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Typed, a crowdfunded blog platform, closes down today

It’s not often in blogging you get to see a story come to a definitive end, but today I do.

Waaaay back in 2015 – almost exactly three years ago – I backed a crowdfunder for a new blogging platform from Realmac Software in Brighton.

Today that platform dies.

Typed is closing.

It seems to have struggled from early on. It was available in beta by that May, and I quite liked what I saw. But development seemed to stall, and their own blog suddenly stopped publishing in February 2016. The opening sentence of the post was not encouraging:

February was a terrible month.

Only one further post was published on that blog – in December 2016. Ironically, the last words published on the blog were:

We’re in this for the long haul.
Happy Typing.

That was it for the blog. And then the support forum abruptly disappeared with no word. Alarm bells started to ring.

In April of 2017, a death was announced, because it was obvious that Realmac weren’t getting enough revenue from the platform, and saw no way towards having it:

For the last 8+ months, Typed.com has been running at a loss. I’ve tried hard to make Typed.com viable, it’s a great platform and I still believe in it. However, at the end of the day, it comes down to cost.

I didn’t notice for a few months. But then, the post was buried in a forum for an entirely different piece of software. Realmac did not handle this well. Rewards backers paid for like stickers and t-shirts were never delivered. Communication to those backers — many of whom paid for life memberships — dried up. As the platform struggled, the team seemed to lose interest in it and – rather unforgivably – in those people who had paid to get it going.

I won’t beat about the bush: I’m disappointed by Realmac. They’re a local company to me, whose software I’ve tried to support. I even appeared in an advert for them. My disappointment isn’t in the failure of the platform: that was always a risk. It’s on how very badly they mishandled the communications to the users and backers.

Finally, the end of this sorry tale has come. Any time now, the servers go down, and that’s the end of Typed.

The crowdfunder’s regret?

Do I regret backing it? No. The blogging world still needs innovation. I’ve backed two crowdfunded blog platforms, and one microblogging platform. Typed might be dying, but Ghost is still going strong. It hit 1.0 last summer, and has continued to develop since.

Innovation involves risk. One paid off. One didn’t. That’s OK – things move on. micro.blog, the microblogging service I backed, is a whole bunch of fun, and I’m having some great conversations there, and doing some fun blogging.

RIP Typed. You were a nice idea that never really got traction.

Is Medium aiming to be the Facebook of long-form writing?

Stowe Boyd has some serious questions about the future of Medium:

And what about Medium? Are we better off because of Medium’s mechanisms to suggest to us what to read, or would we be better off with thousands of independent curators and publishers, or the basic social affordance of following the best writers, directly?

My fear is that Medium will fall pray to the lowest common denominator attention merchants in the same way every other centralising platform does.

And that would be a shame.


Medium: a post-advertising business?

Interesting summation of Medium’s current business philosphy from Ev Williams:

If remuneration is not part of the equation for why you publish, I can’t imagine a stand-alone web site serving you better than Medium in terms of cost, simplicity, and, most importantly, reaching an audience.

If remuneration is part of your equation, you’re also in the right place, as long as you’re not looking to build an advertising-funded site.

(Worth noting: this was in response to a post listing all the publications that have quit Medium.)

Medium goes large – to a $400m valuation

Medium, the blogging platform created by Ev Williams, has just take on a big new chunk of investment:

Medium, the publishing platform hatched by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, has raised $57 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
It’s the three-year-old company’s second funding round, and people familiar with Medium say it places a $400 million pre-money valuation on the startup.

Those figures alone are interesting (but then, a bet on the guy who co-founded both Blogger and Twitter doesn’t seem like a bad bet, does it?). But just as interesting are the figures quotes on content creators and users:

Content creators:

Williams and Medium are famously averse to talking about metrics, so the only one you’ll find there is that 20,000 people are creating Medium posts each week; Doyle tells Re/code that that number is up 4x in the last year.


In May, Medium said it was attracting 25 million unique visitors a month.

That puts Medium squarely back in the old model of a “superuser” community, where the 90/9/1 rule of “lurkers/occasional posters/superusers” applies. Not a surprise, pehaps, given that Medium is at its best with long form content, and only a proportion of people are ever motivated enough to write long form.

The interesting bit is that, by riding on top of Twitter’s social graph, AND creating an internal social graph derived from that, Medium is making it much easier for new or occasional writers to find audiences.

My own experience is that putting a post on Medium brings me less traffic than a post here – but this blog has been going well over a decade and I have an established audience. Medium’s social features are far more useful to an emereging writer looking to find some readers.

It’s going to be very interesting to watch how this develops – and how they monetise.