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Twitter creators announce "Medium," a new platform built on user-defined collections. Not sure what that means? Neither is anyone else.
Twitter creators Evan Williams and Biz Stone today announced the launch of a mysterious new web platform called "Medium."
Mysterious because there seems to be widespread confusion as to what, exactly, Medium is supposed to do or what makes it different from other user-defined information-gathering platforms.
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In their preview announcement, Williams and Stone explain that the site will organize content by "collections" set up by users. Blank stare? Yes, well, for example, you can make a page organized around an idea -- e.g., "nostalgic photos" -- or you can create a more bloggy-like page about, say, bizarre stories. See that example here.
But the Wall Street Journal observed the creators themselves see it as “more of a philosophy than a company or product," so it will be interesting to see if the new project takes off.
The tech world appears unconvinced, or, at the very least, awfully confused. Gizmodo's Mario Aguilar today said the new site seems more like a "Frankensteinish PinTumblReddit" than the kind of innovative technological breakthrough you'd expect from the creators of hugely popular platforms like Twitter and Blogger.
The Guardian had a better grip on the situation, writing that what sets Medium apart is its "very visual grid format, with the highest-ranked post always at the top," the idea being "people can read, view and vote on content without worrying about developing their own audience."
Anyway, it's all rather foggy because the project's only at the preview stage right now (posts by invite-only). You can see more sample Medium collections here.
[W]e’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.
That sounds pretty grandiose, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Truth be told, we’re just starting the journey of figuring out what all that means—and what we’re releasing today is just a sliver of what we’ve figured out.
Also today, Williams and Stone announced the launch of a separate new video-based platform called Branch, a project also backed by their San Francisco-based Obvious Corporation, said The Guardian.