Giving Medium a shot at living up to user expectations

Why Medium makes it to my daily reading list

Nick DeNardis Medium profile
My Medium profile

Last year I purged as many incoming requests for my attention as possible. Medium has become something I’ve adopted, enjoy and think it’s worth giving it a shot to stick around.

Video games or watching too many movies wasn’t the problem, to be honest I’ve never done much of either. It was the little things that stole my attention without even realizing it. The small things that I did habitually on a daily, hours or immediate basis that forced me to become deliberate about my time.

Things I’ve purged checking daily

  • Instagram, Twitter, Facebook timelines
  • HTML email newsletters
  • Push notification for basically anything on my phone

Things that have stood the test of time

  • Email marked as Primary
  • Nuzzle email digest
  • Quora email digest
  • Medium digest
  • Podcasts while driving/running

Medium is for stories, how to’s and personality

Personal stories, interviews and experiences define how opinions are shaped and Medium sets the perfect environment for these stories.

I’ve tried Pocket, Instapaper, and various other tools to strip away the cruft from sites to create the ideal reading environment. Medium accomplishes this without requiring me to leave the site.

Content curation on the Medium homepage and email have been spot on and they promise to make it better. For me it’s the combination of recommendations by friends, popular items from topics I follow and a few off the wall stories that I wouldn’t have searched out myself. This mix has made it feel far less like typical sites that focus on a descending list of popular articles, but more like a personalized newsletter.

Writing/cross promoting content on Medium

Many OG blogger, including myself, believe my content isn’t safe long term on Medium. They are profiting from me and if they shut down tomorrow all my content and following go *poof* without a way to redirect.

I still maintain my own domain, blog, and email list for content ownership but like others, attention and discovery are slim. The few articles I have posted to Medium include the standard “Originally posted at…” final line to let people know I am more than Medium articles.

This fear is something that Medium should embrace, it means people are putting hard work into the content they produce here. They don’t consider it throw away content and are conscious about their investment.

Hope for the future

I have hope that Medium will do the right thing and embrace content creators and consumers genuinely to squash these fears. I’m giving Medium a chance to succeed and you should too. It will be pretty clear in a few months with how many people vote with their feet (dollars).

Writing Goals for 2009

Every year we go “up north” (its a Michigan thing) for new years with a few friends and last year we decided to write down our new years resolutions and toss them in the bond fire. One of mine was to write more, I wanted to write a book. Well I did write more but I did not get to finish a book, ended up with five different directions and half starting all of them.

This year I wanted to have a clear direction for my writing and some goals that are actually obtainable. Now that I blog here, the Web Communcations Blog, .eduGuru and host the EDU Checkup video blog I would say from starting from nothing in the past year I have wrote a great deal.

This next year is all about consistency, I am hoping to write on at least this schedule.

  • One post every Two weeks at nickdenardis.com
  • One post every Week (or so) at .eduGuru
  • One post every Two weeks at the Web Communications blog
  • Continue to do the [Friday Links] on the Web Communications blog
  • At least Three EDU Checkup episodes per week.
  • Continuous use of Twitter

In addition to this I would like to start sharing a photo from the week with a few of my close followers (@nickdenardis me if you want in). I would also like to determine a clear direction on a book and actually start hashing it out.

Being in the marketing office at Wayne State University I work with a lot of talented people, one being the Editorial Director who just launched a word driven web site. He has inspired me to write better, clearer and more concise. My goal is not only to write on more sites but be more concise in less words.

Words are beautiful, they take expression and inject it right into the mind of the reader. I wanted to publish my goals for 2009 not only to keep track of them but to inspire everyone else if they were thinking of writing more to get to it and make some goals and strive to keep them.

Did you meet your 2008 writing goals? Do you have any 2009 goals?

Writing more, maybe enough for a book

A MessThroughout high school and even into college I really liked english classes, I liked the writing and creativity. The construction of a well formed document with flow and coherence.

I guess that is why I started a blog, it has been an on and off relationship for a while since high school and when motivated my thoughts can come flowing out.

Its like programming, after some well thought out procedures and operations does the flow of the program work, function correctly and look beautiful.

One of my new years resolutions is to get back into writing, I really enjoy it and it needs to become a large part of my life. Now working with some really phenomenal writers I see where I am lacking and really need to get back in the game.

Its easy as a programmer to just say “Im a programmer, it doesn’t matter if i spell things correct as long as they are consistent”. That has been the mentality at work for a while now and it really doesn’t help anyone since misspellings often fall through the cracks and it makes everyone look unprofessional.

My biggest issue is using larger or obscure words since working on the web and dumbing everything down to fifth grade level its hard to get back to reality and write good copy where every word counts.

There is a lot of things I am passionate about and web standards and accessibility is one of them. Working the university environment as really inspired me to take my knowledge and teach others.

Although standing up, teaching and seeing everyones reaction when they get it is great I would love to expand my reach beyond the people I know. I will be speaking at a conference in March about publishing and promoting events online.

A large part of my job is creating tools for people to use and teaching them how to take advantage of them. Although we are part of a university environment the tools we create are meant to be used outside since marketing has to reach external audiences.

And seeing more of the people I follow online writing books and speaking at large venues about their passions really inspires me to write a book and help everyone curious about how pulling information together in a decentralized environment. Getting the tools built, getting peoples buy in and keeping users using the system for their and the whole communities advantage.

More to come later on book ideas and more frequent updates due to my New Years resolution.