I have been following a series of articles by a financial journalist who uses Medium, a blogging and news platform, similar in many ways to WordPress.
I was interested to see how it would compare to WordPress and as a writer I am always looking for new platforms to display my scribbling, so I hit the download button for the app.
Before we go any further let me explain that I exclusively use a smart phone for all my writing and surfing. It’s not through choice, but I’ve found that travelling with expensive electronic goods is not the smartest choice to make.
WordPress has to date been my favourite app of the lot. It’s seamless, always works, never hangs and manages to offer almost all the functionality of the large screen interface.
Medium is an interesting platform. It has no where near the traction of WordPress, but is still well supported, with large names, newspapers and other well known news syndicates running articles.
The app hung when I opened it and tried to log in, not a good sign. My Android phone has a normal size screen, again for practical reasons and is not the size of a small television. I find a lot of apps come unglued on it, content not displaying properly, or essential buttons are off screen and I have to rotate to landscape to push enter. On the third try and in landscape mode I finally managed to log in.
The Medium app is different to WordPress. Precedence is given to finding, reading and displaying feeds, writers and followers. I am a writer and I want to know what functionality the free version offers, so I hit the compose button.
The editor is very limited but adequate and after a little bit of trial and error I get my post written. Now for tags and categories. No buttons anywhere. Publish is my only choice so I push that. A new window pops up with a choice to add up to 5 tags. Hmm, a little limiting and guess what, no button to submit. I publish without tags, I can always go back and edit these later.
Turns out I cannot. I had to delete the post, redo it, do the landscape thing and then I had access to the done button for my tags.
I suppose with a little time I could get used to the interface. What kills the platform for me is the lack of control I have over my tags, the lack of categories and the watered down stats offered. There may be far more functionality lurking behind the paid section, but at the moment I am comparing the free features I enjoy on WordPress against what Medium has to offer.
I haven’t uninstalled the app, but I am unlikely to use it again. I cannot help feeling that at its heart Medium is a watered down version of WordPress, with a sexier interface that does less. It’s definitely worth a look for bloggers looking to add another window to their shop and you can always simply cut and paste.articles from WordPress.
The one place where Medium does shine is on the sharing aspect. Click on the sharing button for an article and you are spoilt for choice with droves of options, I think I even saw a button for Elvis. I would be very interested to see what functionality lies behind Medium’s pay wall, they don’t do a great job of actually advertising any and it may only be access to content, which is limited in some instances.
So, in closing, in my opinion WordPress remains king of the hill when it comes to an app that delivers and does it seamlessly. In terms of control over your content, categorising and tagging, WordPress again, with the Medium reader not offering the same flexibility as the WordPress reader.
Medium is sexy. It has great loading graphics and a very pretty front end, but I came away feeling I would have been better off dating the plain Jane, WordPress is far deeper and in many ways more intuitive to the writer.
If you haven’t seen Medium, you can view the platform here.