On Medium

Why be here? Why now?

I feel the need to justify why we need another platform like Medium in our lives.

Especially from a brand perspective. We first started using Medium as a platform about 10 months back when I was at IBM Cloud, as a way to share publicly the stories of our customers. It worked really well for some of the elevated storytelling we were working on at the time, like Runkeeper and Guiding Eyes. The big banners, clean layout, embeddable multimedia. So then we just kept going with more of our drumbeat stories.

We thought of it largely as a blogging platform and it was often compared that way. However, second time around we’re thinking of it differently. Sure, we can use it for our elevated storytelling, like the page we just built for the Woodside campaign. But the more we dig, the more we see a few other dimensions come into view.

Medium has some key features normally reserved for social networks. The platform syncs all my contacts from Twitter or Facebook who happen to be on Medium, follows them and pulls in their feeds. Instantly I have access to my community that hang out here. They read me and vice versa.

Thanks to advice from Eroica at the Barbarian Group, we’re thinking through some interesting developments: like setting up as a Publisher and experimenting with the platform for employee advocacy (we’ve already had millennials reaching out and asking to post under our banner). The platform works remarkably well in this respect. I can ask our partners to share their point of view on their own Medium accounts, and just pull that under our banner — much easier than trying to deal with Word documents and reviews of blog posts. And much easier for both parties to then promote and share (you can autopost to Twitter and Facebook if you so desire).

From the design point of view we have a number of advantages. No ads makes for a cleaner interface. The site is very well optimized for mobile too. The editor (composition screen) is sumptuous. As you write, you watch the cursor swing across a beautiful writing surface that’s indistinguishable from the sleek, published, page.

So, let me cut to it and share my quick/dirty version of why, if you represent a brand, you might just want to consider Medium…

As a bonus, let me share with you a couple of wonderful posts on this platform that have rocked my boat: a VC claiming music we hear when we’re thirteen holds a special place for us (M.G. Siegler) and an explanation of one of the three kinds of happiness (Brianna Wiest).

So, if you think this could be the start of something big and beautiful for you, go ahead and jump in. There really isn’t too much too it. Oh, and let me know how you get on!

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