in Digital Web

Medium? Tumblr? Twitter? :: Thinking about platforms & content

Because I tend to be somewhat prolific, friends will often ask me where they should post there things.

Should they get a WordPress? What about Medium? Is Blogger still relevant? Should I check out Tumblr? They ask me and my answer is usually the same – “It doesn’t matter.”

I’ve evolved on this view of the years, but when I gave a talk on Tumblr earlier this year at Penn State I told people that choosing the platform is really about deciding what your goals are. If you’re trying to cultivate an organic audience, tumblr can be useful because communities are already there and with the right kind of tagging, folks can find your stuff. But there is a real concern of having your content owned on someone else’s platform — especially if it ever goes the way of Posterous.

It boils down to your goals. If you want to reach people outside of your field, Medium is a good place because it enables you to engage people who might never decide to visit your personal site. Sure, you want people to visit your site, but Medium lets you export your content at any time so it’s not as if your stuff is locked away never to be retrieved if they shut it down. (In theory.)

On the other hand, if I feel like something is for more a segmented audience, I’ll use my own blog to share that information because I think if you get on the megaphone too much it dulls the impact of the stuff you really want people to see. This is a personal choice, though. I think all of us think our musings are important, but there’s a big difference between scribbling thoughts that you want to flesh out and using the way for specific feedback that you’d struggle to get from inside your own circles. I’m always hesitant to signal boost things unless I feel like they’ll resonate, which is partially what got me to Tumblr in the first place.

As someone who’ll often do anything other than write, you just need to focus on getting the words down on paper. Where you put it isn’t as important is having something to put someplace.