Medium, the blogging platform from Twitter cofounder Evan Williams, will soon be getting an influx of riff-raff contributing articles to the service.
The platform has been closed for signups since launching last year, only allowing a set number of contributors that you could arguably call the most well-written hipsters within the tech community. However, as of today, the startup quietly started letting anyone sign up. You’ll need to sign in with your Twitter account and be browsing from Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari from a desktop.
The move to let anyone sign up will be a big test for Medium. The platform’s purpose is to be the middle ground where occasional and veteran creators converge, which is pretty easy to do when you’re slowly approving people that have likely been vetted or vouched for. Now that anyone can sign up, Medium risks diluting the original base of quality contributors and becoming just another blogging platform.
The key element that makes Medium stand apart from other blog platforms is that it groups posts from various authors together into “collections” and presents them to the public for consumption, which somewhat shifts the spotlight off individuals. There are a variety of collection categories, and post topics include various experiences or thoughts on technology, entrepreneurship advice, and even posts about Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose peeing.
Right now you can expect a post from Medium to be pretty decent. You can’t say the same about the average original Tumblr or WordPress.com post, because the people who write barely coherent or maddeningly incorrect articles (e.g. “Why I ain’t never vaccinated my children”) vastly outnumber everyone else.
That said, Medium has a good chance of staying pure, if only because it doesn’t want contributors sharing anything other than their written thoughts — meaning no easy reblogging tools or posts that involve a series of memes and embedded widgets.