I’m a fan of blogging. I like the process. I like the idea of posting something regularly. I like how RSS and social components allow the information published through a blogging platform to spread through the Internet’s nooks and crannies.
But I’m also kinda bored of reverse-chronology layouts and the headline-body-comment structure. Those methods are fine, and they deserve to stick around, but can’t we do something different already?
I’m not talking about something dramatically different. What I want is to see blogging’s evolutionary step — what will this form look like in 10 years?
That’s why I’m intrigued by Medium. The category pages — dubbed “collections” — are organized differently (example):
It’s tablet-friendly, that’s for sure.
It’s also not defined by time.
If you’re a news site, time matters. You want the latest up front because “the latest” is what you’re all about. But how many of us run news sites? Hell, how many of us want to run news sites?
I have to imagine many people out there are focused on a topic or an idea. That thing may be tied to time, but time is not necessarily the defining characteristic.
Medium, like Flipboard and Gawker, is about showcasing “the big thing.” I like that.
Medium is also trying to break away from the post-comment hierarchy. Dave Winer picked up on this:
Users can create new buckets or collections and call them anything they want. A bucket is analogous to a blog post. Then other people can post to it. That’s like a comment. But it doesn’t look like a comment. It’s got a place for a big image at the top. It looks much prettier than a comment, and much bigger. Looks are important here.
That’s really interesting. What if we made the post and the comment equally important? What would that look like?
I don’t think Medium’s current form represents this vision, but the idea is intriguing.
And even if Medium doesn’t usher in the evolution I’m looking for, the fact that people are talking and experimenting in this space suggests good things will happen.
(I acknowledge and embrace the hypocrisy of complaining about traditional blog structures in a traditional blog post.)