Hi Jack,
Your Friends @ Medium

Frustration at Medium

With Medium going downhill at an accelerating pace I must say that Jack Preston King has hit a lot of nails on the head in describing the many problems that seem to be multiplying. I am quite shocked that Your Friends @ Medium actually responded to him. I seriously hope the Medium team listens even though most of Jack’s suggestions go against what Ev Williams is trying to build.

There sure have been a lot of posts and responses complaining about the user experience on the membership side of the wall. Since I am boycotting membership I can’t see those problems so I can’t comment on them. But things are getting worse on my side of the wall, too.

My feed no longer surfaces ALL the posts by people I follow. I read every post by one particular author I follow but there have been no posts by this author in my feed for almost two weeks. I was afraid this author left Medium or died. But when I went to their profile I discovered that they had published 8 articles in the last two weeks, not a single one of which appeared in my feed. (And I check my feed several times a day.) Can the Medium staff understand how extremely frustrating this is?

I have used the ‘Show me less of this’ link, I have pared down the number of people I follow, and I have pared down the number of tags I follow. But nothing I do seems to have any effect on my feed whatsoever. Instead of seeing articles by the people I follow and seeing articles on subject matter that I am interested in, my feed remains filled with stuff that I am not interested in but which the Medium staff deems worthy and wants everyone to read.

Sadly, Medium’s tech-geek staff has an EXTREMELY narrow range of interests which does not fit my own range of interests at all. Why does Medium not trust its users to choose for themselves what they want to read? How about a real-time feed of everything so that we can choose what we want to read rather than having to go deep sea diving to find the good stuff that the Medium staff tries to hide from everyone?

How about hiring some staff curators who are actually knowledgeable outside the narrow subject matter of business, tech, coding, politics, and self-help? And please hire someone who does not hate fiction!

Things on my side of the wall are going downhill quickly. Viewing the stat page I see the numbers are falling dramatically. I can’t help but wonder if this is about coaxing more people to pay to get on the other side of the wall. But seeing so many people complaining about things on the other side of the wall I wonder if Medium’s problems are far more pervasive than that.

Meanwhile I will continue to boycott membership. Why? As Medium has stated, most of the money we pay for membership goes to writers that the Medium tech-geek staff chooses. Unfortunately, they only choose writers who write articles in an EXTREMELY narrow field of interests which I have no interest in. Why the hell should I pay my hard-earned money to writers I don’t care to read who write about subjects I’m not interested in? Seriously! Why? If I am going to pay writers then I want to pay money to writers that I choose, not to writers that I do not want to read.

Thank God for all the PayPal.me buttons that are cropping up everywhere. They are returning choice back to the reader. The Medium membership takes that choice away from us and hands it to a small tech-geek staff working in some skyscraper in San Francisco who seem oblivious to what people who don’t think exactly like them want.

Above all else, most of us want CHOICE. We want to be able to choose what we read and what appears in our feeds and we want to be able to choose which writers get our hard-earned money. Medium, obviously, does not want that. They throw us a few technical ways to curate our feeds — that don’t work! — to give the appearance of allowing us choice but with each new roll-out it becomes ever more obvious that Medium insists that we read what they serve us. They don’t trust us to make our own decisions.

Sadly, I see no evidence of things getting better. It’s only getting worse.

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