Medium for Blogs — Zagl for Shops

A few takeaways from the success medium.com

Before medium.com came along we had Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr and a few other blogging platforms. And of course if you are a serious blogger you can host your own instance of Wordpress. But then something happened.

Medium came along

Thinking of starting a blogging platform at a time when there were literally 100s of choices was a brave and a courageous act. Here are the top 3 reasons that I believe made Medium.com tick.

Zero Customisation:

While conventional blogs allowed for a lot of customisation, medium provided a standard way to write, stripping away all kinds of customisation, this definitely decreased the power of the bloggers to do their own stuff when it comes to styles, but presented a consistent view for the readers of the platform. While bloggers resisted the limitation at first, now they appreciate it.

At the end of the day, content is the king and every unwanted customisation is just noise

Publications & Micro-communities:

By organising blogs into publications and letting people follow people/publications, Medium made it easy to create micro-communities which is essential for the survival of any blog. Before Medium came along there was no easy for a blogger to create a community around it.

Zagl has only a couple of readers now, but they follow us and get notification on their mobile each time I post. As a writer I feel connected with my community, this is super empowering

Platform of choice:

Medium has become the platform of choice for anyone who would like to setup a blog including big companies like Google. Google Developers Blog, Google Cloud Platform Blog, Google Design Blog to name a few are all on Medium. Of course this did not happen on day one, but when more and more readers are attracted towards a platform, then it becomes a platform of choice, as that is where the conversations are happening. We have seen that happen with YouTube, while you can afford to host your videos on your servers, that’s not a smart choice anymore.

It’s hard to believe that Google blogs on Medium while it owns blogger.com

Let’s see how the above points translates to the world of mobile commerce:

Zero Customisation:

While every e-commerce platforms work hard to make the platform as customisable as possible, akin to blogging industry, what we understood is that providing a consistent view for the consumers is more important and images works wonders when it comes to communicating the style and flavour of a brand.

Product is the king, all the customer wants is an easy and convenient way to shop

Shops & Micro-communities:

At Zagl we want to let brands create communities of their fans in a platform that’s organised totally around shopping. We want every follower of the shop to be notified when a new product is launched and let them shop for the item from within the platform straight away. The kind of relationship Medium created between authors and readers, we want to do it for shops and buyers.

In this age, brands with small following matters as much as brands with a huge following

Platform of choice:

Of course this will take time before the big brands jump in. At first we are looking for small brands with a decent fan base, that will greatly benefit from the a platform like Zagl and hopefully spread out from there. This has a compounding effect as we have seen in so many other platforms before, including Twitter, Youtube and Medium. Our objective is to make sure Zagl will be a platform on choice for brands when it comes to mobile commerce.

Fingers crossed 🤞🏻

A few screens from our upcoming design changes.

Left: Search and follow your favourite brand. Centre: Your favourite shops. Right: Updates from the brand you follow

This post is not about the steps to follow to create a successful platform or sorts. It’s just an interesting observation about a recent hit and a bit of co-relation with what we intend to do.

For more information about Zagl checkout our introductory blog post. Right now Zagl supports setting up mobile ordering for cafes and restaurants, support for retail and fashion stores are in the pipeline.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash