My Medium adventure (August 4, 2015)

Last week’s newsletter edition included 13 links across 3 topics. This week I go the ‘Special Edition’ route and focus on one topic: Medium.

This edition’s editorial follows the content.

A Medium-sized Adventure

Medium rapidly became one of my top sources of great reading a while back. Their daily email is the usually first thing I open, and I always find something to Store and Share.

This week’s highlights would include The Web We Have to Save (by recently freed Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan) and It’s Not Climate Change — It’s Everything Change (Margaret Atwood).

In 2015, however, possibly the most vigorous discussion on Medium has been about Medium.

Is it a Platform, Publisher or ‘Platisher’ (ugh!)? Is it a great place to build your audience, or just a great CMS that fails authors as a platform?

This debate has only hotted up since May, when Ev Williams (co-founder of Medium, Twitter and Blogger) described Medium as a network of ideas that build off each other — not a publishing tool.

His gist was that writers will “come for the tool, and stay for the network”. But while everyone agrees that Medium’s authoring tool is amazing, not everyone’s convinced. Stowe Boyd, for example, pointed out that:

the company’s investment in its own publications is reportedly being trimmed, and structural changes are being made
-
What’s Going On At Medium?

But that concerns Medium as a publisher, paying writers to write. What’s it like as a platform for the rest of us?

Because for every disenchanted writer or frustrated troll, Medium has a lot of fans. Take for example ReadThisThing, who road-tested their entire concept as a Medium blog post (or ‘Medium Viable Product’), or Chris Hill, who now posts almost entirely on Medium after one of his posts went viral.

However, most of the discussion is from bloggers posting Change & Feature Requests (Direct Messaging, Forums, etc.), and/or exchanging views on how to find an audience.

More: all resources tagged onMedium on my Hub.

tl;dr: my 0.02c

Personally, I agree with Stephen Rose that appearing in a Medium publication is crucial, and think that creating a Medium publication is a massively underused strategy.

I also fear that Niya Marie is right when she complains of how hard it is to break through the dominance of the early adopters, and that we’ll see a lot of Simon Owens’ repost strategy, smearing out any uniqueness separating blogging platforms.

I love both Medium’s CMS and unique interactivity model (The Nibble, Bite & Meal of Medium) but would like them to make conversations easier to follow and to improve content discovery to support new writers.

But, most of all, I agree with Joanna Boj that Medium will be what we, the users, will do with it.

Which is why, despite its faults, I’m still there. I urge you to take a look. You’re probably missing something.

So that’s edition #2

What do you think? Should this enewsletter be longer or shorter? More links on fewer topics, or the reverse? Should I list the links separately or integrate them into the text? Should I keep this editorial, or cut it entirely?

All comments welcome below, or on the inevitable repost on Medium.

Reminder: subscribe here; browse all (2) issues.

- Mathew

Originally published at mathewlowry.tumblr.com.

Written by

Piloting innovative online communications since 1995. Editor: medium.com/Knowledge4Policy. Founder: MyHub.ai. Personal Hub: https://myhub.ai/@mathewlowry/

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