I started writing this as an email until I realised the year is not 1999 and I have a blog. This is an apt realisation, considering that the topic of the aforementioned email was around revolutionary means of communication.
From some of the geniuses that brought you the groundbreaking Blogger and Twitter (that micro thing with the tiny bluebirds which you can read more about here thanks to Sam Twyford-Moore writing so nicely about it and Teju Cole, who is awesome), comes Medium, a wonderful content haven that organises submitted content like text and photos into collections that can be viewed and edited by the public.
‘Medium is elegant and easy’ they said in a blog post, ‘and geared toward those looking for a simple way to post to the Internet without taking on the responsibility of a personal blog brand.’
“Our philosophy is that quality begets quality, so we will grow Medium smartly, ensuring that our platform is valuable to everyone in this increasingly mobile, connected, and noisy world,” said Williams.
Been there, loved that is the perfect example of how they use collections for photos.
And my personal favourite already: Writers on Writing.
I haven’t been this impressed with a social medium since I first discovered my French exchange student friend using a site called SkyBlog in 2004. It was a French blogging platform. She put a photo up of me that was quite lovely, so I showed this friend of mine who was much older and who had a crush on me and he left an awkward comment declaring his love for me on the photo and I was all like, noooo, now the French are going to know that an older man likes me and that I was narcisssistic enough to show it to him in the first place, my life is over, what fresh hell is this Internet thing!?!
It was all in French but the message was there: meet the Future.
Often I fall into a Black Hole Vortex of Mindless Meandering on the Internet, I come out of it dazed and confused, annoyed at myself for the inconsequential outcome, mainly of an infinite amount of BuzzFeed animals jumping mid air or studying Ryan Gosling’s face for any signs of other life species.
Since stumbling upon Medium (after reading ‘7 new Social Media you must try in 2013!’ that I undoubtedly discovered while holidaying in the Internet Black Hole Vortex), I feel that I can now jump into the aforementioned Vortex and still come out enlightened, educated, intrigued, surprised, excited and wanting desperately to contribute something, while also recommending things I appreciate to other people worthy of these things. Which is really how the Internet should make you feel.
I am overwhelmed now with the possibilities for me as a writer, in a way that I haven’t felt since seeing my first article published online. Admittedly I felt frustration over the years with online publishing and how ‘easy’ it all seemed. There was always someone behind the screen controlling the narrative, the puppeteer you had to ‘convince’ to publish your work but who would then go on to betray the code by changing your words to the point of them being unrecognisable simply to suit their site’s style and feel and voice. Don’t get me started on the comments section, the internet version of the Angry Villagers Carrying Pitchforks.
I secretly dreaded this world and didn’t want any part of it as a writer, but outwardly pretended I did, for who wouldn’t want to be part of the burgeoning digital content age? The elderly, that’s who. I half heartedly ‘contributed’ to a few pages but I was lazy and apathetic. Starting up my own blog was liberating and an antidote to that feeling of nothingness but it still felt like a small, silent enclave that very few people were actually reading, mainly because I was far too unmotivated to reach out to anyone.
What I adore about Medium is how it’s the first social platform that is actually attempting to focus on and encapsulate that elusive thing that good content creators have long strived for. It’s the answer to everything we’ve ever wanted; rich, quality, long form storytelling that is not condensed, dismissed or discarded as inferior. We want content that is easily accessible to anyone who has the good stuff at the ready. We want that verb we all crave so much: TO FILTER so that we can filter through the bullshit.
Oh yes, everyone is a publisher now! And you’re happy for the democracy of that revolution. But what about the revolution that filters the ‘everything’ on the internet from the mundane, repetitive, boring; leaving you with the incredible, awe-inspiring, life changing shit that makes you hit the ‘RECOMMEND’ button so hard, it might fall out? When does the internet become known for the good stuff lurking in the shadows?
Now, starting here.
Here’s a thrilling tid bit but from an article on the platform already:
‘We’re about to enter a golden era of writing again. A gray area full and robust with opportunity. Writers will likely be able to write for a living more than any other time online, and potentially, be paid better for it. If blogs opened a crack for writing online, the next three years will be as if a door opened to an enormous new frontier of possibility. It’s going to be magical to see.’