WordPress as a decentralised Medium

I was thinking recently about Medium and WordPress, as I’ve started cross-posting a few articles from the latter to the former. Medium’s writing interface really is as easy to use as everyone says, but what I value most is seeing who has interacted with it: the names attached to the ‘recommends’, and the easy access to statistics. I miss this when writing on my WordPress blogs, and it led me to consider how, with JetPack, WordPress could easily make a site to aggregate self-hosted content into a Medium competitor.

Then I went to wordpress.com and found out that, quietly, that’s exactly what they have built. You can write posts on your self-hosted blog that will be published to the centralised site; you can ‘like’ and ‘share’ and follow authors to create your own feed of interesting content, enhanced by featured and recommended posts. All the ingredients are there to be a Medium competitor, except that it’s all currently private—you need an account to create a feed, no content is findable by default.

I’m not sure how much of this WordPress have announced, or even if making a public Medium competitor is their plan at all. But it’s interesting to see that all of the infrastructure is in place for such a move—a decentralised Medium is an exciting notion.