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Is the World Ready for a New Micro-Blogging Platform? The Answer Could Be Obvious.

What hap­pens when you cross Pin­ter­est and WordPress? .

Obvi­ous is the lat­est com­pa­ny to offer its own blog­ging plat­form.   Medi­um is designed to allow peo­ple to choose the lev­el of con­tri­bu­tion they pre­fer and is sub­stan­tial­ly visu­al.  Obvi­ous Corp still has much to prove fol­low­ing the launch of Medi­um, a very visu­al web pub­lish­ing platform.

Can an impres­sive pedi­gree guar­an­tee suc­cess in a crowd­ed mar­ket? Or do you still need to offer an inno­v­a­tive prod­uct to tempt users away from their exist­ing tools? Obvi­ous Corp. is about to find out.

Backed by Twit­ter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone plus the rest of the Obvi­ous crew, Medi­um could democ­ra­tize con­tent dis­tri­b­u­tion. The way Twitter’s retweets gave any­one with 140 char­ac­ters of bril­liance a way to spread across the web, Medi­um could do the same for longer thoughts.

While you can’t ignore the her­itage it’s abun­dant­ly clear that Medi­um is a next gen­er­a­tion blog­ging tool, its play for the CMS could be viewed as a smart one fol­low­ing the recent ‘lais­sez faire’ atti­tude adopt­ed by the larg­er web pub­lish­ing com­pa­nies. It can­not be argued that the task of tak­ing on the big boys – Word­Press for exam­ple cur­rent­ly pow­ers 16% of all web­sites – is a bold one, how­ev­er if Obvi­ous can pro­duce a qual­i­ty plat­form that appeals to exist­ing blog­gers, they could steal cus­tom from right under the nose of the more estab­lished firms.

Using CMS to Up the Ante

Cur­rent providers such as Tum­blr are unable to com­pete with Word­Press and tempt away ded­i­cat­ed blog­gers as they lack the back-end func­tion­al­i­ty. By get­ting to grips with this con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem issue and offer­ing seri­ous add-ons to the user expe­ri­ence, Obvi­ous could real­ly be onto something.

Through its own blog, the com­pa­ny explains: “[We] decid­ed to take on the project of build­ing a new pub­lish­ing plat­form from scratch, not just because it’s in our wheel­house, but because we believe pub­lish­ing – and media, more broad­ly – is impor­tant …Medi­um is designed to allow peo­ple to choose the lev­el of con­tri­bu­tion they prefer.”

How­ev­er, one slight fly in the oint­ment may be the design of the site and the fact that it relies so heav­i­ly on visu­al, rather than writ­ten con­tent. This lit­tle fact might be the one thing that pre­vents Medi­um from becom­ing the David to the Word­Press Goliath.

Is Medi­um a Seri­ous Threat?

Accord­ing to indus­try experts, attempt­ing to take on the Word­Press­es of the world would be a point­less exer­cise any­way. What appears to be hap­pen­ing is that per­haps through Medi­um, Obvi­ous is shin­ing a light towards a new path and giv­ing tech­nol­o­gy a nudge in a new direc­tion.  Rather than rein­vent­ing the wheel, they’ve devel­oped a new, more effec­tive tyre – albeit with a fan­cy CMS.

On the out­side Medi­um, which is due to launch wide­ly in the next few months, owes much to Pin­ter­est. With a tes­sel­lat­ed inter­face that fills the brows­er win­dow with large images that seem to be dot­ted lib­er­al­ly over the web at the moment and there’s more empha­sis on sub­jects or ‘col­lec­tions’, than on the afore­men­tioned writ­ten content.

Sim­ply put, the site col­lates sub­mit­ted con­tent (images or text) into pre-deter­mined col­lec­tions that any­one can read or com­ment on. You don’t need fol­low­ers to be heard on Medi­um. It is hoped that this lat­est social media offer­ing can democ­ra­tize the thoughts of mil­lions. In the same way that any­one who man­aged to gen­er­ate enough retweets could be heard across the globe, so Medi­um could offer the same plat­form for those who may be prone to slight­ly longer ponderings.

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