Earlier this week the Obvious Corporation, the company led by Twitter co-Founders Biz Stone and Ev Williams, announced a new product aimed squarely at the publishers of content. It’s called Medium, and it while it may remind you of a lot of Web 2.0 platforms you’ve seen before, it manages to be new without being hard to understand.
The basic idea behind Medium, at least according to Ev Williams, is that it should be a place to publish that rewards and promotes quality while still being open to everyone, including the unknown individual. Publishing is of course the domain of Obvious, given that before they created Twitter the same people were responsible for Blogger, which helped unleash self-publishing on the world.
The Medium platform itself is flexible enough to allow lots of kinds of content, including photos, videos and text (long or short form). Those individual pieces of content are then organized into collections. The Medium team has posted examples, including travel photography and crazy stories. Collections are either open or closed to submissions, depending on the creator of the collection, but all pieces of content can be voted on by users. The most popular (ie highest quality) items go to the top of the list, ostensibly to relieve readers of sifting through tons and tons of stuff.
Sound familiar? Concentrating on publishing different types of content easily is the bedrock of Tumblr, while the focus on the visual reminds us of both Tumblr and Pinterest. Promoting quality through user feedback has proved the best way to manage blogs with tons of user comments, so it’s no surprise to see it here as well. But the site is just in its infancy, so it will be interesting to track how the functionality and design changes as people begin to use the site and provide their feedback to the team. We’ll especially be keeping an eye out for how brands and small businesses begin to use the service once it becomes more widely available.
For now, content curation and creation is only open to a select group. But anyone with a Twitter account can begin voting up content within collections, and there’s no registration necessary just to view what has already been published to the Medium site.
Want more? Read Ev Williams’ post on what Medium is, and Obvious Corp’s vision for the platform’s future.