I found many reviews of medium.com the ‘publishing platform’. But hardly any of them talks about how great it is for readers who love high-quality longform articles.

You can think of Medium as an open source magazine that publishes ideas and stories that have depth and meaning. And everyone is welcome to share theirs.

There is also no copy editor on the other side. The editor is the ambiance of Medium and the active reader community itself.

Reading Experience

Medium Reading Experience

Medium Reading Experience

There are tons of online magazines that post great long form content.  However, they’re generally restricted to certain types of articles or a limited set of topics.

On Medium, one day you may read an American’s open letter to all Muslims and the next day there is an article about no UI being the new UI.

Plus, most of these other sites that publish quality content have a bunch of ads and other elements that are not a part of the story you’re reading. Agreed, that is how they keep the site running. But why are these ads so intrusive and completely irrelevant to the content on the page?

Medium, on the other hand, provides a homogeneous and uncluttered reading experience to its readers, that has nothing but the story. No navigation bars, sidebars or ads.

The typography and the overall interface is beautiful and easy on the eyes and the abundant whitespace helps you focus on just the words on the page.

Conversation and Interaction

Medium.com Responses and Highlighting

Medium.com Responses and Highlighting

Commenting was an integral part of blogs until recently. I have disabled comments on my blog too because most of them are spam.

Medium has taken a completely new approach to writer-reader communication.

While reading an article, you can respond to specific sentences or paragraphs of a story. This adds context to the conversation and allows the writer to collect feedback and improve his story.

You can also write a full-fledged response to the core concept of the story. But since you’re publishing this response in front of a community, as a separate Medium story, you tend to be more considerate and civil in your response. That leads to better conversations and amicable debates.

You can also highlight any part of the story that strikes you as remarkable. Every highlight you leave changes the way others interpret the story — and maybe even the way the author thinks about what they wrote.

Content Discovery

medium.com content discovery

Medium.com content discovery

Publishers use Medium mainly for its active reader community and simple content discovery. There are three ways to find great articles to read on Medium –

  1. tags (featured tags on the homepage, related tags when you’re reading a story and the tags you follow)
  2. top stories curated by the Medium staff
  3. and the stories written or recommended by the people you follow.

Bookmarking and ‘Read it Later’

Since most articles on Medium are longform having a way to bookmark and read these articles later is a given.

You’ll see an option to bookmark a post at the bottom and your bookmarks are available to you at the top of the Medium homepage when you’re logged in.