Medium, a blogging platform founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, has been a closed sign-up based app up until now. Today, the platform sent out an email with the news that anyone can now sign in and start writing. There are a few requirements set out to sign up and use Medium however. You must be writing from Chrome, Safari or Firefox browsers, and you must have a Twitter account to post. There’s a verification link sent via email that you click on and then you’re in. Posting apparently is still not available from mobile devices.
So what’s the story behind Medium? TechChurch had Williams tell them about his vision of the app:
“I think more people would be in a better place if more people shared their ideas,” says Williams. Seen this way, Medium is just the next logical step in Williams’ three-product cycle to inject better ideas into the world. Blogger helped open the doors for pajama bloggers to compete with the media moguls. A few years later, Twitter gave the power of broadcast distribution to everyone who had 140 characters to share.
Now, to complete the circuit, Medium wants to make viral information more substantive — the hope in the Pandora’s box of communication. “It’s also an optimistic stance to say that we can build a system where good things can shine and get attention. And there’s an audience for ideas and stories that appeal to more than just the most base desires of human beings.”
Medium has managed to gain some relative popularity among a sea of other blogging alternatives, but not always for the best reasons. While there has been some interesting content, there have also been missteps like a false claim of government email snooping and Peter Shih’s ‘10 things I hate about San Francisco’ post. Topics like these have given Medium a rep for being an incubator for lack of self-awareness and inaccuracy. Still, Williams addressed those issues fairly plainly in his interview. Anyone interested in testing the Medium app can sign up here.