Twitter Co-Founders Launch Medium, Say It's Evolutionary
At first glance, the new social publishing platform called Medium doesn't sound like much more than an online forum for sharing pictures and ideas. What makes it stand out from the crowd is its pedigree. Medium is the brainchild of Evan Williams and Biz Stone, who also founded Twitter, as well as starting Blogger back in 1999.
Medium, which was launched Tuesday by Williams' and Stone's Obvious Corp., has been described as "a cross between Tumblr and Pinterest," in that it is based around well-designed templates like Tumblr, and can be heavy on images, like Pinterest.
In Medium, posts are organized as collections, which are defined by a theme and a template, so the person posting does not necessarily need to become a "blogger" or need to worry about creating an audience. Individuals simply post to a collection.
An Evolutionary Leap for Publishing?
In his own posting on Medium, Williams on Tuesday wrote that "we're re-imagining publishing in an attempt to make an evolutionary leap, based on everything we've learned in the past 13 years."
Williams also noted that such ambition "sounds pretty grandiose, so let's not get ahead of ourselves." Of course, dreams of Twitter and Blogger must have sounded grandiose at one time as well.
He added that the new platform is intended to allow people to "choose the level of contribution they prefer." Posting on Medium, Williams said, is "elegant and easy," such as the "simple article template" used for his own post.
Participation on Medium is currently available on an invitation-only basis.
Crazy Stories, When a Kid
Collections can be closed and viewed in read-only mode, or they can be open to contributions. A central page shows the title and first words of a given post. An example of a collection currently on the site is Crazy Stories that, on a single page, contains posts in boxes with such headlines as, "So this is what a heart attack feels like," and "People are inherently good," with the first few lines underneath each headline and a link to the full post.
The highest rated posts show up at the top of the page. Another category/collection example is one called, "When I Was a Kid," and consists only of various nostalgic, kid-oriented photos with a caption, each one of which leads to a full page of that photo with caption.
Other categories up on the site currently include "Been There, Done That" and "Look What I Made." Invited users currently need a Twitter account to be able to read and participate on Medium. At some point, the site is expected to be opened up beyond the initial invitees.
The duo are also launching a Twitter offspring, called Branch, that lets users continue their Twitter conversation beyond the 140 character limit. Users can be invited to participate in specific chats on various subjects.
Fancy or Fizzle?
For now, Medium sounds like a potentially large collection of online forums, not much more. Yet, given the meteoric track record of its developers in the past, Medium has a much better than average chance of success. Indeed, it will be interesting to see if Medium can reach anywhere near the level of success that Twitter has enjoyed.
As co-founder and visionary Evan Williams says, "We haven't even scratched the surface of what our smart devices and our networks that connect most of the planet might enable."
Posted: 2012-08-28 @ 10:55am PT
i dont see the use in twitter, to me its just a waste of time.