Type of site
|707 (March 2015[update])|
Medium is a blog-publishing platform. It was founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone in August 2012. The platform has evolved into a hybrid of non-professional contributions and professional, paid contributions, an example of social journalism.
Williams and Stone decided to write the platform software from the ground up, with the idea of encouraging existing Twitter users to create longer posts than the 140-character standard of that service. Williams stated, "There's been less progress toward raising the quality of what's produced." By April 2013, Williams reported there were 30 full-time staff working on the platform, including a vacancy for a "Storyteller" role, and that it was taking "98 percent" of his time. By August, Williams reported that the site was still small, though he was still optimistic about it, saying "We are trying to make it as easy as possible for people who have thoughtful things to say".
The platform software provides a full WYSIWYG user interface when editing online, with various options for formatting provided as the user runs over text. Once an entry is posted, it can be recommended and shared by other people, in a similar manner to Twitter. Posts can be upvoted in a similar manner to Digg and Reddit, and content can be assigned a specific theme, in the same way as Tumblr. A specific difference from Williams' earlier service Blogger is that posts are sorted by topic rather than writer. Users can only create accounts or log in to Medium with a Twitter or a Facebook account. The platform uses the system of recommendations, similar to "likes" on Facebook, to up vote the best articles and stories. The Tag system divides the stories into different categories to let the audiences choose.
Reviewing the service, The Guardian enjoyed some of the collections that had been created, particularly a collection of nostalgic photographs created by Williams. TechCrunch's Drew Olanoff suggested the platform might have taken its name from being a "medium" sized platform in between Twitter and full-scale blogging platforms such as Blogger. However, the service has suffered criticism from writers, with some confused about exactly what it is expected to provide.
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