Medium, pretty but disappointing

Medium is a hosted blogging and discussion board at http://www.medium.com . It’s run by Evan Williams, who built Blogger.

The site is very pretty and functional, both for writers and for readers. Authors get a lovely HTML based editor to write their text in, and readers can do highlights and annotations. From a purely technical point of view it’s one of the better systems for typing into on the net.

Alas, the promise of a pretty system does not extend the promise that everything that’s written there will be smart and interesting. One recent essay posted to the site complains that it’s been “hijacked by life-hack gurus, designers and San Francisco people”. The page that Medium provides as a home page for me bears this out - there’s an extended discussion of “MCT Oil” (whatever that is, some diet fad), advice about venture capital, “8 steps for …”, “23 great places for …”, and “How You Train Your Brain To Get What You Really Want”.

All the pretty in the world doesn’t really help if you’re surrounded by life-hack, growth-hack, *-hack content, which all smell like thinly veiled self-promotion or advertising pitches. A steady diet of this kind of writing is soul-killing.

So, in the end, disappointing. Shiny on the outside, nice fonts, good use of whitespace, but uninspired content.