Medium embraces Mastodon
The fediverse is a breath of fresh air for writers and social media
Today, Medium is launching a Mastodon instance at me.dm to help our authors, publications and readers find a home in the fediverse. Mastodon is an emerging force for good in social media and we are excited to join this community.
We think the mission of Medium — to deepen people’s understanding of the world by helping to share the best ideas and best information — transcends mediums. To date, we’ve focused on article-length writing. It’s how our company got its name: as a home for medium-length writing on the internet.
By contrast, Mastodon is primarily for short-form writing of 500 characters or less. Not to be overly punny: Today we are extending what we do into the short-form medium (lowercase m) with an instance on Mastodon, me.dm.
Aside from being short-form, Mastodon also brings an important innovation around the concept of federation.
Federation is a form of decentralization. This means that instead of everyone being in the same community, there are many communities that can talk to each other. The lingo is to refer to these communities as instances. When you join Mastodon, you join one community as your home base. The collection of instances that talk to each other is referred to as the fediverse.
Our goal is for the me.dm instance to be a valuable home base for many people.
To that end:
- If you are already on Mastodon, follow us here me.dm/@medium. Our account aims to boost smart information and ideas, and also to help find and recommend interesting accounts.
- Tomorrow we will start inviting select authors and publications. If you want to be in the early group, sign up here.
- Shortly we will invite all of our Medium writers and readers as an additional service within our membership. We are working on a “sign-up with Medium” option that will make it easy to get started on Mastodon, and to find people and topics that match your interests. If you want to be in our early list of invites, sign up here.
With so many Mastodon instances to choose from, we plan for me.dm to have a few important benefits out of the gate: reliable infrastructure and moderation, a short domain name to make sharing your username easier, better onboarding for new users, and an interesting local feed.
Like all new platforms, there is a learning curve. We are especially cognizant that we are joining an existing Mastodon ecosystem which already has 9 million people. This ecosystem has existing community norms that are especially focused on avoiding the toxicity that have plagued other social media platforms.
That’s one reason we aren’t yet allowing access for all Medium members. We need to clarify the Venn diagram that is the best of Medium and the best of Mastodon. We have very overlapping views of healthy community norms and I think we will mix very well. This navigation of community norms is why we consider federation to be the most exciting innovation in social media.
If you want to find out more, we’ve created a list of some of the best writing about Mastodon from our authors.
And of course, if you want to talk to me, I’m always listening. Leave a response here, or reach out to me on Mastodon at @firstname.lastname@example.org.