“Welcome to Medium, a place where great ideas come from anywhere, and quality is what matters.”
If you haven't heard of Medium (that's http://medium.com) , you might want to check it out just because it's there. The site is more than just a collection of diverse blog posts and essays, but I won't go into a lot of detail here because it's very easy to cruise through the "About" section of this site and get all the information you need to build a reading list and to post your own essays on almost any topic you can imagine...if you decide it's worth your time and effort.
First you sign up.
Then you identify your interests.
Pick a few familiar names to follow.
And wait while Medium builds your reading list.
This can take a long time if you click on as many interests as I did, so you might want to start with a tiny sampling. You can follow more authors as you read recommended posts. You can also unfollow authors and topic tags as you become more familiar with the site. Most of the people whose posts I read were unknown to me, but that didn't make them any less interesting.
Once you figure out how it all works, including the responses, cross-linking with followers, and highlighting (to recommend), you might decide to write your own story. Click on the "Write a Story" link at the top of the Medium page you're on, and go. But remember, this is not a closed venue where you're just chatting with a few folks. When you post here, you're posting to the whole wide world.
“Medium is a free and open platform where anyone can come to express themselves. We’ve built a world-class editor up to the task: simple, clean and beautiful. Writing has never been this fun.
Medium is the easiest, fastest way to create a beautiful story with seamless integration of photos, audio, and video. You can share from anywhere.”
I will caution you to be selective in who you follow and the topics you choose. Like any other social network, there are participants who have more fun trolling for victims to insult and shame than engaging in intelligent discussions. But as with other venues, there are rules. I'll hang around Medium for a while just to read articles and responses. I'm not sure I'll ever use the venue for publishing essays or articles. We'll see how it goes.
Please note: This is not a recommendation for you to sign up and jump into the Medium pool. I haven't been exploring the site long enough to do that. Exploring the site, however, has been fun so far, and I did post my photo and a short bio. As I wandered through the recommended articles, I found Ted Talks, the Washington Post, and PBS NewsHour. There were some good humor articles, including a tongue-in-cheek post on the snarky article one must write upon leaving Medium. I got the impression leaving Medium is relatively common. And I discovered a lot of folks had signed up on Medium but rarely or never posted articles. I even found a couple of folks who are RMFW members, so I hope they'll leave a comment with their own impression of the site and whether it serves any useful purpose to us writers.
We can't jump willy-nilly onto every new social or info-sharing site that pops up on the Web, but it's good for us to know what's there, what's working, and what has been a dismal failure for those who tried the site out. I don't know which of these applies to Medium yet, but if anyone else knows, please share in the comments below.