I have been a blogger — albeit, on and off — since around the age of 19. First it was Blogger, then Wordpress, in both .com and .org flavours, Tumblr, followed by a quite lengthy period of paid quasi-pseudo-gonzo-journalism at MuzicaBuna and Muzica9 (both over a million monthly hits/month at the time — resulting in a self-published eBook), ending in LinkedIn’s Pulse, and culminating in Medium. Bottom line — for a non-writer — I’ve written a fair bit, and I continue to do so. I’ve never really had a reason, and never really felt I needed one. It’s simply my way of expressing my thoughts, wisdom, humour, expertise, frustration, you name it. It’s my way of communicating with the outside world. For a completely non-autistic individual — though being an INTJ is sometimes not too far off — I tend to often live in my own head, and writing creates that bridge between the “I” and “them”.
Having just a few expertly-crafted patterns available, makes me understand my content before I even put it on “paper”.
This in turn doesn’t only drive my productivity — yes, I can always finish an article faster on Medium than any other platform — but also eliminates nasty formatting, presentational and technical surprises. Blogging is probably the only area where WYSIWYG truly works and Medium uses just the right amount of it.
Based on my quite extensive experience in blogging mediums, I’ve come to the conclusion that the platform itself has the potential to make or break a writer, especially an occasional blogger. Like any good tool, well-crafted online publishing tools will deliver a different, and a very positive experience, providing an instant satisfaction, before even having published the final content.
Writing these lines of text, adding section by section the content of this article, makes me genuinely enjoy writing, and like what’s forming in front of my eyes on the screen. It’s psychological.
While not everyone might agree, for me creating anything is synonymous with pleasure and satisfaction. Granted, it’s not a bar of white chocolate, or a cold wheat-beer on a hot summer night level of satisfaction, but nevertheless, it counts as well-spent time. And we all know how valuable time is. No other platform than Medium has managed to create this effect for me. It enables the bridge between the “I” and “them”.
This is a bit tougher to explain, but it’s what irrevocably sets it apart from any other online publishing medium out there. Medium managed to pull off a new type of journalism — one that puts the “I” into the “we”, “you”, “they”. While traditional journalism and media in my opinion dehumanises events and our surroundings, Medium is … well … a medium where anything that happens, be that on a personal and seemingly insignificant, to a regional or globally significant level, gets a personal touch. Most of the articles I see, and many of the ones I read come from some source of passion and personal interest, rather than a need for reporting. A world I often feel detached and uninterested about, that same world becomes about me and you again. It makes you think, rather than speculate. It becomes inspirational or intriguing. You can agree or disagree with the author rather than just bitch on your own in the comments on BBC or The Guardian, without anyone really giving rat’s behind. It enables communication.
Of course, you could say that I have just defined blogging, and you know what? That’s true. But could it be, just maybe, that Medium’s team is the first group of people who actually understood what blogging is about? I certainly think so. Besides Macrumors the only news portal I repeatedly go back to actively and regularly consume content, is Medium.
If I could swap Apple’s News app for the Medium app, I would definitely do so, as it provides much better curated content and of much higher quality than anything else out there.
Not to mention the number of active readers. LinkedIn tried and keeps trying to replicate Medium’s success with Pulse, but LinkedIn is not where people consume content, it’s a CV database for recruiters and the numbers show that extremely objectively. Coding Has Become Pop Culture — an article that ended up generating 13.000 views, over 700 recommendations on Medium while also being picked up for the Medium home-page and HackerNoon, got a measly 23 (yes, twenty-three) views on LinkedIn’s Pulse.
It’s all of the above and more that makes Medium the blogging platform of my choice. It’s why paying a monthly $5 makes absolute sense. It’s not a fee.
It’s more like a socially responsible act of supporting the digital bedrock of a human network of thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
It reaches out to all spheres of human activity in a curated, yet non-discriminative way. No religious, racial, social or political agenda, yet neither of these topics are less abundant than technology or quantum-physics. Tell me, if that’s not worth a beer’s worth of change, then what is?