I didn’t want to like Medium.
I did everything I could to try and avoid Medium. I signed up, wrote it off as another WordPress wannabe, and never logged back into my account. It was insidious, though. With every passing day, it beckoned me with it’s simplistic charm, and propagation through my social feeds. People were using it, and many of them were people I knew. Some of them were people from the WordPress community.
The change in how authentic news is reported
Remember when we all learned about primary and secondary sources in school? Some news agencies are primary sources, and others are secondary. It’s hard to tell which are which these days. Everyday I take a look at the news, a new trend, or an article that is attempting to offer life insights in an increasingly wacky world. Some pieces I skim, and others I read for deep understanding. Those are the sources I trust. The sources that have a proven track record of interpreting the world based on facts from primary sources, not primary observations.
I’ve been thinking a lot about creating, lately
Creating is powerful. New products are born every day. Many of them fail. Lots of them inspire others to create something that succeeds. I’ve been thinking a lot about the conversations I have with my friends, colleagues, and members of communities I’m a part of. I’ve been thinking a lot about how things I want to say often are never written.
I don’t write more often, because it takes time. Everything has to be perfect. The images have to be great. I have to be great. And then when I post something, I have to either depend on my social connections or Google to unlock readership. And even then, I’m often disappointed by the lack of thoughtful engagement.
Medium changes the way I express thoughts
Self-hosted WordPress is great for writing. It’s great for creating a personal brand. It’s great for building a loyal readership. It’s not great as a discovery engine. WordPress doesn’t encourage comments, it simply makes them available. Sure there are exceptions. Of course I could create a plugin that builds similar functionality into WordPress. I don’t have time, otherwise maybe I would. Instead, in addition to my WordPress websites, I want to connect with my readers. I want to have meaningful conversations. I want it to be easy and enjoyable for what I write to simply be read. Medium has encouraged me to write more and worry less. It is long-form Twitter. It’s not a replacement for blogging.
Why it matters
I believe that we no longer get our news from most established news outlets. Facebook and other social networks believe that to. We get our news from friends, and our interpretations from amateur pundits. After all, we’re all amateurs that somehow one day became professionals at the intersection of experience and understanding. Some of the most insightful observations I’ve read, have been amateurs digging into primary sources. They’ve given a fresh perspective, dared to create, and shared their thoughts with the world. They’re usually bold and impassioned thoughts. Those are the types of thoughts that I love. Those are the types of thoughts I’m discovering on Medium every day, and it’s electrifying. I want to be a part of it.
Most articles with lengths similar to this article, you’ll still see on my personal website. Follow me on Medium for the shorter, impassioned, quirky, and observational posts. And remember that every writer is fueled by your interactions. Take the time to stoke the flames of creativity.
Originally published at mendel.me on March 21, 2016.