There are millions of stories told on Medium; thousands are published every day. Whenever you visit our homepage, launch our apps, or open an email digest, our system pores over these stories and recommends the best ones for you to read. Most of our recommendations are personalized, taking into account your reading history and over a hundred other attributes including the writers, publications, and topics you follow. But no algorithm is perfect, and sometimes we surface content you aren’t interested in.

Today, we’re giving you more agency over content you see on Medium with Mute. Akin to how you can follow a writer or publication to get content from them, you can now “mute” them to stop seeing their stories recommended to you across Medium. Muting a writer or publication means their stories will no longer be visible in your home feed on the Web and in the app, or in Medium’s email digests. …

Tips from Medium Curation, the Medium Writers Team, upcoming publications, and calls for submissions

Illustration: mecaleha/Getty Images

Over the last month, we’ve looked into why stories are not curated in order to highlight the most common, easy-to-fix issues. You can read about what we found and our tips to help improve the quality of your writing. Make sure to check for these common problems before publishing.

You can grow your readership on Medium by having your stories curated into topics, which powers distribution through recommendations. We’ve noticed some questions coming up often about distribution, growing readership, and curation. There’s lots we can share here, and as a start, we updated the frequently asked questions around distribution.

Introducing Medium Writers Team

We’ve started a new “Writers” section in 3 Min Read to share more tips, advice, spotlights, and information for writers. These stories will be shared by a new account, Medium Writers Team. Our very first post is on common problems in curation. For the latest inspiration and tips about writing on Medium, follow Medium Writers Team. …

A Q&A with Shannon Ashley and Shaunta Grimes, two top Partner Program writers

Writers come in many forms.

Shaunta Grimes has been one for a long time. She has a Master’s in writing fiction, is a published author, and runs the Every Day Novelist publication on Medium. Her third novel, The Astonishing Maybe, was published by Penguin Random House in March.

There is also Shannon Ashley, who began writing independently only a year ago, when she quickly went from writing social media posts for companies to publishing popular stories on Medium about the topics that interest her: sex, family, and mental health.

Both women work full time as writers and support their families on their income from Medium’s Partner Program — the system that makes it possible for creators to show up on Medium, write something, and earn money. …

A follow-up to our Q & A with Stephanie Georgopulos and Harris Sockel, editors at Medium who search for great stories on the platform

Recently, we interviewed Stephanie Georgopulos and Harris Sockel, editors at Medium who work with independent, self-publishing writers on the platform to help their work reach a wider audience. Steph and Harris spoke about the benefits of publishing on Medium, shared a few of their favorite stories, explained how the metered paywall works, and gave their advice for writers.

In response, many Medium writers (and readers) expressed gratitude and excitement about our efforts to “elevate” independent voices on the platform. Many were inspired to self-publish more stories this year and to — in Georgopulos’ words — “focus on finding their voice.”

We also received some great questions in the responses about how Steph and Harris do what they do, which we answer below. …

Stephanie Georgopulos and Harris Sockel spend their days searching for great writing on Medium

Stephanie Georgopulos and Harris Sockel are editors at Medium who started out using the platform back in 2013, writing and publishing stories that explored the human condition. Now, they work to “elevate” with independent, self-published writers on Medium. Georgopulos and Sockel scour Medium to find great stories they think deserve a wider audience than they may otherwise be getting.

They reach out to the writer and work with them on improving their piece, then distribute it broadly through Medium’s topics, publications, homepage, emails, and social channels.

Medium VP, Editorial Siobhan O’Connor explained the various ways that the editorial team works with writers — from the commissioned stories in our monthly magazine to exclusive columnists, plus reported features and insightful essays. She also described how we work with writers self-publishing on Medium — and this interview explains that in greater detail. …

Six perspectives on net neutrality

This week, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on the future of net neutrality. Whether you’ve been following the political back and forth, skimming the headlines, or struggling to decode acronyms, the decision will have an impact on what we can do online (and who can afford to do it). Because the internet has effectively been free and open since the day it was born, it’s easy to lose sight of the impact this vote will have.

