Medium, which turn a year-old this month, has writers, editors and everybody else who deals in sentences asking a lot of questions: What is it exactly? Is it a publication? Is it a platform? Is it both? How will it make money?
Finally, there’s the question of whether Medium is a platform or a publication, and if is a publication, what responsibility does it have when it comes to plagiarism, accuracy and all those other J-School abstractions.
Or could it be the vanguard of something new and different? Alexis C. Madrigal at The Atlantic suggests.
So what is Medium? Medium is a place to read articles on the Internet. Medium is a blogging platform, like Wordpress or Blogger. Medium is the new project from the guys who brought you Twitter. Medium is chaotically, arrhythmically produced by a combination of top-notch editors, paid writers, PR flacks, startup bros, and hacks.
Is it the publication for our particular moment?
There’s a lot to chew over here, but I wonder if this hybrid publication can completely own the conversation in the same way as Twitter. We’re already seeing publications try to adopt Medium’s more innovative features before it becomes a serious threat.
Quartz is allowing commenters to annotate paragraphs and The New York Times is experimenting with tweetable highlights from stories, both features are similar to features on Medium. And when it comes to commenting tools, Nick Denton at Gawker Media may have everyone beat with Kinja.
What Medium becomes is as good story as there is, but whether it features writing or content is an open question.