Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone want to shake up the digital publishing world with their latest venture, Medium. The two founders, who also worked together on Blogger, announced the new platform Tuesday, according to Mashable.
In a post introducing Medium, Williams writes, “We’re re-imagining publishing in an attempt to make an evolutionary leap, based on everything we’ve learned in the last 13 years and the needs of today’s world.”
Medium is a product of the Obvious Corporation, the incubator that Williams and Stone launched back in 2008.
Business Insider highlights Williams’ introductory message on Medium.com explaining how the service works:
“Posting on Medium (not yet open to everyone) is elegant and easy, and you can do so without the burden of becoming a blogger or worrying about developing an audience. All posts are organized into “collections,” which are defined by a theme and a template.
We believe that good design supports the purpose (not just the appeal) of content, so Medium is diverse in look and feel—ranging from different types of articles to images to, eventually, much more.”
Mashable points out that given Williams and Stone’s history, Medium is a project worth looking at for anyone interested in the digital publishing industry.
The more visual nature of the site along with its blogging capabilities is reminiscent of Tumblr, but more streamlined and focused on the story within the content.
On the surface, Medium looks like a cross between traditional blogging services and user-curated collections, Mashable states. Users can choose to read, give feedback or write their own material.
All posts are organized into collections, and these collections share the same theme and template. Readers who like a post can give it positive feedback, increasing the likelihood that others will see the post.
Collections can sorted by rating, and the layout changes dynamically depending on the size of your browser window. The design of individual articles and photos (with perhaps other types of media on the way) is dictated by templates, and supposedly posting is lightweight and easy — though since it’s a closed beta, it’s impossible to know exactly what that looks like just yet The Verge stated.
Right now, all Twitter users can read and give feedback on Medium — and the team has set up a set of collections, including “The Obvious Collection” and “The Writer’s Room.”
Access to post on Medium is being rolled out slowly and users can sign up to get on a list for future access.
The feedback mechanism looks to Mashable to be very similar to the action that Dustin Curtis uses for his private blog network, Svbtle. Like Medium, the goals of Svbtle are to make it easy for users to write and read great content.