Toward a more relational Medium

Last week we announced Medium’s new mobile app and started rolling out the beta more widely. (If you have the current Medium app, look for a prompt to opt in.)

XKCD comic

Relational media

Among other ways, the internet has changed media consumption along a spectrum that you might call relational to transactional. Think of (or imagine, if you’re not old enough) when you got your morning newspaper or your favorite magazine and read articles because they were in that newspaper or magazine. Sure, you didn’t read all of them, but what you read was very heavily influenced by where it came from. You picked the source first and then you picked the articles. You built affinity and trust for the sources (publications) you liked best, which read to repeat reading and/or subscription. In other words, you had a relationship of sorts with them — and, perhaps, with many of the writers in them, as well.

Grid of images and headlines
Grid of images and headlines
When publisher names are removed from content choices
Original homepage
Original homepage homepage circa 1999 (design by yours truly)

How it all relates

One of the original ideas behind Medium was to give people an easy and beautiful place to publish, even if they weren’t full-time writers or committed bloggers. We believed there were at least tens of millions of people in the world who had worthwhile stories, knowledge, or ideas to share who could and wanted to articulate them but didn’t have the right place. If you want to publish once, or occasionally, spinning up a blog or a newsletter is too much complexity and not the right vehicle.

Two screenshots from new mobile apps
From homepage to profile

CEO of Medium, partner at Obvious Ventures, co-founder of Twitter, curious consumer of ideas

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