The lack of interaction among Medium publications seems strange because it is a step backwards.

Steps that could make more of difference:

  1. Give people a choice as to whether a reply is to be treated as a comment or as a publication.
  2. Weigh the comments. A comment has a thumb up and a thumb down. Responding to a comment automatically gives it a thumb up, as well as to it’s parents.
  3. Limit the depth of comment nesting. Comments more than 3–4 deep are almost always off topic.
  4. Writers collect karma. Greater karma is collected for top level essays. E.g. a Heart gets you 10 karma + comment karma, a comment gets you 1 karma per upvote.
  5. Excessive downvotes cost you karma. (Mom said, “Hand out three times as many compliments as critiques”)
  6. Set up a means to follow a conversation.
  7. With great karma come great responsibilities. You may be asked to moderate. Look at the Stack Exchange system for ideas.