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Medium

New Medium features enhance ‘open collaboration’ experience

Medium

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Keen to take over the world, Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation... More

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The nature of storytelling has evolved dramatically since the rise of the internet. Ev Williams, co-founder of big names such as Twitter, Blogger and now Medium, has contributed to this evolution and is continues to do so. New features were yesterday launched to enhance the collaboration experience of his newest publishing platform which Medium claims will drive the idea of open content forward.

Medium users can now add to a whole new way of note-taking and commenting before final publishing. They can add ideas or point out typos easier than before by using the notes feature which includes highlighting text. This makes the environment for writers exciting and social.

Those who have collaborated will in turn receive credit by having their name added to the bottom of the page. It’s apparently all about the feedback and Medium calls it ‘pre-publish collaboration’. By clicking on invite ‘Invite Collaborators’ you get a secret link which you can share or forward to anyone you like.

Released last year in August, the young startup hasn’t received the attention it was hoping for compared to the revolutionary success stories of Twitter and Blogger. Medium is an open environment where publishers can share ideas and experiences while being encouraged to add content to what is known as “collections”. These are collaborations where many writers and editors alike can create new content. “People create better things together,” Williams said on his blog recently.

Another characteristic which makes Medium unique is the fact that it shies away from the traditional ‘social active’ web. It doesn’t have any native sharing features except for Twitter. For example you can’t share, add to, rate or vote using traditional social media.

Blogging has just been too solo in nature. Micro-blogging site Twitter, on the other hand, involves the simple act of breaking, spreading and making stories using the art of speed and simplicity. Storytelling has been shaped by these tools and has focused on the short and sweet side of things: trying to get events ‘out there’ as fast as possible became the name of the game. Facebook, Instagram and newer ventures like Pheed and Snapchat focus on the simplicity of the ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ concept. Medium, it would seem, is trying to bring that kind of attitude to blogging without compromising on long-form writing.