People are looking for Medium invites. And I wonder, why?
There was an interesting post in GIGAOM entitled “Of editors and algorithms: Evan Williams on the future of media and Medium’s role in it” a few days ago.
From reading the article, other interviews and checking Medium out, I get the idea that Medium is trying to be a whole bunch of things simultaneously, everything from a blogger platform to an online magazine – with an algorithmic based system that parses through all the content that gets submitted and finds the most relevant or best items for people to consume. There also are editors who serve as gatekeepers to help bring the highest tier of content to the surface.
So, what really is the point of Medium? Don’t we have all of these things already?
What’s more, people today are far more driven by channels and themes. In television, we have cooking networks, trash tv, HGTV, Catholic TV, and the list goes on. The same exists in print and digital media. Or have we forgotten that YouTube brings things like Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager and hundreds of thousands of content creations from all over the world that we would not have normally seen through mass media?
The only way a new content platform can work successfully is if you give a person the ability to filter that content by a channel. That does not seem to exist yet in Medium.
However, even with channels in place, you still end up trying to become all things to all people. Isn’t that why we have network television? Or the Huffington Post?
Unless the content in Medium can somehow be made contextually relevant to what we are doing, where we are, where we are going or even what our mood is at a given moment in time (either because we share such data or its inferred by an activity we are engaged in) – it wont create enough of a habit to generate sustained readership. It will end up being just more noise in a crowded and noisy space.