Thursday, August 16, 2012

Medium: Kind Of Like Pinterest

What does a "re-imagined" publishing platform look like? A bit like Tumblr, with a pinch of Pinterest and a sprinkling of Reddit's ranking system. .... "Our ideas are much farther along than our product. Medium is only a sliver of what it could be."

takes submitted content such as text and photos and organizes related items in collections that multiple people can review and add to. Instead of being listed chronologically, posts getting the highest user rating will appear at the top

a collaborative, lightweight way to express themselves online with images and text ..... people should be able to publish without “the burden of becoming a blogger” and worrying about developing an audience. The layout looks a lot like Pinterest, but contributions include both pictures and text. .... Currently, anyone with a Twitter account can read and provide feedback on the new platform but only a limited group of invited friends and family can post.

Medium is seemingly put together with parts from other sites: posting is simple and template-based, like Tumblr. Posts are organized into collections, like Pinterest. And within those collections, the posts are promoted by readers, like Reddit.....

The site's interface may be its strong suit.... As for written content, the site is fundamentally no different than Slashdot. .... Obvious used a Tumblr post to announce Branch, a tool designed to facilitate conversation online.

Web-based discussion site Branch...... a simple way to post to the Internet without taking on the responsibility of a personal blog brand. .... combines "the intimacy of a dinner table conversation with the power of the Internet." .... hopes to turn Internet monologues into online dialogues ..... By allowing users to pick who they want to talk to, Branch opens the diversity of the Web but prevents the discussion from turning into Internet noise. .... "We want it to be a place for you to talk about all the things that are happening in your world."

called "the next big thing in Web publishing" .... The reason this is different than the tools around today, like Tumblr or Twitter or Word Press is that it supposedly values quality, while also lowering the barrier to being a blogger. .... Medium will make the Internet easy, beautiful, and high quality all at once. .... Who gets the book deal for the Been There, Loved That, for example? ..... Medium looks and works like Pinterest, Tumblr and Reddit. Tech blogger Mathew Ingram called it "a cross between Tumblr and Pinterest" ..... "Right now it just seems like a Frankensteinish PinTumblReddit," wrote Gizmodo's Mario Aguilar. It's a blog that sorts things differently than blogs out there today. ..... "There are seeds of a backlash against the beautiful chaos the web hath wrought, the desire for a flight to quality. There will be new ways beyond ease of use to harness the creative powers of the audience," writes Benton. Even if Medium doesn't define that revolution, it reminds us that the Internet is not dead, and that it continues to evolve.

Both platforms seem to be very optimistic in nature, aiming to get each and everyone of us to share our ideas and thoughts in a clean and productive way.

With Medium, they aim to inject a dose of collaboration into Web publishing and distance it from print publishing practices. They also want to raise the quality of content.

Through Medium, readers and contributors alike, are able to interact with one another at a “level of contribution they prefer.”

an embeddable discussion platform called Branch. .... he is widely credited as the inventor of the term “blog” itself .... Obvious focuses on Internet software and “systems that help people work together to make the world a better place”. Besides developing its own projects, it also invests into promising, “philosophically aligned” start-ups, such as Beyond Meat – the company which aspires to perfectly replace animal protein with plant protein. ..... The project mixes blogging and social networking, borrowing ideas from Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter and pretty much any other successful Internet media platform. Posts can contain text and pictures, and are displayed using modern, minimalistic design. .... Medium aggregates posts by topic instead of by author, and assembles them into “collections”. Every post can be rated by users, and highest-rated posts will always appear on top of a collection. ..... should be equally appealing to both the casual readers and dedicated bloggers. .... Branch – an online discussion platform that has been described as “Twitter with no character limit”. Branch can be embedded to any website, and host discussions or comments on any topic. But the most interesting feature is that any conversation can “branch” into separate posts. .... it is interesting to note that some features and the overall design of Medium look somewhat similar to recently relaunched Digg.

They inspired a boom in self-publishing with Blogger, then turned the world to 140 characters with Twitter. Now Ev Williams and Biz Stone have launched two new websites – Medium and Branch – in what they hope will prompt an "evolutionary leap" in online sharing. .... people can read, view and vote on content without worrying about developing their own audience. .... Branch is the place for Twitter users to have more in-depth conversations with each other. You can start your own "branch" and invite other Twitter users to join you. There is no need to set up a separate Branch account. .... "Between articles, blog posts, and tweets, the internet is dominated by monologues. So we want to build a home for dialogues online, by combining the intimacy of a dinner table conversation with the power of the internet." ..... Branch brings the simplicity of Twitter and a more expansive, specialist conversation that can be found on Quora. Its success is more likely to be judged on the quality of conversations and return rate of its users, rather than the number of sign-ups. ..... Medium is not meant to be a repository for the badly-lit photos of a bazillion users. ..... What will be interesting is how both Medium and Branch affect Tumblr, the lightweight blogging platform whose biggest threat is being overwhelmed by low-quality content posted without a second thought.

