Medium

Everyone's stories, now w/ an inline editor, tags & stream

#2 Product of the DayFebruary 24, 2015

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Ryan HooverHunterPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@ev just published details about the update here. As I tweeted a few minutes ago, Medium is starting to look more like a Twitter + Tumblr hybrid. As a longtime fan (here's my profile), I like the direction. I'd love to know more about the learnings and design process behind this update, @ev, @dustin, @thebird, and others on the team.
Tess RinearsonMakerHiring@_tessr · Engineer, Chain.com
@rrhoover Sooo I didn't work directly on this but a few people invited me to share my thoughts so here goes-- We've struggled with Medium being too intimidating for people for a while; with all that blank space in the editor and so many meaty, well-written stories out there it can be intimidating for new writers! So we'd been exploring ways to support more casual content for a little while and this was a success internally. I personally just wrote my own first short-post today, which was a little short story that I almost certainly wouldn't have published otherwise. Just seemed too brief for a "normal" Medium post! But people seem to really like the post and I'm very happy the casual editor helped me publish it. So personally I'm excited to see how this will empower other people, too! Edit: How do you turn things into links....?
Erik TorenbergHiring@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@rrhoover @tessr @_tessr thank you for jumping in tess :) cc'ing @biz in case he has any thoughts
Tyler Hayes@thetylerhayes · Bebo
@rrhoover @tessr @_tessr Use HTML not Markdown. (Don't ask me why.)
Tess RinearsonMakerHiring@_tessr · Engineer, Chain.com
@thetylerhayes ahh thank you!
Andy Rosenberg@andythegiant · marketing @joinroostr @aaptiv @peloton
I recently committed to "part-time" blogging and chose Medium specifically because it offered me a good community and built-in audience to send my more long-winded thoughts. I'm conflicted about this update. The audience still exists, but I wonder how the new format will affect what I/everyone posts. I'd hate to see some of the 3 minute plus posts give way to short blurbs for increased engagement. This definitely goes beyond a product update - this is a whole new Medium we are dealing with. It will alter the way we communicate on the platform entirely. Jury is out for me until I get to use it further.
Ken Romano@kenromano · Director of Broadcast Products, Associ…
@andythegiant Andy, I agree. I see two barriers to people writing on the web: (1) the technology (2) the content. To me, the value for Medium was lowering the barrier of technology. They provided an idiot-proof template to quickly post content in a visually-appealing and clean way. But it didn't do anything to make creating content any easier. And I liked that. It kind of set the quality threshold hold and gave the indication that only high-quality content should be posted. Everyone on the internet has an opinion. So many sites (yes, Twitter included of course) make it unbelievably easy to just post anything --- perhaps a fleeting thought or an unsubstantiated opinion --- and for me, Medium was the place to get away from that noise and find the buried treasure.* I hope it stays that way. *Yes, there is irony that I'm typing up a quick stream of consciousness opinion right now...
Amrita Chandra@amritachandra · Startup Marketer
@andythegiant I totally agree. I liked that Medium has mostly long-form content, even though there was nothing stopping someone from writing something shorter. I am not a fan of this move.
Kyle Ryan@kylry · Engineering for tomorrow
Dixon wrote an article a few weeks ago about "Come for the Tool, Stay for the Network." http://cdixon.org/2015/01/31/com... I think it really applied to Medium in this case. I use Medium's editor to just flesh out ideas. If there was a Mac App that was only the text editor, I'd pay money for that. Anyways, the new update reminds me a little of Twitter / Svbtle (when you compose an idea). I think it's great. The "come for the tool stay for the network idea" is an important problem to solve and think about. I originally came to Medium for the tool. I wanted a simple way to write and publish my ideas. Along the way, the network allowed me to meet people like Ryan Hoover, Winnie Lim, and a few others. So yea.
Owen Williams@ow · Building re:Charged.
Hey, this looks awesome! I really want to blog more over there and this looks like a great improvement to the whole process. The new homepage editor totally nails it - removes all the friction and makes so much sense for when you want to quickly write something that can't fit on Twitter. I'm gonna try get on this big time.
Ali R. Tariq@alirtariq · Product Designer, Manulife RED Lab
I'm afraid I'm with Andy on this. Not quite sold on the new direction. I appreciate that the quick-post option lowers the intimidation factor, but I have to question whether it also dilutes the brand identity of Medium. Medium was *meant* to be a place for me to find well-written, insightful, and typically long-form pieces of writing (I distinctly remember Medium stating that 6-7 min reads were the most popular ones). Turning it into a Tumblr-for-text (which I love, btw) and Twitter (also, love), seems iffy to me. I'm also finding the recent changes to Medium regarding collections/publications have caused the Reads on new posts to drop considerably, even though I have ample followers. I feel like this new feature will fill the site with more noise. On the fence here. Time will tell!
Ev WilliamsMakerHiring@ev · CEO, Medium
@alirtariq You're right that Medium was meant to be insightful, but I can tell you with authority that "well-written" and "long-form" were never central to the idea. True story: The name Medium came from Biz and I discussing creating a publishing platform with a 500-word limit. That we didn't end up implementing a constraint and that long-form has thrived on the site is both good and bad IMO. I know it's hard to stretch expectations, but this is the original vision. I think it's going to work great. :)
Ryan HooverHunterPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@ev - I've enjoyed watching Medium's evolution over the past few years (I've also seen several unreleased experiments, once with @meowr while I was a subject of your user testing 😃). At first Medium appeared to be a platform for regular people and independent bloggers to share their stories and ideas. And it still is but there's been an increasing investment in editorial content with publications such as Backchannel, led by veteran @stevenlevy and the numerous open recs for editors/writers on your jobs page. Was it always the plan to commission content and build an in-house editorial team?
Ali R. Tariq@alirtariq · Product Designer, Manulife RED Lab
@ev Apologies for assuming Medium's goals and thanks for weighing in. Always great to hear from the founders themselves! Seems like this change is really what you guys were wanting to go for from the beginning. What was the reason you've held back till now, if I may ask?