Stop asking me to recommend your story

Jun 18, 2016 · 2 min read

I like Medium. I like that at least once a week, and usually much more often, I get to read something truly mind-opening that their magic algorithm passed along in a daily digest email. Even the articles I close halfway through because I’m not interested any more look beautiful.

That’s the real power of Medium as a platform: It looks great.

You know what doesn’t look great? This:

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Image for post

It’s even better when followed by a jerky animation of a mouse cursor doing exactly that:

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Image for post

I keep seeing this bullshit at the end of a story—more and more often, these days. And it makes me very annoyed.

Maybe I already recommended the story after reading a third of it because it was so good. Maybe I was so engrossed that I got to the end before taking the time to move my cursor and look for the heart. In the first case, I seriously consider undoing my recommendation. In the second, I take a long moment to consider whether it’s still worth recommending given that the piece is literally begging for it.

I always feel a little dirty after recommending a post that asked me to do so. Even though I only recommend stories that I would have recommended without being begged to.

I can’t really explain why I feel this way, but I do. Begging for recommendations somehow comes off as degrading, both to the content and to the reader. It almost turns my stomach.

Stop asking me to recommend your story.

Let your content speak for itself.

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