What are Medium Writers Talking About? #1
I did a little “research” on what Medium writers are talking about. The research resulted in the lists included at the end of this article. The lists show the most popular tags as of 12/18/15.
These are only a small fraction of all the tags in use. List A includes tags that have been used on 10,000 or more posts. List B includes tags used on 1,000 or more posts. List C includes all the tags I could find that related to countries or languages. List D shows the same country and language tags along with the number of posts containing each one on 12/18.
I started this study just out of curiosity. I didn’t realize that it was going to take so much time — days! The reasons I’m sharing it are:
- I support the reason Medium enabled the tags: ORGANIZATION!
- I believe one of the greatest problems of modern society is COMPLEXITY. I discussed this at length in my series on the collapse of modern civilization.
- I believe communication based only on human intuition is not able to deal with the complexity. We have essentially created the modern equivalent of the Tower of Babel. In our modern version, it also includes the language problem. But even worse, is the data OVERLOAD problem. Every internet “chat” or “discussion group” is the equivalent of a landfill. The stories and comments are interesting to read. But, after they’re read, into the landfill they go. So many brilliant observations are gone like the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Hopefully, these lists will improve your ability to:
- Associate your work. By having a list of the most prominent discussion topics, you can steer your post to the group or groups that YOU think they best belong. Scanning a list is much better than guessing topics off the top of your head.
- Get in touch with the Medium community. Sure the Daily Digest and other teasers use good “algorithms” to steer you to things you might be interested in. BUT, you are YOU. So, if you have an “index”, so to speak, you can quickly scan it to see if there are topics that grab your interest.
- Empower your renegade spirit! Maybe what floats your boat is writing about things that NO ONE ELSE or very few are writing about. These lists will help with that. Find the holes! This is especially obvious with the country and city tag list.
Also, lists like these are a chance to do some social science! As a social scientist specializing in communications, to me, lists like these are a gold mine.
For example, take a look at list A. All of these tags have over 10,000 posts. A lot of people are writing about these subjects. The lists provide data to answer some questions. For example, I’ve read a few “complaints” that Medium seems to be dominated by “techies”. What does list A tell us about technology dominance?
A high occurrence tag is Books. Maybe these are technology text books? But if you look at the “books” page, the subjects are all over the map. Business? Again, looking at the “business” page, it is not dominated by tech issues. Food? I guess you can make a case that techies are always starving. But you’d better post that in “fiction”.
Another example is list D. These tags are shown in order of popularity with the number of posts that had the tag on 12/18. This list is a challenge for a lot of people’s stereotypes about how “important” their country is. Draw your conclusions!
So watch for follow-up posts from me with the WRITING TIPS tag, as well as anyone else who spots some interesting patterns and comments on them. You are welcome to copy the lists and use them.
By the way, the concept of “tags” is one of the current approaches Medium.com is using to organize discussions. An article by Jessica Wang, introducing “Tags”, explains the reasoning. In short, the article explained that Medium wanted to “create spaces on Medium where all stories on a specific topic could be organized together in one central place… For each story you publish or have already published, you’ll … be able to choose up to three tags. Upon publication, your story will be distributed on the relevant tag pages, where it will live on Medium with other stories that share the same tag. In this way, tags will help your story find its right audience.”
If you need help using tags, check my Medium Users Writing Guide. To find a tag page on Medium, just type the tag phrase into the search box.
If you want to follow up on the “Tower of Babel” problem, you might look at the Language Tab at A3Society.org . I talk about the complexity issue in a Medium post about the impending collapse of society.
List A: Tags that have been used on more than 10,000 posts (as of 12/18/15) (alphabetical order)
Books, Business, Design, Education, Entrepreneurship, Fiction, Food, Health, IFTTT, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Market Research Reports, Marketing, Movies, Poetry, Politics, Social, Media, Startup, Tech, Technology, Travel, Twitter, Uhd, Writing
List B: Tags that have been used on more than 1,000 posts (as of 12/18/15) (alphabetical order)
(The tags in list A are repeated here.)
List C: Tags for countries and languages that have been used on any posts (as of 12/18/15) (alphabetical order)
Afghanistan, Africa, America, Amsterdam, Argentina, Asia, Australia, Brasil, Brazil, Canada, China, Deutsch, Dubai, Dublin, Dutch, Egypt, Espanol, Europe, European Union, Francais, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italia, Italian, Italiano, Italy, Japan, Japanese, Korea, Korean, London, Los Angeles, Mexico, Moscow, Nepal, New York, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paris, Polish, Rio De Janeiro, Russian, San Francisco, South Africa, South America, Spain, Spanish, Sweden, Swedish, Switzerland, Syria, Tokyo, Toronto, Turkce, Turkey, Turkish, Ukraine, United Nations, United States, USA, Venezuela
List D: Tags for countries and languages that have been used on any posts (as of 12/18/15) (popularity order with number of posts)
Spanish — 14700; Brasil — 8200; Russian — 7500; Turkce — 4300; Indonesia — 3800; Japanese — 3500; India — 3100; San Francisco — 2300; Italiano — 2200; China — 2000; Deutsch — 2000; Japan — 2000; Paris — 2000; Syria — 2000; Africa — 1800; Espanol — 1800; New York — 1800; Turkish — 1600; France — 1400; Francais — 1300; Europe — 1200; Mexico — 1200; Polish — 1200; London — 1100; Canada — 1000; Iran — 976; Australia — 867; Greece — 850; Italian — 813; Italia — 713; Ukraine — 705; Dutch — 698; America — 691; Los Angeles — 683; Toronto — 618; Nigeria — 615; Argentina — 591; USA — 544; Brazil — 541; Italy — 522; Nepal — 518; Turkey — 517; South Africa — 471; Pakistan — 452; Tokyo — 407; Korea — 358; Germany — 353; Venezuela — 333; Spain — 293; Swedish — 279; Rio De Janeiro — 270; Afghanistan — 265; United Nations — 244; Egypt — 212; European Union — 210; Amsterdam — 209; Dubai — 195; Asia — 193; United States — 180; Korean — 161; Moscow — 111; Sweden — 96; Switzerland — 93; Dublin — 78