Thirteen years ago Evan Williams and Biz Stone created Blogger, a free online platform that allowed anyone from anywhere to publish content to a global Internet audience. Since then, the two have co-founded start-up generator The Obvious Corporation, the social media juggernaut Twitter and, just last week, they launched their latest personal publishing platform: Medium.
Medium is a lightweight publishing platform that allows users to read, provide feedback, and write their own quality content (during the trial phase only friends and families are allowed to post to the site). The content is separated into “collections” that contain articles focused on a similar theme. As of right now the website has two collections available to browse through, crazy stories and nostalgic photos.
Like Digg, Reddit and Tumblr, Medium uses the idea of crowdsourcing content through readers’ votes to organize the stories. I think of it as a social media newspaper — the articles that are shared most frequently among users appear at the top of each collection. Medium allows you to format your content using a layout reminiscent of a traditional news article or a waterfall layout similar to Pinterest, which is better suited for user-submitted photos.
Whether Medium will take off or not is yet to be determined. However, it leads us in a direction familiar to the world of social media and content creation at Brandpoint: quality of content trumps the quantity.
When discussing the evolution of social media and the impact of sharing Williams says, “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.” He went on to say the philosophy behind Medium is: quality begets quality.
The quality behind your content has never been more important, whether it be in your social media efforts or the content marketing strategy for your website. Anyone with an Internet connection and a keyboard can produce content, but creating quality content starts with understanding your audience and what drives them to share or buy your product or service. Don’t produce content for the sole purpose of filling up your website, your content needs to engage your audience and encourage conversation throughout the web. Post with purpose.
Twitter is the second-most-popular social networking site in the world with 250 million unique visitors monthly. Check out Medium’s website and see where the co-founders of Twitter imagine the evolution of media taking us in the near future.