Expert Review: Medium

Medium.com

  • What can you do with this tool? What kinds of stories is it good for?According to the site, Medium is  “designed for little stories that make your day better and manifestos that change the world.”

Key characteristics:  The words are central; it’s simple (“there are no gratuitous sidebars, plug-ins, or widgets. There is nothing to set up or customize.”); automatically customizes posts for any device for the reader;  asks for feedback from peer editors; posts link to one another for a collaborative site; no commitment to post on a schedule.

  • How do you get started using it? Link to tutorials or help docs or Lynda.com resources that are useful for learning this tool.

Everything you need to know about Medium can be found HERE — and some background on the startup by The Atlantic is HERE — but here is a super simplified how-to:

1. Sign in through Twitter or Facebook

2. Create new post (Insert headline and text; format to preferences with alignment, bold, italics, etc.)

3. Insert photo by hovering over left side until image icon pops up. Upload photo, decide placement. Share your draft for peer evaluation and/or publish.

Example of photo upload in Medium.

3. Track views, reads, and recs in “Stats” section.

STATS

  • How easy or hard is it? What skills do you need to become proficient in it?
Sample post.
Sample post.

Medium is pretty basic and intuitive. and has a clean white-space-heavy design. Anyone who can work with WordPress can use Medium.

  • Would you recommend this to a friend? Will you consider using it for your final data story?

I would recommend Medium to someone who wants a user-friendly platform for publishing text-focused stories without the commitment of a personal blog. I don’t think it’s necessarily the best method for my data story because I want to focus more on images than text.

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