What Medium Means for Writers

 

Obvious Corp–the guys who brought us Blogger, back before blogging was mainstream, and Twitter, before microblogging was cool–released their latest brainchild last week. Meet Medium, the duo’s latest attempt to “rethink publishing and build a new platform from scratch.”

Many are befuddled by the site’s minimal and vague launch. It’s being rolled out very slowly–it doesn’t even have a home page yet. So it’s way too early to get a good read on Medium as a platform, or whether it will sink or float. But even so, Medium does already have significant implications for writers.

1. Easier publishing mean more publishers. This means more noise and more competition, more ways to get lost in the flood of content. It means finding your loyal niche audience will be even more important, and don’t even worry about hitting the NYT bestseller list or being the next 50 Shades of Gray.

2. Filters will be more important than ever. I know I’m in the minority on this one. I know self-publishing is on the rise, and this belief goes against all that the Internet has come to mean in the 21st century. But we’re already suffering from content overload. The more is out there, the more we will need the help of publishing imprints, trusted reviewers, favorite authors and other content filters to help us easily and consistently find the content best suited to our tastes.

3. Writers’ platforming options will continue to expand. Even in its current limited state, what I see in Medium is a lot of potential. It’s already sparking my imagination. I could see releasing short story collections this way, or releasing wordhaus special collections, or developing a collaborative project with other writers and artists around a theme. Think Pinterest board, but with a lot more than images from websites.

Obvious Corp.’s message to its early adapters states that “we’re just starting the journey” into the potential of online publishing, and they’re right–what lies ahead is a big wad of open creative potential. Your platforming options are only limited by what you can imagine.  

It can be daunting, and as we’ve seen a lot in recent years, a lot of writers and publishing professionals are concerned about the industry’s future. But more people creating art, and more ways to share it than ever before? It sounds like a pretty promising future to me.

Have you checked out Medium yet? What do you think?

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