At the highest level, here’s what I like about this: it’s very rare that you’ll get an epiphany to write something out of the blue. More likely is that you’ll read (or hear) something and it spurs you to write about it. Most of the time, that connection happens internally, in your brain. Medium Responses (and really, the network), would ideally make this process a bit more seamless.
A good example is this post. I could have read what Ev wrote and then opened the editor and started a whole new post. In some cases, that works. But I think for many people, that’s too much cognitive load. You think you need to come up with a title. You need to summarize what Ev already said. You need to dig up his post to link back to his original. Etc.
The issue that remains, of course, is that not all the content that spurs you to write resides on Medium. And even with unlimited resources and time, that will never be the case. So things like the bookmarklet are a bridge. Ideally, a better mobile bridge emerges as well. Because as we all know, bookmarklets are a joke on mobile.
That said, Medium increasingly has a ton of great, thought-provoking content. And many people find themselves increasingly reading content here. So having a simple way to respond with extended thoughts (beyond comment form) feels right. I’m not sure the design/layout is nailed just yet. But it’s getting there.
The key is to get people writing. Medium’s beautiful editor was step one. Writing prompts probably work for some people, but this response idea, at least in theory, feels like a more natural way to ease the inhibition to write.
I wonder if we see other places follow suit…