Medium is a community website that publishes articles from writers who collaborate to help each other create better material before publication.
The website is a great place for business people to get stimulating ideas from outside their work and community. The writers are from all over the world and have a variety of skills and interests. Their point of view and information can be very refreshing, especially in a world so dominated by a few sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and some cable channels. The articles vary with the specialty of the writers and bring fresh perspectives on businesses, careers, and life.
The articles flow in a blog feed. Each time the reader returns, there are very likely new articles to read.
The concept of writer collaboration is a good practice for success in any situation. Husbands and wives who collaborate on family decisions can have more successful and healthier families. Companies become more effective when employees help each other creatively. People who travel in groups can be safer if each person minds their own safety as well as the safety of others. Sports teams that play as teams enable individual players to be more successful.
Forbes contributor David K. Williams writes a great deal about collaboration and is “a proponent of collaboration in any business function.”
Since going to Yahoo, Marissa Mayer has done many things, but the two actions which made headlines were buying Tumblr and requiring Yahoo’s workers to come into the office to work.
Medium is the creation of Ev Williams (founder of Blogger and co-founder of Twitter). He has attracted a lot of talented and in some cases widely published writers to publish by invitation on the new website.
A lot of writers who publish on the web have no copy editor or in other cases may have editors whose focus in editing is on the publication’s point of view. The writers get no input to stimulate their creativity or challenge their thinking before publishing their material. To quote Ev Williams, “People create better things together.”
Writing can be a lonely task. Many writers work in silos. Their co-workers are keyboards, pencils, pens, and the blank page on which writers place words.
Even freelance writers who work as stringers for major publications write alone and often function more like students creating term papers. These writers create their material away from the central office and submit the material to an editor. The editor may simply push the material aside or change the material to the publication’s point of view. Meanwhile the writer is in the silo creating more material.
Even writers who have friends who are writers may never connect on their work. Each one may write about different subjects. What they have in common may be sports or politics or music or anything unrelated to work. Taking a break from work may be the reason for meeting with these other writers in the first place.
Robert M. Persig was a technical writer. He perhaps should be credited as writing from one of the deepest silos in literary history. He received 121 rejection letters before the publication of his novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values.
There are countless other writers who remain anonymous and put food on the table with freelance pieces, ghostwriting, technical pieces, words-between-the-numbers business publications, and other anonymous material created whenever a company needs someone to pull something together for publication.
Until now, these writers did not have a community of the quality and collaborative process that Medium.com offers.
I have been writing for decades. With tongue in cheek, I sign my material, “The World’s Most Noble Headhunter.” Although I have published a monthly career and business newsletter for ten years, I am perhaps more frequently recognized as one of the best middle management corporate recruiters in the CPG industry. When placing recruiting calls to applicants, I have used the nickname “The World’s Most Noble Headhunter” as an icebreaker.
My first writing was published during the Vietnam War. As part of my duties aboard an aircraft carrier, I wrote articles about air strikes.
I would interview Navy aviators as a collateral duty in between bridge watches. The stories that I wrote went to Saigon for clearance and declassification. Then the articles were passed on to the media as press releases. The byline went to the reporters who published these articles as a finished product.
During one of my bridge watches, the commanding officer of my ship showed me the message he received from Saigon public affairs. “The Midway’s press releases have been consistently outstanding. Keep them coming.”
You know, I was tickled when I saw that message. I was a writer now. A writer of much higher military rank than I had taken the time to tell my commanding officer he was doing a great job. He, the commanding officer, got the credit in Saigon and above, but I was the writer.
I did not get a byline, but I was a writer connected with another writer. I was in a professional community.
With Medium.com, I now have a community of other writers: people who create and who know that people do create better things together.
“The World’s Most Noble Headhunter”