Why I Write on Medium
Word of mouth from people you trust is the most powerful form of referral.
After I published my post a few months ago I got a message from someone asking why I was writing on Medium. Typing out a response revealed some interesting insights on product design, so I thought I’d share here.
The editor is fantastic
The Medium editor does just enough to let you express yourself (bold, italic, quotes, links, H1, H2), and it doesn’t look like the top bar in Microsoft Word 2003. The only other writing tool I’ve seen that nails this balance is Basecamp.
The Medium editor is especially great when you’re getting edits from others on a draft. DraftIn is also doing interesting things with draft editing, but Medium is winning currently due to the other factors, especially distribution. Speaking of which…
The distribution platform is powerful
Medium has a much larger built-in audience than my personal blog. Much larger. Nuff said.
The product is gorgeous
Not only is Medium visually beautiful, but the overal UX is just so well thought-out and designed. These two things make it a delightful product to use both as a writer and a reader. (Note: see here for a really interesting read on creating Medium)
My affinity for Medium as a reader makes me want to use it as a writer
The Medium team does a great job of curating and attracting high-quality content. When I came across an incredible piece of writing from Andy Dunn of Bonobos called The Risk Not Taken, I was so inspired by that piece that I began telling everyone I know about it. My enthusiasm and emotional reaction to that piece undoubtedly carries over to the Medium platform and brand as a whole. Someone smart once said you can’t separate the media from the medium (pun unintentional), or something to that effect; that’s definitely at play here.
Twitter integration didn’t really have anything to do with why I started using Medium, but I really like the subtlety of it. The registration / login experience stays out of your way as much as possible, in a way I’ve not seen anyone else do. You register / sign in with Twitter, but it’s very unintrusive. Logging in, signing out and promoting a post through Twitter are as easy as they should be, but they’re not invasive to the overall experience.
A lot of Twitter / Facebook integrations feel like the product is trying to piggyback off of another brand’s legitimacy. The Twitter / Medium relationship feels complementary to both brands.
My friends use it
At the end of the day, probably the biggest reason I started using Medium is because a group of my friends and co-workers started a small writing and editing group. The first person who wrote a post published it on Medium, and we all gave him edits through the platform. Even after a few months, I’m still enamored by how smooth the experience is. After using Medium as an editor, I was immediately inspired to use it as a writer.
Word of mouth from people you trust and respect is the most powerful form of product referral.