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Introducing Medium, the next big thing in Web publishing

Colin Neagle | Aug. 16, 2012
From the guys who brought the Web two massively famous publishing tools in Blogger and Twitter comes Medium, Evan Williams and Biz Stone's attempt at bringing quality content to the forefront for readers.

Medium's collection pages are also much cleaner than those on Pinterest. Medium foregoes the large banner urging unregistered users to sign up. The site is very young, though, and as it progresses and the company becomes hungry for new users, this is always a possibility.

As for written content, the site is fundamentally no different than Slashdot. Though headlines on Medium are organized across a page in the same fashion as images, both sites have separate options for viewing the latest content published or that which has been voted up.

However, the means by which readers can view an entire post on Medium may keep them from interacting as heavily as they do on Slashdot. Clicking a headline opens an entire blog post on a new Web page, navigating away from the collection where all other headlines are listed. By comparison, Slashdot posts are published in a drop-down format, so the post can be read on the same page as the headlines to other submissions. Posts on Medium appear to be significantly longer, though, so it may be difficult to achieve what Slashdot does in terms of exposure to other submissions. For what it's worth, posts to Medium do provide a link to bring the user back to the collection page.

Medium enters an already highly competitive fray with a handful of similar services. It will be difficult for the site to convince users to sign up for a new service, especially when they're already well familiar with the tools at their disposal. Tumblr, for example, boasts more than 16 billion monthly page views on 68.7 million blogs.

Medium also wasn't the only new tool that Obvious announced this week. Ironically, Obvious used a Tumblr post to announce Branch, a tool designed to facilitate conversation online. All of this comes just weeks after Twitter's announcement of the Twitter Political Index, which measures public opinion on presidential candidates based on positive or negative tweets.

Clearly, Williams and Stone believe the self-publishing tools they've put out over the past decade have the potential to reach new levels. What remains to be seen is whether Web users are willing to gravitate from the tools they're currently familiar with in order to help the Web get there.



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