Monday Buzz: Medium Captures Politicos

The simple blogging site is becoming a new hot platform for politicians and influencers ahead of the 2016 election. Plus: The ongoing reinvention of apps.

Remember when the Obama administration issued the entire State of the Union text online last year?

Generally, the White House’s press office has released the transcript to news organizations ahead of time, with an embargo. But last year, the White House posted the text on Medium before the embargo was lifted.

The move may have been the first shot in a new era of political influence—one that Medium is at the center of. The reason, according to a recent Politico article, is that the platform allows politicians and influencers to push forth their talking points without going to the press.

“The people who used to be sources for news stories can go direct,” Jay Rosen, a media critic and New York University journalism professor, told Politico.

Now, political figures across Washington, DC, are making Medium the best place to do op-eds. Politicians can use the stripped-down blogging platform to issue statements, offering a nicer result than the traditional press release. Medium itself has even encouraged this usage, hiring DC-based staff members to court politicians.

“It’s becoming this marketplace for candidates to post, to go around the filter of the traditional media,” Aaron Sharockman, executive director of PolitiFact, told Politico. The fact-checking watchdog uses a Medium feature that lets readers annotate a post in an effort to keep politicians honest.

Among the politicians who have already made waves on the platform are former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, who wrote about Pope Francis’ visit; and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who said he’d not run for president in 2016. But Medium could come into its own as a platform during the 2016 election, since Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush are among the candidates actively using the platform.

Think your association might be in a spot to join them on Medium?

Apps Are A-Changin’

It’s been a year since its first showing, but a post on the status of mobile applications is going viral again. The reason? The argument is as fresh as ever.

Paul Adams, Intercom’s vice president of product, argues that having apps as a destination is no longer the best engagement strategy. Last year, he predicted that applications were going out of favor, and being replaced with experiences outside of a platform, driven by notifications or “cards,” that allow users can do things without actually opening the app.

We’re already seeing that with applications such as Twitter and Facebook Messenger, among others. Adams suggests developers move in that direction. Wonder what’s next?

All The Links You Need to See Today

Almost everyone’s back to work, and it’s a tough Monday. In case you need a little motivation to get back into the swing, Lifehacker’s Melanie Pinola pulled together 10 TED talks “that could change your life.”

A bright idea: Li-Fi is an alternative type of connectivity, now in development, that’s 100 times faster than today’s Wi-Fi. Derek Walter at CMSWire shared how it comes from a light bulb.

Still need a New Year’s resolution? Jeff Haden at Inc. has a list of the 17 resolutions successful people make.

(Medium screenshot)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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