That’s basically the story of Tahoe-based Silvrback, a new blogging platform built by Damian Sowers. Sowers had used Medium a few times, but hated that the site always sent readers to someone else’s content at the end of his articles. WordPress and other full time blogging platforms proved complicated, with too many choices that made it easy to procrastinate the content part.
So, Sowers got to work.
The developer and consultant built Silvrback to look like Medium but allow writers to have more control over their brand and platform.
“Medium is great for readers but bad for writers,” it says on website. “Readers are steered away to other articles/authors after they are done reading your article. Moreover, the analytics of Medium are extremely basic and you have no idea how people found your article.You really shouldn’t use Medium if you want to build any kind of brand with your writing.”
With that in mind, Sowers made a list of things he personally wanted in a blogging platform and incorporated those into his final product. Things like a clean and modern UI, hosting, and Google analytics can all be found at Silvrback. The site is definitely well-designed, and Sowers incorporated much of what people love about Medium into it. In fact, you can probably think of it as a mashup of the good things about WordPress and the good things about Medium, all in one platform.
However, despite the tough talk, Sowers says he isn’t trying to compete with Medium. The bigger platform focuses on content discovery, but Silvrback focuses on providing a great platform for writers. Some of the changes to Medium announced last week back of Sowers’ theories on what matters to writers. Of course, it also makes them even more direct competitors.
Still, it stands to reason that writers will be happy to go where there’s a built-in audience, and Ev Williams and team have that at Medium. While the platform does steers readers towards other content, it’s not really that hard to find a writer you like and read everything they offer.
Many of Silvrback’s users have joined up from Hacker News, and that hacker/writer audience could prove to be the best niche for Silvrback to target.
If you’re sick of Medium (or your hosted blog) go check out Silvrback. You can get a 2 week free trial here.