Medium has invited me, should I RSVP?
June 26, 2013 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Medium, a 'thingy' on the web, which is apparently in beta, has just sent me an invitation to come and write. Its been difficult searching for reviews or information about them due to their name. I've been recently burnt by Posterous' closure with the sudden demise of a popular* group blog I'd initiated. I would appreciate your thoughts on this medium (heh), whether I should consider writing there, particularly wrt its longevity or survival, and any other insights on its target audience, reputation and/or credibility, before investing time, effort and original content once more.

* The posterous has been part of a front page post on Metafilter, and has spawned a print magazine.
posted by infini to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The fact that the founder is one of the cofounders of both Blogger and Twitter bodes well for the site's survival. I expect that if Evan Williams is making Medium his main gig, then Medium will become a thing.

That said, the quality of the content on the front page is pretty low right now. That could either be a good or bad thing. Good because it means the competition for front page exposure isn't that stiff. Bad because, who's going to read it.
posted by 256 at 8:45 AM on June 26, 2013

Best answer: I don't know if it counts as an endorsement but mathowie has used it. (His profile)

Personally I can't figure out how to search Medium articles/essays properly so I don't like using it, but that's just me.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:47 AM on June 26, 2013

Best answer: All the content there reads to me to be up-with-people Silicon Valley nonsense, and there's, um, a lot of places you can get that on the internet.

I've been given an account there too, but I'm not entirely sure the writing I'd like to do would fit in there. Maybe your stuff is different?
posted by downing street memo at 9:03 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: These invites are probably automatically generated. It's just a tumblr-like tool to post articles in a semi-collaborative environment. I like it a lot for reading and will probably start a collection about something or the other one of these days.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:56 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Twitter authentication is the worst thing about it.
posted by amar at 11:01 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Everyone I know who posts to Medium also cross-posts it somewhere else, usually a personal blog. (Which, if longevity is a primary concern, you should just pony up the $20 a year and do that.) I love Medium's authoring tool though, and I think the per-paragraph notes/comments is an interesting idea.

As others have mentioned, the pedigree is about as good as you'll get for a free internet service. But on the Internet you always pay for free. Since it's an internet startup, the current audience is silicon valley/tech/entrepreneurial/startup people, though I believe they sent out early invites to reporters and pundits to help seed the initial content toward that. They've been sending out a lot more invites lately, and I've seen an widening of subjects, but a slight decrease in quality. The Top Posts page should give you a better idea of authors and audience, as will their Featured Collections. If what you write can find a home in one of the latter categories, you'll likely find an audience.

But if your posts are important, don't hand them over to one single entity. Cross-post and keep a version under your control.
posted by Ookseer at 1:49 PM on June 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: TBH I had never heard of this before, but it looks like they pay "sometimes."

But then they say they accept pitches, not that they will randomly (?) invite people to write.

I am very skeptical of the "we can't pay you now but maybe if you work for free we might be able to pay you later" model. Why would they, when they can always entice new people to work for free?

But if the invite gives the rate at which they'll pay you, or if you're just thinking of it as a blogging platform, then...sure?
posted by DestinationUnknown at 5:52 PM on June 26, 2013

Response by poster: I appreciate the insightful suggestions, but it sounds like the platform only makes sense for someone who may never have published anywhere before... or is seeking to be published in the now over crowded web.

Even mathowie's link takes you to two posts from 2012 - i.e. he tried it out, left his signature and is back to his normal routine.

The concept of payment is news to me- that seems to imply its trying to be a publication medium rather than a selfserve platform like tumblr or blogger, yes?

Prior to the direct invite, I'd received one from a "Collections Editor" on the broad topic that the Posterous had covered. It offered me "a chance to reach the US tech and IT audience", almost as though the rest of the www didn't exist. Its tone was rather patronizing and hadn't done its homework. I've done the whole writing for free, upto and including the former BusinessWeek but stopped all that 5 or 6 years ago. This whole thing sounds more like "We'd like your now trendy topic to draw traffic for us and we're doing you a favour" imho.

I suspect I'm from a couple of generations past of bloggers/writers (2004) and may not be the target audience in the current day.

Thank you for helping me take a decision with my limited bandwidth. Of course, there's always the caveat that I'l kick myself later when this becomes the next THING ;p
posted by infini at 9:11 PM on June 26, 2013

Response by poster: Ookseer - I followed your Featured Collections link and found the topic that the defunct Posterous and current day Tumblr already cover, and have been covering for some years now. I've done formal fieldwork based research in that topic. I don't think I'd like to go in there and try to jostle with some kid over content focus and/or authorship.
posted by infini at 9:16 PM on June 26, 2013

Response by poster: Fyi, they have begun spamming with "Top things to read this week" etc.
posted by infini at 9:09 PM on June 28, 2013

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