Jan 26, 2018
Episode 7 of The Teaching Space Podcast investigates Medium, the popular blogging and social media tool.
Welcome to episode 7 of The Teaching Space Podcast.
Before, we start, if you can hear any weird crunching sounds in the background, I'm afraid that's my dog. She's joining me for recording today.
In this episode, I am going to introduce you to an exciting social media platform from which I get a fantastic wealth of content related to teaching and training.
That platform is Medium.
So let me tell you a bit about Medium.
It was created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams in 2012. The idea behind it was that people would be allowed to share more in-depth articles than the 140 characters they shared on Twitter (which is, of course, now a lot longer than that, but at the time it was a hundred and forty characters).
According to Medium's website:
"Medium taps into the brains of the world's most insightful writers, thinkers and storytellers, to bring you the smartest takes on topics that matter. So whatever your interests, you can always find fresh thinking and unique perspectives."
And there are some great education thought leaders on Medium.
Well, I would tend to refer to it as social journalism.
It's more of a blogging platform than a traditional social media platform like Twitter or Facebook.
That being said, the manner in which quality writing rises to the top is social interaction. So if you read an article that you like you can 'clap' it. That means you upvote that article. And that's how they quality control.
To explain a little Medium lingo:
[Blog] posts are called 'stories' and they are tagged according to subject or theme.
'Publications' on Medium are distributing hosts that carry articles and blog posts like a newspaper or a magazine. The articles published or saved on it can be assigned editors and can be saved as drafts.
If you've got a publication you can also share 'letters' on Medium.
A letter is a way of connecting with your publication's followers and starting a conversation. A letter is delivered to the inboxes of all the people who follow your publication. It's also a post in its own right so it can be recommended, highlighted built upon, and indeed have something of a life of its own.
From what I can tell, Medium used to be totally free but they now run on a membership model.
As a member of Medium, you get access to exclusive content as well as audio options.
This is why Medium is now my new favourite content location of choice - the audio option!
In previous episodes, I've mentioned that I'm an audiobook fan and I consume a massive amount of content that way. So the idea of having ready access to excellent articles in an audio format really ticks my boxes.
The fees for becoming a member of Medium, at the time of writing, are either 5 dollars a month or 50 dollars a year.
Another added bonus of being a member of Medium is that you get a much better bookmark section.
I keep an eye on art, education, teaching, learning and education technology. There are some fantastic articles available on those tags.
A favourite article I've read recently has been about reorganising your smartphone so you are less dependent on it and less distracted by it. And I totally changed my smartphone usage off the back of this one single article. Here it is: Beautility.
Now clearly I focus on using Medium to consume content.
But you can share your own content on Medium as well, you can become a blogger on Medium.
I have my own blog at theteachingspace.com/blog (as you know).
But part of my blogging process now involves sometimes cross-posting my content to Medium.
If you've ever thought about starting your own education blog, but you've been a bit nervous about the technology (you don't want to set up your own website or anything like that) then you could do a lot worse than starting your blog on Medium.
There is a real emphasis on high-quality storytelling on Medium. The words are way more important than the tech.
If you were interested in starting a blog, I would really recommend Medium as a starting point.
I would, however, include the caveat that eventually you want to build your blog on your own turf i.e. create your own website to retain more control over your content.
If you are going to start with Medium, find a way to get the email addresses of the people who follow you on Medium so that if you decided to move from Medium you'll be able to contact followers and let them know.
When it comes to blogging, generally building your blog on someone else's turf isn't recommended. However, with Medium, you have such a good audience ready and waiting for your content. I think it is a really valid and recommended starting point for education bloggers.
Are you a Medium user already?
Do you share content there now or do you use it to consume content?
I am a new user, so this episode is certainly not the ultimate guide to using Medium. It's just what I've picked up over the past month or so that I've been using the platform.
All I can say is so far I like it a lot. The content is extremely interesting and it's high quality as well.
So it gets a massive thumbs up from me.
I'm keen that The Teaching Space podcast is discovered by as many teachers and trainers as possible and you can help me with this.
If you enjoyed the episode please consider leaving a positive iTunes review and that way the show will be served up to more people when they search for teaching podcasts.
Thank you in advance for that. And thank you very much for joining me for Episode 7.