Medium is the Best Publishing Platform Ever Created (But….)
I’ve written online since the days when you’d FTP text documents onto a shared hosting plan provided by your ISP. My articles and blogs have been read my millions of people on Typepad and Wordpress. I’ve self-published best-selling books and crowd-funded a documentary. That’s not to brag. The reality is I’ve done it all online.
Medium is the most advanced publishing platform ever created and I recommend it to everyone trying to figure out how to “start off” as a writer.
I recommend Medium to authors who aren’t sure how to begin writing online, with some caveats.
Medium is easy for new authors to use. You have zero excuse for not writing.
Everyone tells me they want to be a writer. Well here you go. Start writing and publishing on Medium. It’ll take you 5 minutes to figure out the platform.
Writers write. Go on Medium, start typing words on a page, and then hit return.
After you hit enter, a + appears to your left. Clicking on that allows you to easily insert an image (which is automatically optimized).
Here is a screen cap of the + prompt.
One improvement Medium should make is to include the option to add drop shadow to images.
When using Wordpress, I must first edit my images in Picassa for effect. Medium’s strength is that its all-in-one publishing. Some simple photo editing effects would be a major improvement.
Improvements Medium Needs to Make
Formatting text as you type isn’t intuitive. Where is the drop-down option for centering text and creating lists?
When you select text, you can easily increase the font to a larger heading, and you can block quote. There’s no option for centering text.
(This image should have a border around it, as observed above.)
Medium’s greatest strength is that anyone with something to say can have an article (or if you’re a snob, call it a blog) up in a few minutes without any training; where as it takes me around an hour to train someone how to properly use Wordpress.
There are some marginal improvements Medium can make, although right now it gets an A+ for implementing the 80/20 rule. (The Pareto principle holds that you will get 80% of your results from 20% of your effort.
The biggest con of Medium is what’s called “platform risk.”
Medium is owned by Twitter, and Twitter has not known to be friendly to anyone who supports a political candidate not named Hillary Clinton.
Twitter censored the pro-Bernie Sanders/anti-Hillary hashtag #WhichHillary, as Ethan Harfenist with Adi Cohen explained at the left-wing blog Vocativ.
The original hashtag started trending yesterday after a video of activist Ashley Williams, 23, interrupting a Clinton fundraising event in Charleston on Wednesday went viral. In the footage, Williams is seen holding a poster with a line from Clinton’s notorious 1996 “super predators” speech, as well as #WhichHillary. The hashtag was quickly adopted by Twitter users to point out Clinton’s supposed flip-flops over the years.
A Vocativ analysis found that on Friday, from 12: a.m. to 2 p.m. E.T., #WhichHillary was used 68,159 times on Twitter. #WhichHillaryCensored, meanwhile, was found on 22,176 tweets. The figures are made interesting by the fact that at the same time, #FlashbackFriday was on Twitter’s trends list at the same time, while only counting 11,919 tweets.
Trump supporters regularly see Twitter’s engineers play games with hashtags. One favorite trick is to insert typos into a hashtag as you type it (think the Twitter version of “damn you autocorrect”), which splits an otherwise large hashtag into two. As social activists on the left and right know, hashtags need a lot of users singularly posted to one hashtag in order to make a topic trend.
Indeed pro-Trump hashtags simply aren’t allowed to trend on Twitter anymore.
For those liberals reading, remember that Twitter rigged its platform against Bernie Sanders supporters. Censorship never stops at the guys you don’t like. Censorship comes for you eventually.
Will Medium begin censoring power users, as Twitter does?
When have you heard a left-wing commentator called a “troll”? They are called activists. Yet anyone on the right who raises hell is immediately labeled a troll. What gives?
Twitter will ban trolls, but they will not ban activists. Through a trick with language, Twitter is able to censor viewpoints they disagree with by protecting users from “harassment from trolls,” while giving high minded speeches about the need to “speak truth to power.”
I’ll continue using Medium because it’s fun and short blogs like this only take me 20 minutes or so to write.
Medium’s stats are also easy to read for a new user.
Medium shows you total stats and breaks down your stats by “views” and reads.”
Here is what Medium’s stats dashboard looks like.
Medium breaks down stats per post as such:
My stats on Medium are lower than on my main blog DangerAndPlay.com, which is to be expected. My YouTube receives fewer views than my podcast does listens. Transitioning to new platforms always comes with a dip in analytics.
I’ll stick around on Medium for a while longer and recommend it to people who want to get the hang of writing as a hobby or for a living.
Mike Cernovich is a best-selling author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker.