Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The "Medium" Between Blogging and Writing

In the space between being a blogger and being a writer, I've discovered a happy Medium.
Well, I didn't exactly discover it, it was recommended to me by a very good friend and I will forever be eternally grateful for it.
A true flair for the dramatic, I have... but this time it is completely warranted.

How can I describe it? Besides, effin' brilliant, that is.
I am seriously having a hard time putting into words how to tell you what Medium is in a short and sweet way that won't completely confuse the crap out of you or bore you to tears.
And that would be crazy because Medium is awesome and quite possibly the simplest thing EVER!
(You do realize this is me restraining myself from going into a long-winded explanation, right?)

Medium is a relatively new concept… about six months old…
Of course, that's like six internet years so I guess it's practically ancient now.
It was created by the same phenomenal geniuses that brought you Blogger and Twitter
And it literally is a happy medium between the two.
(See what I did there? I have a feeling that was the whole point!)

It is not a blog platform.
It is not a social sharing site.
Yet, elements of the two are actively present.
It is an exquisite exchange of ideas between writers and readers.
(Ha! Well lookie there! I did describe it in a short, sweet, non-confusing, non-boring way!)

If you want to write but not blog
If you are tired of blogging and would like to get back to writing
If you blog but also want to write
Medium is perfect for you.

If you understood any of what I just wrote, Medium is definitely perfect for you!

Medium allows writers to focus on writing…
Not on genre or niche.
Not on keywords and hashtags.
Not on headers, footers, and sidebars.
Not on "likes" or "plus ones."

Medium allows readers to focus on the writing, too…
Not the writer's day job.
Not the writer's credentials or Klout.
Nothing beyond their name and the short bio beneath it.
(and I love how most of the writers keep them really really short and very rarely with a link to find them elsewhere… I suspect by design)

You're starting to get it now… (and I swore I was going to keep this short)

Notable features of Medium…

  • Medium calculates the approximate read time for each post so you can decide which you have time to dive into now and which are better suited for when you are curled up by the fireplace.
  • You can create "Collections" of your work and the work of others. Readers follow the collections rather than the writers… but by following a few collections, following writers kind of happens by default.
  • Instead of commenting on the entire post (unless you want to) you can comment on the words, sentences, or paragraphs that resonate with you. You can even create tweets from them! Writers can choose to make the comments private or public and can also reply.
  • Instead of "likes" or "plus ones," readers can "Recommend." Personally, I like the sound of that WAY better. And if you think about it, you don't necessarily have to "like" something to "recommend" it to someone. (see what I did there? yeah.)

One of my favorite articles on Medium is actually an article about Medium brilliantly written by Cliff Watson. Honestly, I could quote nearly the whole damn thing but I will leave you with this gem...
"When you show up at Medium, there’s a good chance that you have no idea what you’re going to find specifically. You just know there’s going to be good writing, good thinking and good insight… I think the majority of us on this site are curious. And as curious people, we’re always looking for answers to questions we didn’t even know we were asking. When we’re looking for answers, we read. When we find them, we write. Hello, Medium." 
Obviously, I highly recommend you read the whole thing.

And if this long-ass-rant and/or that quote isn't enough to convince you of the new-ish hotness that is Medium, click here. (grin)