Medium, well —

When I posted, I wasn’t thinking of the bit of writing I point to in August as a self-prompt to get to looking into what’s gone on with Medium, but it’s been that, to a degree, this week. A little catch-up on the fortunes of that high-profile tech venture is overdue for me, anyhow.

The item itself, I should say, wasn’t written with the idea of another or wider audience than anything I put up on this site gets. (I haven’t circulated it, beyond asking a couple of friends who won’t see the post here to give a read.) But it wasn’t written for here, either, on the other hand. And Medium, plainly enough, is designed as a setting for stuff of this general kind. To my eye, at least, it fits pretty well over there.

The Medium folks naturally want to encourage a more earnest spirit of self-publishing than I’m inclined to in this. It’d seem that that’s especially so since the determination that the self-publisher is the customer around which everything in their business model should revolve, not all that long ago. This shift or narrowing in the company’s orientation is something I was aware of but really might’ve been paying better attention to than till now I have.

If you have anything to suggest reading or listening to on the subject, please do, below. I’ve found Nieman’s May 2018 report a helpful starting place, and I’ve listened to Hacker Noon’s pod-ramble, likewise from that spring, about Medium’s being so great until, whoa dude, it wasn’t.

A little bit tangentially, let me mention another interview recorded around the same time, not concerned with Medium directly, but covering a lot of the same ground that discussion around social media, micropublishing trends, and Ev Williams’ dreams of a better internet tends to occupy — with Ernie Smith, who made his name on Tumblr and whose current project, Tedium, isn’t on Medium anymore, by Simon Owens (whose Business of Content is, yet).


2 thoughts on “Medium, well —”

  1. Medium was not on my radar at all, really, until their “to read this article, sign-in with Google or Facebook” autoprompt came up. At that point I was VERY wary. Whenever something of interest was posted there, including your bit, I resorted to Firefox and a script-blocker to get me past the “guardian” (which clearly wasn’t guarding my best interests). It must be difficult to resist the allure of considering every human being a potential content provider.

  2. Yeah, this is interesting for me, that you’ve let several cycles of Medium headline buzz go by too. For myself, I think, failure to catch that wave at some point in the last five or six years comes (partly, anyway) of not really being much a writer at heart. I wonder if for you it doesn’t reflect something nearer the category of discontents I gather Williams wants to see himself as addressing.

    I have in mind in this above our bit of conversation about Tumblr and WordPress, in any case. Note particularly that last link, if you get a chance.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.