Distributed Conversations

Partnering with publications for high-quality interaction

Saul Carlin
The Medium Blog
3 min readOct 8, 2015


Medium is becoming the preferred social platform for thoughtful commentary, provocative essays, and blockbuster enterprise journalism from independent and commercial publishers seeking to instigate meaningful conversations on topics of substance, interest, and import. Here, these conversations push thinking forward where it matters and drive real impact in the world.

Consider Dave Pell, author and publisher of the popular newsletter NextDraft. His Medium post about income and education disparity in San Francisco prompted a healthy debate on the roles and responsibilities of local tech companies. That prompted thoughtful responses from tech journalists Steven Levy and Greg Ferenstein and prominent Medium community members Shawn White and Todd Hannula. The whole exchange helped move 826 Valencia closer to its goal of raising $250,000 to build a new community center in the Tenderloin.

When Mother Jones produced a groundbreaking special investigation of the true economic cost of gun violence, editors brought the full report to Medium with the intention to inspire action. A few days later, Senator Chris Murphy responded on Medium with a promise:

Then there’s Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who discovered The Huffington Post’s analysis of Netflix’s unlimited parental leave policy while thumbing through his Medium feed. He took the opportunity to call for a national paid leave law, but only after expressing something many were thinking:

Distributed conversations like these are forming a new interaction layer for professional content: one where thoughtfulness and reason prevail over the rancor of comments sections; where individuals write as equals with major publishers; where people and publications build on each others’ ideas and influence; where together, they move thinking forward in the world.

By opening up our network to anyone who publishes anywhere, Medium has made it easy for bloggers, independent publications, and major commercial publishers to build a meaningful presence on Medium and access a discerning and influential community of readers and writers — not for their eyeballs, but for their ideas.

Today, we’re excited to announce The Awl, Discovery Communications, Fusion, Steven Johnson’s How We Get To Next, Mic, MSNBC, and Time Inc.’s Travel + Leisure as content partners.

Many of these great publishers are already using Medium, and in the coming weeks you’ll see them using our new tools to drive discussion around exciting original and distributed content initiatives.

Of course, there are few things more important to people who write for a living than the ability to make money.

In the course of delivering several award-winning native campaigns on Medium with top-tier partners like BMW, GE, Microsoft, Marriott, and Intel, we’ve seen that people on Medium will read great, professionally-produced content wherever it comes from — including in partnership with brands.

So we’re starting to develop new native advertising solutions and paid content models that we think will help professional writers, bloggers, and publishers earn revenue on Medium, via an engaged audience they’ve built and the thoughtful content they create.

We’ll reveal more on monetization in the coming months. When we do, you should expect to see users’ experience, needs, and rights front and center, and a continued commitment to the intelligent conversations, deep audience relationships, and high-quality stories and ideas that have always defined Medium.