Medium is trying too hard to help me find authors

Medium asked me to tell it what it likes. I finally decided to get started.

It took me to a page that presented me with Tags, and I could select as many as I wanted. I like the tag-following screen, although it may benefit from a link to instructions on “Can’t see a tag you’re looking for? How to search and follow any tag” (open in a new tab so you don’t lose your progress).

The next page is labelled, “Follow people.” It suggests authors that fit into the tags I selected. Sounds good in theory, right?

Actually, that’s a long list. In my case, there are 412 people and publications on this list. It’s overwhelming, and I don’t think people will get much use out of it.

Picture from a desktop with a wide screen has been edited and scroll bar moved to remove white space on the sides, and resized to fit on Medium

Are people supposed to select two or three authors to try and then leave the rest? People won’t know you meant it that way, they just see a really long list. There’s no way I can read a piece or two of every person’s work to decide whether I want to follow them. Making it possible to return to this screen may help a few people get through it over time, if anybody wants to. I suppose one positive would be that it tells new users that following people is a thing and it shows you what the Follow button looks like, but it would do that if it were shorter, too.

I suggest you ax this screen, or add a (miniscule!) size limit and/or stricter criteria for inclusion. I followed a lot of tags (I’ve since unfollowed most of them); did that contribute to the list size? Then perhaps reduce the number of suggestions per tag for people who select a lot of tags.

That’s the end of the presentation unless you are interested in verifying my math. Thank you for reading.


Here’s how I calculated 412 people. Note the scroll bar. It shows that one screen of that list is only a 36th of the whole list. Actually, I got 35.625 with the whole scroll bar being 28.5 cm and the little bar being 8 mm.

Each person uses 25 mm of my 290 mm window height, so on most screens I see 11.64 people. 11.64 x 35.625 = 414.675. However, at the top of the page is 6 cm with nobody, just instructions. So I subtracted two and a half people.