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The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY -

Col­lab­o­ra­tive. Fo­cused. Fun. those aren’t the words we nor­mally think of when we’re talk­ing about blog­ging and telling sto­ries on­line. but a new so­cial plat­form is aim­ing to change that, one word at a time.

Medium, from the founders of twit­ter, is noth­ing like twit­ter. the goal is to pro­vide a place where users can share ideas with peo­ple they don’t nec­es­sary know — in more than 140 char­ac­ters.

Medium, ac­cord­ing to the about sec­tion of the web­site, is “de­signed for lit­tle sto­ries that make your day bet­ter and man­i­festos that change the world ... it’s sim­ple, beau­ti­ful, col­lab­o­ra­tive, and it helps you find the right au­di­ence for what­ever you have to say.”

it’s true. Medium is beau­ti­ful de­signed in a min­i­mal­ist sort of way. it lets you fo­cus on the words and add pow­er­ful im­ages to drive the story home. there are no wid­gets and flashy things along the rails. You’ll no­tice this the first time you sign in. i’m go­ing to use this col­umn to tell you how to get started. Medium has done such a good job with the plat­form, i don’t think you’ll have any trou­ble.

to get started, you must have a twit­ter ac­count. Un­til re­cently, Medium was ac­ces- sible by wait­list only. Now, any­one with a twit­ter ac­count can sign up and in and share sto­ries. Yes, you must have a twit­ter ac­count but the peo­ple at Medium say they are ex­plor­ing other pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Sign­ing in with twit­ter is safe, and Medium prom­ises it will never mess with your pro­file or tweet for you or do any­thing you don’t want it to do.

YoU can write about any­thing. there are no size lim­its, but Medium has found the most en­gag­ing pieces are 400 words or more in length. You can add what you write to col­lec­tions for oth­ers to see, and other users can rec­om­mend col­lec­tions. Medium also has this cool thing where it will tell you how long your piece should take to read (three-minute read, for ex­am­ple.) this way, you can de­cide what you read when based on your time con­straints.

Col­lab­o­ra­tioN is key. Medium says its mantra since day one has been “peo­ple cre­ate bet­ter things to­gether.” So while it’s per­fectly fine to write some­thing and post it as is, you are en­cour­aged to hit the “share draft” but­ton. this al­lows you to send a feed­back form to peo­ple via e-mail and have them help you proof­read. they will even get credit on the story level.

Col­leC­tioNS add to the col­lab­o­ra­tion. if you write about so­cial me­dia, some­one could add your so­cial me­dia-themed piece to their so­cial me­dia col­lec­tion. this means more ex­po­sure with min­i­mal effort. and there are col­lec­tions for al­most any topic you can think of and i only ex­pect these to grow.

it’S not the most mo­bile-friendly plat­form. Yet.

You would think a new so­cial/writ­ing plat­form would em­brace phones and tablets, but not yet.

How­ever, Medium is clear that it is work­ing on an app and a way to post from mo­bile de­vices.

So if you aren’t the kind of per­son who likes to work on a lap­top or desk­top, you might want to wait a while longer. — McClatchy-tri­bune in­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

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