I follow you, Anna Now , but this post did not appear in my feed until today, FIVE DAYS AFTER IT WAS WRITTEN! The Medium algorithm was very problematic before but it seems to have gotten far, far, far worse.
I enthusiastically agree with what you have said and I, too, was very disgruntled to see Medium drop their promotion of ‘reading roulette,’ fiction and poetry in order to focus almost exclusively on business, tech and politics. Instead of broadening and opening up their focus they are narrowing it as much as they can to turn Medium into a platform exclusively for business, business how-to, tech and politics. With each day Medium is becoming more like Facebook and Twitter. Yuck!
I do want to point out one thing about your post. You used the terms ‘small writers’ and ‘small niches.’ We need to stop using those terms because we are not small. It is the ‘small writers’ writing in ‘small niches’ that comprise 99% of Medium. We are actually the largest group on Medium yet Medium continues to ignore us and do everything in their power to keep us hidden from view. They focus exclusively on the top 1% of writers and corporate publications which is actually the smallest group on Medium.
We have to stop thinking of ourselves as small and start asserting our collective power. That is the only way Medium will start paying attention to us — their largest group of users who they emphatically ignore and try to keep hidden.
I have noticed that Medium has added writer recommendations to our feed. I’ve also noticed that almost every one of those recommended writers have thousands upon thousands of followers. They are all part of that SMALL 1% of top writers that Medium coddles and focuses exclusively on. Medium is essentially trying to cram the 1% down the throats of the 99%. This is their new business model and I think it stinks in a very big way.
This is the very same business model that all other internet platforms use. There is absolutely nothing new or innovative about it. Medium seems to think that since it works for Facebook and Twitter that they will adopt it for Medium and this may very well be the death knell for Medium. Most of the 99% of Medium users and writers are here specifically because they wanted to get away from the pure suckiness of Facebook and Twitter. And now Medium is turning itself into yet another Facebook and Twitter as it glorifies and exclusively promotes the 1% while hiding the 99% in the bottomless pit of oblivion.
Tasneem Kagalwalla said that he/she emailed Medium and Medium responded by saying that they are working on it. That is what they have been saying for the last year and a half that I’ve been here. But the only thing they seem to be doing is looking for more ways to exalt and glorify and cram the 1% down the throats of everyone else. Instead of making it easier to find the many, many good writers among the 99% they are only making it more difficult. They want the 1% to do all the writing and the 99% to obediently do all the reading and recommending.
This seems to be Medium’s business plan for financial success. This seems to be Ev Williams idea of innovation and a way for him to earn billions of more dollars. If Mr. Williams were to step boldly out of that tired old box of thinking and focus on the 99% instead of exclusively on the 1% he might just accidentally find a way to save Medium. We ‘small’ writers who make up 99% of Medium have more power than the 1% but Mr. Williams refuses to see that and tap into it and instead puts Medium’s focus exclusively into that elite 1%. If he continues with this approach we will all wake up one morning and go to Medium only to find that it is no longer there.
It’s time for Ev Williams to wake up and realize that the 99% of Medium that he is ignoring are his only way of saving his company.