Meet Medium: The New Publishing Platform from the Twitter Guys

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.

Medium Collection Example
The Obvious Corporation’s Collection on Medium

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. Read More

Use Docracy to Make Small Biz Legal Needs Easier and Get Free Legal Documents

Legal needs can be one of the most daunting (and expensive) parts of setting up a small business, either as a freelancer, contract employee or as a small business looking to hire.

Docracy, a new NYC-based startup now in beta, aims to crowdsource basic legal needs to make it easier to get the legal stuff done and get on with the running of your business. It’s a great resource for standard legal documents that can be customized to your needs.

If you’re comfortable with basic legal language, it’s a great repository for standard forms that can be tweaked for each use, such as Non-Disclosure Agreements, Consulting Contracts, basic employment offer agreements, and more. There’s even a “startup bundle” that packages relevant documents together for those looking to get their company off the ground.

We especially love that documents can be edited, saved, and signed online to expedite contract signings. Agreements signed via Docracy are guaranteed legally enforceable.

It’s important to note that Docracy isn’t your lawyer. They’re very clear that the documents on their site don’t constitute legal advice, so if you have anything specific to your situation, or any questions about their standard documents, it’s definitely wise to consult with an actual lawyer or legal professional.

But at the very least, Docracy is an amazing time-saver for those looking to save time and money to launch their business into the world.