylacosta.com Paul L’Acosta

    “Ahh, the shiny new little things…” I guess our fix on Vine was running out. See you soon Chris!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I like Vine. Vine’s great. Still using the heck out of it. But not for business.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    So, does a collection function somewhat like a hashtag would on Twitter?

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Kind of. But imagine that the hashtag never has garbage. Just pure stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/Marty_Daniels Voice Talent Marty D

    Sounds to me like it is their version of Pinterest…no?

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.paulik Melissa Paulik

    Sounds interesting. I’m not usually an early adopter – I sort of it fit right at the early stage of the majorities. But this sounds interesting. IMO, there’s room for something else out there. Not sure what it is, but I am certain that lots of ideas will be tried. I’ll be eagerly waiting to see if this one makes it to mainstream.

    BTW, loved your comment about Google+ as “home.” I doubt many Google+ users have Zeppelin posters though.

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  • http://xeeme.com/martinrstone martinrstone

    I’m still not sure I get it.

    Contributing to a collection is like commenting on someone else’s blog or adding answers to Quora. It’s not quite your own space. Maybe a wider audience around a common theme but not so personal.

    Creating a collection could be more personal. It does encourage others to contribute when they might be reluctant to start their own blog, so I suppose, in that sense, it is good.

    As you say don’t give up your blog

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      So what’s interesting to me is this: you’re writing into shared magazines. So instead of a place like Twitter or Quora or most anywhere else (especially your blog), everyone’s a contributor, and no one is an owner (though I guess that’s not entirely true because someone started each collection).

      It’s the concept of ideas being the organizing element and not identity.

  • Dave Crenshaw

    Sounds interesting.Looking forward to exploring it. Thanks for sharing, Chris!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Glad to hear it. : )

  • Romina Jones

    How is this not Tumblr for adults?

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Tumblr’s still based on individual blogs. This is collection-minded.

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  • http://twitter.com/mitchjackson Mitch Jackson

    The concept and platform looks clean and pretty cool. Looking forward to kicking the tires and giving it a test drive!

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  • Melissa A. Polk

    If you think Jeffrey`s story is super,, 3 weaks-ago my
    uncle’s neighbour brought home $5136 grafting fourty hours a month from there
    apartment and they’re friend’s step-sister`s neighbour did this for three
    months and easily made more than $5136 part time on- line. the guide at this
    address… jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • http://www.callboxinc.com.au/ Maegan Anderson

    The only thing I
    can equate Medium to is the rebirth of individual, personal blogging – but
    instead of looking inside, it’s about sharing with the world. Gone are the
    mindless ramblings of the early 2000 blogging days, replaced with meaning,
    inspiration and human story telling. I know a lot of people haven’t heard of
    Medium before,simply because it is still in beta-phase, and as you know
    launching a social media site prematurely can mean disaster for the Twitter

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  • http://twitter.com/ElisaLionne Elisa Lionne

    Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing Chris!

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