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 community to refresh their business, career, and home life perspectives. The theme of writers helping writers create better material is a good theme for success in any circumstance. Husbands and wives who can collaborate on family decisions can have more successful and healthier families. Companies where employees help each other with advice and ideas are more successful through collaboration. People who travel in groups are safer if each person minds their own safety as well as the safety of others.
The articles vary with the specialty of the writers and flow in a blog feed.
The writers are from all over the world and have a variety of skills and interests. Their point of view and information is very refreshing, especially in a world so dominated by a few sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and some cable channels.
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 advice to stimulate their creativity or challenge their thinking before publishing their material. To quote Ev Williams, “People create better things together.”
Writing is 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 send 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. They come together to discuss get away from work. They discuss sports, politics, or music, anything unrelated to work. Taking a break from work is the reason for meeting.
Robert M. Pirsig was a technical writer. He wrote in one of the deepest silos in literary history. Instead of editor support, he got rejection. He received 121 rejection letters before he found a publisher for 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 when 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 written 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 often 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.
I first wrote published articles 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 military would these articles to the media. The byline went to the reporters who published these articles as a finished product.
The public affairs office out of Saigon did recognize my writing as “outstanding.” 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. I did not get a byline, but I was a writer. A writer of much higher military rank than I took time to tell my commanding officer he was doing a great job. He got the credit, but I was the writer. With Medium.com, I now have a community of writers. People do create better things together.
Image: Damian Gadal/Flickr