Medium: Twitter’s Founder Develops WYSIWYG Blogging
November 29th, 2012 by
As an avid Tweeter, I’ve been excited about the launch of Medium since I first learned about the new site this summer. The promise of a service that bridges the gap between the 140 characters I already love and a more traditional blogging platform is one that excites both my passion for social media and my desire for a more directed writing channel. A traditional blog often seems like an exercise in futility for your average writer, but a system that is designed specifically for uncovering interesting posts — optimized for quality, rather than popularity — is one that I can certainly get behind. Medium founder Ev Williams took to the platform this week to discuss his new service’s functionality, and how editing and writing will work in the system.
Ev describes the service as truly a “what you see is what you get” interface, as opposed to the creation vs. preview mode favored by so many other blog publishing systems. I’ve used both Blogger and WordPress extensively for blogging and I can tell you with certainty that neither system comes even close to presenting a seamless WYSIWYG interface. The frustration that arises when you click “Preview” for the tenth time while attempting to align a photo just right is one that I am sure all novice bloggers are familiar with. The idea of eliminating that frustration entirely is immensely appealing.
Medium seeks to do more than just make blogging easier: it aims to reinvent digital publishing altogether. Beyond the aesthetic wonder of being able to edit the exact page you will publish, the service offers up a flexible range of post styles — you can publish just photos, just essays, or somewhere in between. My inner 13-year old envisions meaningful lines from my favorite songs attached to beautiful photos, and my slightly more rational (and significantly more jaded) 20-something self wants intelligent and argumentative pieces about why airlines should charge for carry-on luggage. Ev utilizes both of these styles in his own Medium collections, with topics ranging from “This Could Be Better” to “When I Was a Kid”. The options are virtually endless.
The platform was recently released to all Twitter employees, which hopefully indicates that they are moving toward letting more users into the beta platform. There has been no official launch date released yet, but as they add increased functionality and grow the user base, Medium will hopefully be ready for a universal launch in the coming months.
What do you think of Medium’s aims? Will they successfully revolutionize the digital media and blogging industry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!