Can Medium be a rival for Hubpages, Blogger, and Wordpress?
When you use Twitter, you notice that the limitation of using Twitter is often 140 characters. You cannot have more than 140 characters per tweet. As a twitter user, this is quite annoying. It is because expressing our point of view cannot use only 140 characters sometimes, Yet, Twitter is one of the most popular social networking in the world.
Nevertheless, Twitter founders launched two website, Medium and Branch, in 2012. While they noticed this character limitation, Medium.com allows writers to create, edit, short articles. Which means, each article is more than 140 characters, yet it is not at novel length. Although at this stage Medium.com is still in beta testing and invite-only , I can see that this product will bring an "evolution change" in online sharing.
Simple and Clean
My journal of using Medium.com started from job hunting. In April 2013, I noticed Twitter was about to hire a designer. I sent them message and asked them if they hired graphic designers. Dustin Senos, one of the staff working in Twitter, replied me that I did not qualified unfortunately. At the same time, I luckily got invited to test Medium.com. Although my reaction about Medium was like "Another new social media? When is this going to finish?" at first, the website gives me some impressions after awhile.
After registration the platform, the first impression of Medium is simple and clean. There were many users who has published some writings on Medium already. When I clicked the articles from other writers, it simply shows me the monochrome setting of the articles. It gives me an idea that I can finish reading the article quickly.
On the other hand, Medium.com allows user to write anything they want to write. From poem to politics, 100 words to 500 words, it is all up to the users (However, it does not mean that you can write articles regarding hate speech towards certain group of people, cyber bullying target on certain individuals, etc).
News on Medium
Another advantage of using Medium is that you can create folders to organize your writings - what it called as collection. This allow users to organize their writings. On the one hands, it can help the writers focus on certain topics on writings. On the other hands, it can help the writers find their old writings.
Unique way to Comment
The most important feature on Medium.com is commenting system. Instead of leaving comments for the whole article. Other Medium users are allowed to select certain area in the article to comment. You can choose to comment certain points in the articles, or you can choose to highlight certain keywords and comment on it. In my opinion, this kind of commenting system is one of evolution change in online sharing because we typically comment on writer's whole article instead of highlighting certain points in the article. I think this kind of commenting system help writers get better comments from other writers.
Editor's Pick and Feature Collections
I believe that editor's pick and feature collections are the short term features on Medium. As we have seen from Vine, twitter another feature product in 2013, it has "editor's feature" function which allows Vine users to discover creative videos. However, it turns out to be a joke because it features certain video which is not safe for work or even safe for underage. Afterall, such function is becoming less important as the numbers of users are increasing.
In the same way, I believe that editor's pick on Medium is not going to last long once when Medium is open for everyone to register. While such function will lead to staff have heavy workload.
Rival for Hubpages?
I can see that the similarity between Medium and Hubpages. First, both Medium and Hubpages are websites to share short articles. Both of them are social media platform which can have interaction with other writers.
However, Medium seems taking advantages over Hubpages in the way that it directly supports by Twitter, one of the biggest social networking. Twitter definitely can help writers expose their articles much easier than Hubpages. On the other hand, Medium seems to me focusing on article topics more than quantity at this stage. For example, Hubpages users can write hubs for email marketing articles, I cannot really find articles about online marketing on Medium. Of course, I can be wrong because Medium is still in beta testing, and I can only discover new articles on Medium by editor's pick and feature collections. My main point is that Medium is indeed can provide an "evolution change" in social sharing while it features simple and clean design and new commenting system.
Although Medium has so many good feature that Hubpages does not have, Hubpage still has a good position. First, Hubpages allows everyone to contribute for feature hubs. In this way, it open for all quality users to rate whether articles are qualified to be feature hubs. This way can reduce Hubpage staffs' workload. Second, Hubpages can leave out the bias of valuing the hubs because feature hubs are not selected by Hubpage staffs only. Third, Hubapges provides a good review process for both writers and editors. When writers wants to edit the articles again, it will automatically submit the for review. This review process gives writers to re-submit hubs that has been considered not qualified. In other words, writing a disqualifed hub is not going to be bad all the time. Bad hub can turn to be a good qualified hub, once when the writers edit the "bad hubs".
Conclusion: Who is going to be the winner?
At this stage, it is too early to say who will be the winner. Will Medium become another deadly product for Twitter, as like the battle between Vine and Instagram? I do not know. Will it grow its popularity? Definitely, and time can tell. However, my point in this hub is that Medium gets certain attractive features, but Hubpages definitely has a better and more mature article review system in the market. If you prefer new commenting style and clean design, you should go over Medium.com (ask for invite); if you prefer better article or hub rating system, you should go for Hubpages.