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The Message About Medium
I met recently with Kate Lee, the Director of Content at open web publishing platform Medium, founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.
Medium has been much in the news of late, in part due to Walter Isaccson announcing that he posted a draft chapter from his book The Innovators on the site and found the comments he received helpful. Forbes reported that his post was read by "about 18,000 people and inspired about 125 comments, plus dozens of e-mails and a few full articles exploring some aspect of Isaacson’s subject matter."
Other prominent writers who have posted excerpts, work in progress, or posts related to their work include David Mamet, Michael Pollan, Robert North Patterson, Emily Gould and Danah Boyd. Some companies are also using Medium as their blog hosting site, Tesla , whose founder Elon Musk blogs there.
Medium is doing some interesting analysis of reading habits on the site, including tracking Total Time Reading for every post, and authors are told how many people who started to read their posts kept reading all the way through. A particularly appealing feature of the site for authors who want to get feedback about a work in progress is that by default reader comments are made visible only to the author of the post, though the author can elect to make them public, which allows other readers to weigh in on comments. Another nice feature is that comments appear alongside the specific piece of text commented on, as in Word’s track changes function, rather than in a string at the bottom of the post.
Kate shared some impressive statistics with me about the number of reads authors have garnered for book excerpts as well as about discoveries its data mining maestros are making:
I recommend that writers give the platform a try, especially for work-shopping manuscripts in progress. But you just might also build a reader following and even attract the attention of an agent or publisher. Kate also reported that two books deals have come from Medium posts, for Refa Tuma, the author of a post titled Dinovember , with Little, Brown and for Ethan Browwn, the author a post titled Who Killed the Jeff Davis 8?, about the investigation of a killing spree, to Scribner. Click here to go to the site: http://bit.ly/MediumStart.