What is it?
Medium’s account of what it is trying to do includes this: “We’re building out a new corner of the Internet specifically designed for people and publishers who want to experience a deeper level of discourse and engagement.”
Medium is a publishing platform created by the founders of Blogger.
It’s interesting because it’s words focused. Whereas many platforms are moving toward visuals, Medium keeps text central. Medium’s sell includes that it helps you find your audience; is a clean, easy platform to use, and brings you into a community; and that you can ask for help before you publish.
So it’s a professional publishing platform with good user experience, SEO and exposure.
Should you use it?
Medium would like you to “make Medium your home” by moving your blog over onto its publishing platform, and has created a range of publishing tools including some for design and branding.
A number of traditional publishers are experimenting with it, including the Washington Post.
The Nieman journalism lab drew this recommendation from what the Post is doing: “Here’s a simple tip for publishers looking to attract readers on Medium: start with what already works on the platform (first-person stories), and avoid what doesn’t (straight news).
“Obvious advice, perhaps, but that idea has become core to The Washington Post’s Medium strategy.”
But should you publish on it exclusively, or use it among other platforms, including your own independent ones?
Some publishers have done that: How five publishers transitioned their sites to Medium.
Here’s one journalist’s account of how they found an audience on Medium when they couldn’t elsewhere.
We’ve discussed the upside of publishing on Medium, but there could also be a downside.
You may remember a platform called Posterous. It was a platform with similar ambitions to Medium. After achieving a certain level of success it was bought and closed down by Twitter.
I published a lot on it, and although Posterous said you could transfer your blogs off the platform when it closed, I couldn’t make that work, and had to rebuild, post by post, elsewhere.
So, if Medium were to fold, your content might fold with it. Further thoughts on that possibility in this post.
How do you publish on it?
Writing a story on Medium is as simple as posting on Facebook, and linking your Facebook and Twitter accounts to it reveals those in your social media community who are also on Medium.
But you can also create a Publication on Medium
Medium says: “On Medium, anyone can group together stories within a publication. Publications are ultra-powerful: You can set your own domain, write and edit collaboratively, choose custom branding and organisation options, and more.”
Here’s a HubSpot guide to using Medium.
How to use the WordPress Medium plugin
The plugin is maintained by Medium and they give these instructions for installing it:
- Extract medium.zip to your /wp-content/plugins directory
- In the admin panel under plugins, activate Medium
- Add an Integration Token on your profile page
- Were you expecting more steps? Sorry to disappoint!”