Medium: Designed for Quality Content
“Lots of services have successfully lowered the bar for sharing information, but there’s been less progress toward raising the quality of what’s produced” -Evan Williams, Twitter Founder
News broke recently that Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone had launched a new social media network centered around something we really love: sharing quality content. Medium intends to build a community where quality always trumps quantity of posts, in the form of a low-commitment platform for exceptional images and text. Even though my membership only allows limited access to Medium's beta stage, I can't wait for the full launch. Are previews of Medium like Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter or Blogger? Yes. Medium's got a little bit in common with the best aspects of a lot of different social media networks.
The Insider's Scoop
Posting access to curate collections on Medium is currently limited to "friends and family" of the founders. As a Beta Member, I am able to view and vote on content, which currently includes the boards “Been There, Loved That,” a collection of gorgeous images from around the world. Did I mention they were gorgeous?
Other curated collections include "Look What I Made," images of homemade bacon and snow sculptures and the site's single content-only board, "The Writer's Room." Even though Medium is a baby in the world of social media networking, it could become my next favorite place to hang out and here is why:
1. It's Multi-Media
Medium is a direct response to the ugly fact that quality isn't always rewarded in the world of social media: remember when the bot who tweeted regurgitated facts on an hourly basis achieved a Klout score of 50 in just under three months? Sifting through the glut of bad content in our RSS and Facebook feeds for quality links can easily become a full-time job. While Pinterest allows users to curate quality links, the network clearly benefits images and infographics. Medium isn't just for photographers and designers, it offers writers a chance to share really exceptional blurbs and articles.
2. It's Democratic
Every piece of content on Medium is ranked by user votes. Speculation is rising that getting noticed on Medium will require an immediate membership. Some people are predicting that in order to accrue enough votes to have, you'll need to start posting right away. I disagree, and here's why:
At the top of every collection, users are given the option to sort by "interesting" (top-voted content) or "new," (recently-uploaded content). Every new piece of information added to a Medium collection has the potential to get noticed and receive votes.
I'm hopeful that Medium will really emphasize the networking aspect of social media. Collaborative boards are a best practice for making connections on Pinterest, and I'm confident this truth will hold on Medium. While the network will offer users a chance to create closed collections, I'm most excited for the collaborative collections curated by users worldwide. Receiving real-time feedback on your work and sharing boards with other experts worldwide will be a fantastic way to network.
4. It's Weird
While social media networks are often built in direct response to the success of others, Medium was built with the pure intention of shaking things up. Stone and Williams know that social media has become noisy, and they're hoping to make a dramatic departure from the look and feel of a busy Twitter feed. Even if Medium does a dramatic faceplant or becomes a hub for the elite like some are predicting, I can't help but get excited about a network trying to do something entirely new.
Every two days, the Internet creates around five extrabytes of content - the same total amount created between the dawn of humans and 2003. The information available on the web, and the importance content curation will only continue to soar. We're ridiculously excited to see if Medium fills the niche for multi-media content sharing and dialogue.