Medium needs an API

A big step forward for the platform


Without sounding too much like an over zealous fanboy, I have to say, Medium is amazing. There are numerous things about it that make it awesome, but there is one thing in particular that stands out and that’s the editor. It’s probably the best tool I’ve used to put thoughts into written form. The simplicity and elegance of the design melts away and you can focus on the task at hand: making sense of your thoughts, getting them onto the screen and then organizing them into, hopefully, a compelling story.

The team behind Medium probably knows how great of a tool it is, but if they don’t, they should. It’s hard to want to set up my own blog simply because Medium’s editor is so outstanding. When I use the standard WordPress UI it’s really disappointing and I look forward to going back to the comfortable confines of Medium. This lead me to the thought: wouldn’t it be great if you could use the Medium writing tools but still own the destination where the stories were displayed?

Medium needs an API

It’s important to own your own destination. A lot of people write because they love what they do. In a lot of cases people who love what they do also want to make a business out of it. Creating great content is one of the best tools people have for attracting like minds and kickstarting businesses. The challenge of writing on Medium is that the traffic you drive to your stories doesn’t lead to traffic on your own website. I’m sure you can come up with crafty ways to do this, but it shouldn’t have to be complicated. Content marketing is critical for anyone making a go of business and having access to the best tools to create the content is ideal. Here are a couple ideas on how it could work:

  1. Add the ability to pull the raw feed of HTML from Medium.com to your own website.
  2. Provide designers and developers with a style guide so they can skin their own version of a story.
  3. Allow people to embed the recommend button on their pages.
  4. Charge people to access the API. (I hope there is a business model within Medium that doesn’t involve ads or ‘a being purchased’ exit strategy.)
  5. Keep Medium.com a destination all about curating and finding the best stories to help inspire us all.

I think Medium is sitting on a huge opportunity to allow people to create some of the best content simply because the editor is so nice to use. The curation aspects of the community on Medium.com entice us all to try our best to write interesting things that matter. In the lucky case where someone does tell a story that draws a lot of attention, it would be great if the author shared in the benefit. It’s the true meaning of community; I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Giving us an API so we can still own our own destination and get value from the traffic we drive there would be amazing.

Medium could crush WordPress and other writing platforms if it allowed people to spread their stories in a way that helped them in their pursuit to being self sustained movers and shakers.

Keep up the amazing work!

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