Over the weekend I finished writing my first post on Medium.
For the few of you who don’t know it, Medium is Evan Williams‘ new project. And it is awesome.
When you use a product and you tell yourself: “wow, this is so obvious, why didn’t anyone else do it before?” you know that it took an insane amount of time and thought. And that’s how Medium feels like. It feels like the most enjoyable, simple and natural writing experience on the web today.
The main characteristic that makes Medium stand out is the live editing. When you’re writing a post, you’re looking at what other people will see. You have a big font, you can clearly see the headings, quotes, and images. Another awesome feature: Medium tells you how much it will take to read each post. A very simple idea which improves your experience a lot.
The product gets out of your way and lets you just write and write. It has a noticeable impact on the quality of your posts as well. (The screenshot shows the edit mode)
Contrast that with what I’m looking at right now in WordPress..
Medium also finally brings the element of publishing and discovery. Instead of having a million blogs all around the interwebs that need to be discovered and categorized, you now have collections and you can put your content in front of a larger amount of people. If your post gets recommended a lot it can also be featured and gain even more views and reads.
The stats page is what closes the match.
Finally an actionable metric: the Read Ratio. Another “obvious” thing that no one else was doing.
All in all, writing on Medium has been an awesome experience and reminded me in the meantime how valuable it is to keep it simple, even if extremely hard. It obviously doesn’t have features that are integral to my blogging flow (widgets, sharing buttons, scheduled posting), but will probably be my publishing tool of choice for thought-out content that I want to put in front of a bigger number of people.
Minimize features and focus on the outcome or goal of the app.