I feel the same way, Vico. If what Tom says is true, that’s bad news for someone like me who intentionally chooses to aim for quality over quantity. I could write listicles every day for 90 days and I’m sure it would work some wonderful magic on my follower count and the Medium algorithm, but I know the quality of my writing would suck and I’d feel like a sell-out. (Disclaimer: I know not all listicle writers are sell-outs, nor are all listicles junk, but you know what I’m getting at. It would be selling out for me, for sure.)
It’s bad news that I’m fine with on a personal level, since I am not looking to my # of followers to find my identity or anything. But if it’s true, it does concern me for Medium’s sake because it seems to fly in the face of (what I understand to be) much of Ev Williams’ vision for this platform, which is to bring the highest-quality articles to the fore. It’s a very tricky problem to solve — it feels like trying to outsmart our human nature — and I have no idea what the answer is. I think it’s great that Ev and the Medium Staff are experimenting and trying to figure it out, even if I don’t like every particular change.
It seems natural that people who post more often will have more followers. But I think that’s (a part of) the very problem Medium is trying to address. How do we help the good stuff get noticed, and get rid of the noise?