Medium, a Story of Frustration

The new — is it still Medium, what are those dots?

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Medium logo. . . circa a long time ago now. Property of Medium. (Fair use)

My thoughts on the new Medium . . . web-version.

The New Profile Page

  1. All short pieces that are behind a monetized pay-wall are now freely available. That doesn’t make cents. . .

Even though the new payout formula has resulted in a 90% reduction in payment for me and a lot of other writers, taking that last bit away is frustrating. . .

2. Followers are now a number and I can no longer see who they are. . .

3. I can’t see who I’m following. . . Oh, wait, there’s a workaround or two. . . You can go to “Customize your interests” in the drop-down menu or type in https://medium.com/me/following/people

4. I can no longer access the pieces I’ve liked and go back to those pieces if I want to share them, or re-read them. . .

5. I can no longer see anyone else’s replies. That was useful to help determine if someone was a troll. . . I can only access my replies by looking at my stories which includes everything, not just stories. . .

6. I can’t see what my friends have clapped for. . . Following someone else’s reading trail is a nice shortcut to great writing. . .

7. I can’t see if someone is still on the platform — reading but not writing. . .

8. I can’t see if someone has a legitimate follower base or if they’ve gamed it by following everyone on the site. . .

9. The profile page doesn’t list the publication I edit/own.

10. The profile pages don’t seem to display your notifications right now. . .

The Front Page

  1. The Icon, is that really a logo? What does it say? Am I waiting for an image to load? Is this the Three Dot site? Oh, it’s an ellipse? I have a B.A. in Philosophy, not marketing, however, I think it’s more like Medium has de-branded than rebranded and I don’t know why they’d do that when Medium is fantastic and lends some credibility to every piece written on the platform.
  2. The Medium text looks smooshed. It’s no longer bold. . .
  3. Why take away the top navigation bar? What purpose does offering less navigation options offer?
  4. The topics tags now have the same position the old tags had. . . Tags were better. . . Why? I could get very customized reading that way and it was easier to find new pieces and new writers. . . If I wanted to read the top pieces written about rain or roses, I could. I could also read the latest pieces on those tags. The alternative now is to do a search and that takes more steps. . .
  5. I don’t like to be told what to read, I want to choose. This is why I’ve never been a huge fan of topics over tags. . . It’s why I don’t want to read the first article at a publication, or the second, or third. . . I want to scan the menu and make my own selection. This “beta format” frustrates me. . .
  6. The writers I follow gallery doesn’t change and I can’t customize it. Also, the network of writers I follow section doesn’t include everyone I follow. . . It has never felt like it includes more than thirty writers. . .
  7. Trending stories displayed on the top of the page returns us to the situation where popular articles become more popular and quality articles are missed. . . Also, I almost never want to read what everyone is reading. . .
  8. I’m not surprised or delighted by new finds. . . In the older Medium days, the side rail display of Editors’ picks offered the thrill of seeing unusual pieces that often included writer friends or even sometimes me. . . Now I only see things that don’t interest me, lifehackers mostly and the subtitles have been wiped away, what’s up with that?
  9. What happened to audio? Remember when you used to display audio stories on the homepage?

Miscellaneous Complaints

In no particular order. . .

  • I know you tried to promote fiction and poetry, I still love you for that. . . Have you given up? Can you stick with it? Put it back on the front page again? I think a lot of people would like a little escape. . .
  • Payments. . . Okay, I’m really happy that some writers are making over 40K a month, or at least one a month is. But it feels a little like society — too much inequity. . . Spread the wealth around, even if it’s only pennies. . .
  • I like white space, but it seems like a missed opportunity that you’re giving us so much of it on the home page where you could be highlighting off-beat things instead of another article that has been SEO’d and optimized to increase scroll thru. . .
  • Why is it so hard to find new publications under customize your interests?
  • Why didn’t you love tags as much as I did?
  • Why are there no social media sharing links on the articles? That’s rather unhelpful. . .
  • I’ve tried to stop using ellipses but your new logo, well. . .

~

I still love you Medium.

I hope these are just growing pains we’re experiencing. Maybe it’s Mercury Retrograde, I don’t know. . . Did you consult the stars before you relaunched? (No, I’m not serious, but did you consult a focus group?)

I love that you’ve given me a place to write and connect with people. I love that anyone can write here. I have learned a lot and grown as a writer sharing my work here and I owe that to this platform.

Thank you Medium. . .

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