You may or may not have heard of Medium. For those that don’t know: it’s a publishing platform for people to share their original content – a “one stop shop” of sorts, and a pretty popular one.
You could liken it to a massive blog that has a ton of authors from all over the world writing on a wide variety of topics. Throw in a bit of social networking (the platform was created by the founders of Twitter after all), and you’ve got the general idea.
Writing on Medium
Medium describes itself as a “storytelling experience.” Put plainly, it’s a no-nonsense space for writers to share their work with ease.
Writers can publish stand-alone posts, build collections of like-minded posts and submit their work to other collections.
Posts – There’s no “right” type of post. Companies, journalists, bloggers and nonprofits are all publishing their latest and greatest on Medium. Medium has everything from posts giving professional development tips, to articles posted by journalists, to compelling humanitarian pieces.
Beyond the style of your post, you have a couple of options in how you go about posting it. You can publish a full post or tease content previously posted elsewhere and provide a link to it.
Collections – “Curated content” is the easiest way to explain Medium’s content collections. These collections contain similarly focused articles that aren’t necessarily written by the same person or company. There are two ways your nonprofit can contribute:
- Create and manage a collection, including curating its content
- Write posts for a collection
Content Ownership – The legal jargon–always fun to wade through. Fortunately, theirs isn’t too painful. Here’s the gist: Your nonprofit owns the rights to its content but Medium has the right to publicize it. Essentially, they can promote something you write to your benefit. That’s not a bad deal.
Reading on Medium
The technical part of reading on Medium is fairly similar to the typical blog experience. Readers are invited to comment on, recommend and share posts.
Find & Follow – As a reader, you can follow individual writers, organizations and collections. Medium has a nifty search feature that helps you find whatever and whoever you’re looking for. The more people and collections you follow, the more recommendations you’ll receive of posts you might like to read. These recommendations appear on your homepage every time you log on to the site.
Recommend & Share – At the end of every Medium article, readers have the option of recommending the post to their Medium community by simply clicking on a button. Readers also have the option of sharing the post with their followers in the social sphere by tweeting or posting a link.
Comment & Respond – Medium’s commenting system allows users to write comments in the margins of the page throughout a story. Have a thought on a point made in a specific paragraph, you can comment right next to it. At the end of the story, where you would typically expect to find the commenting section, Medium offers readers the option to respond. Responses are an opportunity to write more than a quick comment. Similar to writing a post, there’s no “right way” to craft a response. It could be a well thought out post, a quick paragraph or two, a video, an illustration—the options are endless. The point is to encourage discussion between reader and writer.
The Value of Medium
A large portion of Medium’s worth lies in its content promotion strategy. Medium does a great job of encouraging readers to promote and share content within the Medium network and throughout the greater social sphere as well.
If your nonprofit doesn’t currently have a blog, Medium is a quick and easy way to get one up and running. All that’s required of you is writing posts and beginning to engage with the Medium community of readers and writers. While we do recommend you ultimately house your blog within your own website, Medium is a great place to get started.
Already have a blog? Posting on Medium means introducing your nonprofit to an entirely new audience. And, the themed collections allow you to ensure that your new audience is interested in what you have to say. This sort of targeted content promotion can go a long way in ramping up interest in your nonprofit and the work you’re doing.
Now that you’re up to speed on Medium and how it can benefit your nonprofit, you’re probably looking for a few ideas to help get you started. Stay tuned. Some inspiration is headed your way soon.
Image courtesy of Sergey Zolkin