Medium: A Peek At The Blueprint Of Publishing’s Future

On June 25th, Medium announced the hiring of Steven Levy, longtime technology writer at Wired, to be the editor-in-chief of an unnamed technology site associated with their platform.

Back in April 2013, Medium acquired Matter. The publisher has since become Medium’s defacto product and functionality testing ground. If you’re curious to see what Medium might be rolling out next, just look to Matter.

These moves could signal many things, the least of which is the platform’s continued expansion plans into the realm of professionally produced content.

So what? Isn’t everyone producing content these days? Isn’t hiring a journalist to run your brand channel like, so en vogue?

Well, yes…but not everyone is making moves that might completely rewrite the definition of publishing and PR. It’s interesting to think about where this move places Medium in the larger landscape of publishing, journalism, and content.

Do these acquisitions move Medium more into the category of traditional media? Or does it place the platform squarely up against the burgeoning scene of owned media properties that are driving the oh-so-hot content marketing discussion? (e.g. CMO.com and TechPage One)

Maybe these moves are creating something completely new by carving out the space between a traditional media company and an owned brand platform: The platisher paradox, if you will.

Medium-LogoAny way you slice, Medium is up to something we all should keep our eye on.

In full disclosure, I use Medium. And I love it. Here are the top 5 reasons for my unadulterated adoration:

#1 – Focus is on the quality of written content.

Sure you have options to grab peoples’ attention with header images, but really it’s all about quality writing.

#2 – It’s free, simple to use, and devoid of clutter.

No technical expertise required? Totally intuitive interface? Sign me up yesterday.

#3 – No advertising agenda getting in the way.

It’s so refreshing to consume information not driven by corporate agendas and whose focus instead is on offering significant content that enlightens readers.

#4 – Attaches to social properties AND Google Authorship.

Previously cultivated networks and communities increase content discovery and synced Google Authorship ensures better organic rankings for your content. That means more views!

#5 – Analytics are clean and easy to understand.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” (thank you, Geoffrey Moore), so this piece is a no brainer.

Medium aims to be the best place for people and organizations to publish their stories and ideas to the world, so driving innovation in the digital publishing world is an obvious component to achieving that aim.

If Medium launches its own brand publication helmed by Steven Levy, but still is just one publisher of many on the platform, what’s to stop them from building tools that empower other brands to then also launch and build out their own brand channels à la Forbes BrandVoice?

With a built in audience, clean interface, social channel connectivity, Google SEO ties and allowances for content discovery beyond initial publishing, Medium may just be revealing the blueprint for the publisher of the future.