What is Medium?
Medium is a social publishing platform that is open to all and home to a diverse array of stories, ideas and perspectives. Posts are owned by individual accounts or publications. It’s often used to hold blogs and readers can easily share and comment on content.
Its lean and simple layout is easily read on a range of devices. You can't change fonts or colours but you can add images, video and a wide variety of embeds to enhance written content.
Why use Medium?
Authors on Medium can choose to keep their stories free and accessible to all, or by signing up to the partner program, they can put their content behind Medium’s paywall and get paid every time a member reads their content.
All content published by the University and featured on the University’s publication is free. The University isn't signed up to the partner program.
Read more about Medium membership and using Medium.
How does it work?
Much like more traditional media publishing, Medium makes a clear distinction between authors and publications. Individuals can have a presence on the platform as an author, and brands, organisations or media outlets can set themselves up as a ‘publication’.
Read more about how the platform is organised on Medium’s help page.
Authors and editors
As an author, you can create stories, and publish them to your own feed on Medium. You can also send these for publication in any publications where you're listed as a writer.
Medium have published guidance on how to sign in or sign up to Medium.
If you've published a story which you think is suitable and relevant for the University’s Medium publication, contact the Digital Communications team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authors can also be given ‘editor’ access to a Medium publication. Editors can review submissions, add stories, edit and publish submitted drafts, and remove any stories from a publication.
Medium publications are collections of stories based around a common theme. The University of Leeds Medium publication collates stories from across our community.
The University hosts several other publications, such as the Policy Leeds blog, and the Medicine Matters blog. Different authors publish content to these publications, but the publications themselves are owned and managed by the University’s account.
If you would like to discuss setting up a new publication, contact the Digital Communications team at email@example.com.
On Medium, the University is an author, creating content and publishing it to the platform. We also have a publication, which we publish our content to, and can also feature content published by others if we choose to. Think of it as The Yorkshire Post writing articles for The Yorkshire Post alongside other authors.
For example, blogs published by Professor Simone Buitendijk appear on her own Medium author page, but they are also published to the University of Leeds's publication, and have a section of their own as part of the community feature page.
If you're an author and would like to publish content to the University’s publication, contact the Digital Communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on the circumstances we can either help you publish this to the University of Leeds publication by the University of Leeds or we may recommend you set up a separate author account to publish to the University of Leeds's publication from.
The University of Leeds publication has a ‘featured stories’ section at the top, followed by sections for the latest research news, mini-sections of recent topics of interest, and then a large section which contains all other recent stories published, to a maximum of 25. Stories older than this are still available and can be found on features pages or by searching.
Feature pages allow publications to group content, much like different areas on a website. From the top navigation on the University’s publication homepage, you can access our feature pages.
These pages have been created based on the type of content we've regularly published to the platform and automatically collate stories based on how they're tagged. As you can apply up to five tags to a story, some of our stories feature in more than one feature page.
As with the homepage, they have a ‘featured’ section, and then a section which displays all tagged stories by publish date, to a maximum of 25.
Our current feature pages are:
- Our campus
- Student life
There are also some hidden feature pages which are not listed in the homepage navigation. Hidden pages can be linked to and can be used to curate a specific set of stories and link to them from another website.
If you wish to collate some content in a feature page, please contact the Digital Communications team at email@example.com.
Creating a story
There are two options for creating a new story on Medium, either by writing a new story, or importing an existing story from another website.
Write a story
To author a new story, click on the ‘write a story’ button. This will open Medium’s story editor. Medium have published guidance on writing and publishing your first Medium story.
Find out more about using the Medium story editor including formatting, headers, quotes, emoji, mentions and lists.
Import a story
Medium also allows authors to one-click import stories from other websites. You need to input the original URL of the story. Medium will pull through the content to re-create the story in the platform, including formatting, images, pull-out quotes and source information, along with a link to the original article and credit to the publisher.
If you're importing an article from the University of Leeds website, make sure that you check that there are no formatting issues. When you've imported your story, if you need to make any further changes or if some elements have not been pulled through correctly, you can still edit it as you would when authoring a new article.
Read Medium’s guidance on using images. If you've added images to your story, Medium will select the first of these as the featured image for the story. It will be the image used on the publication’s homepage and will pull through automatically if the story is shared on social media. You can change the featured image in the story settings.
Medium supplies several options for embedding multimedia within stories. Using the service embed.ly authors can embed content from over 300+ third party services such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud.
Adding multimedia features into your story can help engage readers and keep their attention. In addition, they can be used to pull in evidence or examples which may be relevant to the story’s narrative.
For more information about accessibility, please read the section about accessibility in our blog guide.
Before publishing, you should review your story settings to make sure it will be published to the right place, will be SEO-friendly and have the best chance at being put in front of readers, both on Medium and wherever it may be shared to.
While drafting your story within Medium, if you click the three-dot button next to ‘publish', a pop-out window will appear which will allow you to amend the story’s settings. You might find the following features useful.
Add to publication
If you click on this option, a second window will open which will allow you to ‘submit’ the article to a publication on which you're an approved author. When you publish the article, it will then go to the editor of that publication to review, approve and publish.
Share draft link
This allows you to share a draft link to the article if others wish to review or read it before it is published. You shouldn't embed or use this link to share the article wider, as it may change once published.
Change featured image
If you've added images to your story, it will select the first of these as the featured image for the story, which will be the image used on our Medium homepage and if the story is shared on social media. You may wish to use this setting to select a different image from the story or upload a separate image to use as the feature image.
Change the display title/subtitle
Set a different display title to what is at the top of the story or customise the subtitle. The default setting for the display title will be the story title and the subtitle will be taken from the start of the story.
Apply up to five tags to your story. Tags help to categorise your content within the platform and may help you reach more readers. If you're publishing to the University’s publication, tags will help auto-categorise content into one of our featured pages and sections.
If the story is to be published on the University of Leeds publication, you should apply at least one of these tags if you wish for it to appear on a feature page:
- Community: for community-oriented stories such as Digital Pride Week, VC blogs, staff celebrations and features from or about people at Leeds.
- Research: all news and updates about research taking place at Leeds.
- Culture: stories about arts, culture, and events taking place in the city such as Light Night, Black History Month features, rock ‘n’ roll Refectory.
- Our campus: feature stories about the University’s campus such as ‘20 Instagrammable Spots on Campus’ or ‘Cafe's on campus’.
- Student life: stories which deliver information to students about living in Leeds and the student experience, including information for potential applicants.
- COVID-19: research, news and updates which relate to COVID-19.
After applying one of these tags, you can apply more tags as you wish, up to a maximum of five.
If the story is to be published on the University of Leeds publication and you feel that none of the existing tags are right for your content, contact the Digital Communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will take you to further settings for the story, including adding a separate SEO-friendly title and description, creating a custom URL for the story and customising the canonical link of the story if it was originally published elsewhere on the web.