Medium the most important service operating right now.
I know that, for most people, this will be a rather hard thing to swallow, however Medium is very important right now. This doesn’t mean that it will always be, or that I have any want to move to Medium in any significant way, but you can’t deny what is going on with Medium.
Medium has become the place where the President of the United States posts his State of the Union speech prior to the event, where Press Releases, and responses to massive events are posted. It isn’t happening on Twitter, on Facebook, or anywhere else. It is happening on Medium, for better or for worse.
I honestly don’t know if it is good or not. I’ve been experimenting with the service, both personally and professionally, but I’ve yet to form a solid opinion. I also can’t figure out exactly what it is about Medium that has caught on for some many people, but I have some guesses.
Medium isn’t a place where there are only writers, but there are also a lot of readers on the service. It’s not because of the iOS app either, that app needs work, as it is only good for reading. There’s something more.
I suspect it comes down to two things:
- Recommends / Likes
Those two things make for a powerful system of discoverability, I recently touched on Twitter’s lacking there, and I think this alone is why the service is so popular and thus important. Yes, it is easy and it is solidly designed, but there are and were many others like that before. It’s not the ease of use or design.
It’s the community.
I’ve talked about how the failing of most sites these days is the inability to tell me what is actually important. What is actually interesting to me.
Medium does that. By combining the ability for me to follow writers, tags, or publications, and not only see the content from those, Medium also shows me what these people like As well. Ultimately, crafting a more finely tuned RSS feed of new content for me, than I could ever come up with on my own.
Further, I can follow a writer and see their new posts no matter where they publish it on Medium. The publications only matter if I want them to. I can’t replicate that on RSS. If I write somewhere other than my site, how are you supposed to know that? Likely only if I post a link to it for you to follow.
AI may be the future of curated content, of finding what matters, but Medium presents a pretty great step towards that right now. That’s why people like to read on Medium.
And it’s also why people like to write on Medium, as it presents a rare opportunity to easily get new readers. To be discovered.
As a writer the hardest thing is to get people to discover your writing. As a reader the hardest thing is to consistently find content you care about. And if you dive into Medium — it will do both for you.
That’s a very powerful tool.