In order for Medium to be a good place for writers to get feedback, everybody has to lighten up a bit. The platform isn’t helping. The comment feature adds to the social constipation rather than relieving it. This very thread is a case in point. You folks are talking about something interesting, but following the conversation feels like digital spelunking. I’m not really sure how I got here, and I don’t know if I can find my way back.
What is stopping genuine interaction on Medium is the fact that everyone is so serious and fearful about making comments. Across the Internet, comments are throwaway prose. They don’t have to be nothing, but they can be. Some people, like the great Gawker commenters, really put time and effort into their comments. Some of the Gawker sub-blogs, like I09, have great commenters and great discussions, but even the great discussions are peppered with total junk. That low threshold for involvement, and the resulting feedback, make it very fun to contribute. Genuine relationships occur. I belong to a closed Reddit of disgruntled Gawker commenters. It’s pretty fun.
The problem with having a free flowing comment section is that, eventually, it will be overrun with trolls and spammers. Had Medium tried to solve the Gordian knot of having open, anonymous, individually monitored, comments, while not creating a playground for children of the dark net, they would have been doing humanity a mitzvah.
The reason Medium doesn’t have many soul bloggers is because:
- Not enough people are anonymous
- The community isn’t fun.
1 and 2 are related.
So, I apologize if this seems like an unconnected rant, but I share your yen for genuine interaction on Medium. I think the site discourages it. We’re trying, right?