Once upon a time, (former) Twitter CEO Evan Williams started Medium – a platform that looked like Blogger but for grown ups. Medium even rocked the boat a little by commissioning and paying for articles to be published on the site, making it a weird blogging platform/online publisher.
The site’s had an update just this week, to encourage people to write more by making it easier to write and less intimidating.
More Medium content, please
One change is a simple little box on the front page, which says, simply: “Write here.” Think of it as Twitter-like. No heading necessary, no pretty pictures or standsfirst.
Taking cues from Tumblr, Medium is also fine-tuning its author pages to look more like a stream. Medium also now has tagging and, like Tumblr, you can now read feeds tagged by say, tags such as Media, Photos or Tech. All these filtered by Medium’s own algorithm that takes its cues from how many users shared or recommended certain posts.
Williams’ blogpost on the changes give the impression that Medium is trying to get more people onboard, without feeling they need to write the long-form pieces Medium is known for.
He wrote: “It was not our intention, however, to create a platform just for long-form content or where people feel intimidated to publish if they’re not a professional writer or a famous person (something we’ve heard many times). We know that length is not a measure of thoughtfulness.”
Not that Williams is keen on Medium becoming another Facebook, saying that it isn’t meant for “status updates” or social interactions per se. Instead he wants to reach that middle-ground between the instantaneous chatter of social-media and the formal, planned structure of formal publishing.