This was originally published to Hatch (an internal version of Medium for Medium staff) on September 24, 2014. See Hatching Inside Medium for context on this collection.
Share A Draft Title
This is an idea I’ve heard pop up in various brainstorm sessions, often with references to helpmewrite.co. Here’s one implementation proposal to help spark a conversation. I find this idea particularly exciting because it’s such a low-friction way to kick off a powerful engagement loop.
First, a new share icon is visible in the draft.
Opening it gives you the option to share the draft link (what we have now) or just the title. Sharing the title is a single make-it-public button.
So you click that button. Done. (It can be toggled back.)
Then we send an email to all your followers.
When someone clicks “I want to read it,” you get an email.
When you return to the draft, those faces are there.
And you can open the modal to see everyone.
And then when you actually publish the post, you have an instant audience; we let all those folks know you finally published it.
Immediately I can think of other features I’d want to add, but they probably aren’t necessary for a minimal experiment:
- Include a public description/comment with the public title
- Add a comment when you click “I want to read this”
- Share the title with specific people (not just all followers), including emails without Medium accounts
- Add the same faces & buttons to the drafts page
- Include this in the daily emails
There’s also some interesting potential for “I want to read this” comments to evolve into a whole discussion about the story and tossing around ideas (similar to what The Message is doing offline). But a first experiment like this could help validate the hypothesis that this sort of thing will spark engagement and encourage writers.