"While it's great that you can be a one-person media company, it'd be even better if there were more ways you could work with others." .... Williams, Stone and Goldman were also investors in Branch Media, a New York startup that came out of private beta Monday. .... Stone, meanwhile, has a side project: He's signed with camera-maker Canon U.S.A. to work with acclaimed Hollywood director Ron Howard to produce one of five short films that will be based on photos sent in by consumers.

Is Medium going to be as revolutionary? That seems unlikely — but it’s still interesting. .... collaboration and the crowdsourcing of quality content are two of the core principles that Medium is based on .... What else is Pinterest but a collaboration platform .... while the Obvious founders say they want to make it easier for people to publish and share content, you could argue that Tumblr pretty much has a lock on that phenomenon ..... Of course, both of the things Evan Williams is famous for also looked either unnecessary or unimpressive, and in some cases both. Blogger was cool if you were a geek and wanted your own website, but it was far from obvious at the time that self-publishing was going to become something huge or crack open the media industry in a fundamental way. And Twitter looked so ephemeral (not to mention the ridiculous name) that many people dismissed it as a plaything for nerds that would never amount to anything. .... it looks a lot like a mashup of Pinterest and Tumblr. .... one of the things the platform does that is unlike both Blogger and Twitter is it subverts the notion of the author as the most important thing about the content. .... Medium is focused more on the value of the content, regardless of who is producing it or voting on it. .... it feels like a mashup of all the other tools that are out there rather than something with a compelling feature of its own .... certainly an interesting piece of an ongoing puzzle.

Obvious–a sort of idea incubator that’s “more of a philosophy than a company or product”

it is based around well-designed templates like Tumblr, and can be heavy on images, like Pinterest. ..... 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.

[With apologies to Wallace Stevens, the finest poet to ever serve as vice president of the Hartford Livestock Insurance Company.] .... Obvious is the most recent iteration of the company that created Blogger, Odeo, and Twitter. .... Odeo was a podcasting service that never really took off — 20 percent ahead of its time, 80 percent outflanked by Apple. ..... the underlying structure of Medium, which upends much of how we think about personal publishing online. .... When the Internet first blossomed, its initial promise to media was the devolution of power from the institution to the individual. Before the web, reaching an audience meant owning a printing press or a broadcast tower. It was resource-intensive, and those resources tended to congeal around companies ..... The political blogosphere — the cacophony of individual voices on both left and right circa, say, 2004 — evolved toward institutions, toward Politico and TPM and The Blaze and HuffPo and the like. ..... Personal publishing is like voting. In theory, it’s the very definition of empowerment. In reality, it’s an excellent way for your personal shout to be cancelled out by someone else’s shout. ..... That was when a few smart people realized that there was a balance to be found between the organization and the individual. The individual sought self-expression and an audience; the organization sought sustainability and cash money. ...... What’s most radical about Medium is that it denies authorship. ..... it degrades authorship, renders it secondary, knocks it off its pedestal ..... The shift to blogging created a wave of new individual media stars, but in a sense it just shifted traditional media brands to a new, personal level. ..... Sites like Buzzfeed are built largely on reshuffling the Internet, rearranging work into streams and slideshows. ..... When you click on an author’s byline on a Medium post, it goes to their Twitter feed (Ev synergy!), not to their author archive — which is what you’d expect on just about any other content management system on the Internet. ...... “Instead of adding a category to a post, you add a post to a category.” .... Medium’s posting interface brought back super-pleasant memories of Blogger’s old two-pane interface. Felt like the Clinton years again. ..... The mass of quality content is much higher too, of course, but it’s surrounded by an even-faster-growing mass of not-so-great (or at least not-so-great-to-you) content. ....... Medium believes in editorial judgment — but everyone’s an editor. ..... good stuff being buried beneath something inconsequential posted 20 minutes later ..... Branch is based on the idea that web comments are shit and that you have to create a separate universe where smart people can have smart conversations., the just-funded paid Twitter alternative, is attractive to at least some folks because it promises a reboot of the social web without the “cockroaches” — you know, stupid people. Svbtle, an invite-only blogging platform, is aimed only at those who “strive to produce great content. We focus on the writing, the news, and the ideas. Everything else is a distraction.” ....... modernized with nice typography, lovely textures, and generous white space ..... the white flight argument — the idea that the privileged flee common spaces and platforms once they stop being solely the realm of an elite and become too popular ..... That the web’s pressure to Always Keep Posting New Stuff leads to a lot of dumb stuff being posted. It’s a critique of pageview chasing, a critique of linkbait, a critique of content farms, a critique of SEO’d headlines — a yearning for something more authentic ..... Is this Blogger or Twitter, or is it Odeo?

Branch I find more intriguing. I don't know what it is.

Collaborative publishing might save Medium. That might be the opening.

I might share photos on Medium to see if they rise up the ranks! Once they allow me in, that is.

This is the best commentary on Medium of all that I read.

Nieman Lab: 13 ways of looking at Medium, the new blogging/sharing/discovery platform from @ev and Obvious

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: