January 16, 2014

7 Things You Can Do With @Medium

Over the summer, we announced that blogging had “found a happy medium” with the new publishing platform from Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Ev Williams. Since then, Medium has opened to all contributors, moving from “a better place to read and write things that matter” to “everyone’s stories and ideas.” In the fall, the platform added features with the aim to create a better experience for readers, and just last month, it launched what’s being called, “Medium 1.0.”

Says co-founder Ev Williams, “With 1.0, we’ve redesigned the reading and writing experience to make your stories look better and have more impact.”

Here are 7 things you can do with the new and improved Medium:

1. Receive a personalized homepage.

After signing in, users are greeted with a “reading list” or suggested content curated by the platform. Rather than chronologically (as previously arranged), content is presented using an algorithm which decides how much Medium thinks a reader will enjoy a post, based on what’s already been read (and thus excluded from the feed) and The platform knows what posts have already been read (and thus excluded from the feed of suggested content), but also allows readers to personalize their reading experienced based on the content they view, read, and recommend. With the bookmark button, readers can create a reading list themselves.

2. Suggest content to other readers.

At the bottom of each post, users can click “Suggest further reading” and submit links (to another Medium post or any other content online). This readers to add to the conversation, letting the post become a collection of related ideas. For writers, this feature can also be used to cite sources or add footnotes to provide additional information.

3. Search content by keyword.

On Medium, content is added into one or more collections, organized by topic. With the new collection search feature, users can now sift through posts on the platform to discover stories related to a specific subject. Example: Search for “social media,” and you’ll discover the collections including “Social Media and Business, “Social Media Best Practices,” and “On Content Marketing.”

4. Follow collections.

Across many social platforms, content distribution and discovery is heavily based on the most recent stories. Medium, on the other hand, is focused on providing readers with great posts, period. With the “follow” feature, when readers like a post they’ve read and want to read similar content in the future, they can easily click to follow the post’s collection(s).

5. Customize post design.

The platform has made tweaks to the typography, formatting, and responsiveness of post design. Writers can now customize their own posts by publishing a cover photo, full-bleed photos throughout the story, and captions. Check out some beautiful examples here.

6. Export HTML.

Users can now export their posts to easily publish their work other locations online. Medium is expanding a writer’s opportunity to share work and build an audience.

7. Act as an editor.

Previously, collections were generally open, allowing anyone to contribute. Now, collections are closed by default and moderated by their creator. Writers wishing to contribute must submit their stories to a collection’s “editor” for approval. This better ensures consistency and quality and allows the platform to act more like a magazine in terms of content curation and review.

With these updates, Medium is better delivering on its promise in part of the platform’s mission: to help writers find their audience. Thanks to the new layout, stories appear similar to a magazine (or magazine apps like Flipboard). Medium seems to be well on its way toward becoming, as The Verge describes it, a “next generation magazine, personalized to the individual user and featuring contributions from a global pool of writers.”

What are your predictions for Medium in 2014?

Tags: Medium, Niche Networks

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