August 15, 2012

New Online Platforms To Share Ideas In Elegant Ways

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

The Obvious Corporation, led by Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, has announced two new sharing platforms called “Medium” and “Branch” which aims to make the publishing and sharing of stories and ideas even easier and more elegant.

We´re re-imagining publishing in an attempt to make an evolutionary leap, based on everything we´ve learned in the last 13 years and the needs of today´s world,” says the Medium team in their introductory blog post.

“The Obvious Corporation 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. It´s easy to forget this given how much pointless and destructive media is in the world. But there´s also more great stuff than ever before–and we haven´t even scratched the surface of what our smart devices and our networks that connect most of the planet might enable.”

Medium blogging will differ from traditional blogging in a few key ways. For instance, posts on Medium will be lumped into categories of similar themes, such as “When I Was a Kid,” which hosts plenty of adorable pictures of kids from the 80s and 90s. A more, text focused-category called “This Happened to Me” hosts interesting stories told by everyday people. Each post can be given what appears to be their version of a “like,” called a “Good One,” thereby increasing the post´s overall score.

These ratings help to push the better content to the top of the pile, rather than listing the posts chronologically.

According to their blog, this rating system helps “people get the most out of their time in this world of infinite information.”

Currently, posts on Medium are being written by a “small invited list of family and friends,” according to their blog.

Anyone with a Twitter account can sign up for an account when they become available, as well as read and rate current posts and provide feedback to the makers of Medium.

The Obvious Corporation is also announcing Branch today, a platform meant to combine "the intimacy of a dinner table conversation with the power of the Internet."

Josh Miller and Hursh Agrawal are the brains behind Branch, and have built it with the help of Williams, Stone, and the Obvious Corporation team. Branch even has some big names in the Internet realm helping them in advisory roles, including Buzzfeed´s Jonah Peretti and former Tech Crunch reporter, MG Siegler.

“We built Branch with you–all of you–in mind. We want it to be a place for you to talk about all the things that are happening in your world. So far, our team has used it to talk about rap music, swap travel ideas, discuss the presidential election, explore a new neighborhood, ask for advice on iOS design, and reminisce about our favorite childhood technologies,” writes Josh Miller in their initial blog post. Currently, anyone interested in signing up with Branch can check out a “Branch” topic, then ask someone involved in the Branch to add you to the conversation.

Both platforms seem to be very optimistic in nature, aiming to get each and everyone of us to share our ideas and thoughts in a clean and productive way.