The reality is, the internet is a fragile thing. Open, crazy, weird spaces where people swap stories and secrets, create rad digital art projects, type furiously and freely with people seven time zones away — these spaces are rare. People build them, people sustain them, and now, people are trying to restrict them. If this week’s vote passes — which is looking increasingly likely — the internet’s gatekeepers will have more control over their gates than ever before. …

Selected as Noteworthy for finding nuance in the news cycle, Liza sketches everything that can’t be said

Even photos can’t capture the essence of some things — like a total solar eclipse or the swoop of Donald Trump’s bangs. For those things, we have cartoons. Images that, in just a few hand-drawn lines, can interrogate political movements and the way we live our lives. For Liza Donnelly, cartoons are a way to establish common ground, even if it’s just through a shared eyeroll. “I don’t really think a cartoon can change someone’s mind,” she says, “but it can start a dialogue.”

Huddled over an iPad in her New York City apartment, Liza draws the news in real time. Her days begin by checking CNN, CBS, NPR, and Twitter. Digital stroke by stroke, Liza gets to the core of the politics behind women’s fashion and the Russia investigation. Trump’s promises and his priorities. Her cartoons make us laugh just as often as they make us… cringe. Or question. …

Selected as Noteworthy for revealing the everyday absurdities of office life, Sarah holds a mirror to our follow-ups and circle-backs

It started with a Venn diagram. Sarah Cooper was sitting in a meeting at Yahoo. It was her first job in tech. Adults varied the cadence of their nods and encouraged each other to “take a step back.” During a lull in the conversation, a brave product manager walked to the whiteboard and drew two imperfect, intersecting circles: the universal symbol for I’ve Got A Brilliant Idea.

What was on the inside didn’t matter — everyone started arguing over the diagram anyway, debating its labels and the size of its circles. …

Selected as Noteworthy for the healing properties of her poetry and prose, Jessica inspires us to grow from within

Jessica Semaan’s earliest memory is one of her most difficult: packing her belongings into a car and driving to the bomb shelters of coastal Lebanon. The Lebanese Civil War was peaking, and shells were raining down on her home. Her family survived, but Jessica never forgot the feeling of being at war. Thirty years later, those memories have crystallized into an intense desire to heal and to write.

On an internet that judges, criticizes, and “takes,” Jessica’s poems and stories are an oasis of honesty and vulnerability. Every piece offers clear perspectives on self-love, ambition, and how (not) to change yourself. Writing is how Jessica accesses her shadow — the part of herself that’s scariest to share. Envy, loneliness, shame, lust. …

Selected as Noteworthy for cutting through political noise with razor-sharp wit, Baratunde shows us how to be active citizens

It’s D.C. in the 80s, and young Baratunde is doing tae kwon do. Or maybe it’s karate. Or Boy Scouts. Or tinkering with one of the first personal computers on the block. As he remembers it, family friends would say he had the face of a young Muhammad Ali. Never one to settle on a single path, Baratunde was already beginning to form a worldview that’s best encapsulated in a few sentences from The Greatest: “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.”

Baratunde is writing and narrating a new column, exclusively for Medium members. Upgrade to unlock his first two stories, and stay tuned for more coming soon.

Today, Baratunde is nothing if not himself. “First and foremost,” he declares, “I’m Baratunde. It’s a unique job title.” Flip through his stories and you’ll find a few alternative vocations: vigilante pundit, love-letter writer, media critic, your personal tour guide through Black Mirror IRL. Offline, he performs stand-up. He boxes (or practices yoga, depending on the day). He tries to be an informed, engaged citizen at a time when doing so is… challenging, if we’re into euphemisms. It all falls somewhere under the “comedy” umbrella — Baratunde calls it “pro-justice comic expression.” …


Medium Staff

News and updates from the staff at Medium.

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