I Don’t Need My Own Publication, Just A More Reader-Friendly Library
An appeal to the platform powers to give writers a better Medium portfolio structure
I have been writing on this platform for a relatively short time. In that period I’ve already amassed 60 articles across six or seven different genres. 61 by the time you read this one. From the soul searchingly personal to humourous fiction. The past, the future. Writing, self-improvement. My portfolio is growing.
And therein lies my problem.
You see, I like structure. If I visit a website or a blog, I like sections, categories. And if the blog presents that for me I can get straight in there and read. Which means I am more likely to stick around. Read some more. It’s about aesthetics you see, they make a difference. First impressions, ease of use and all that jazz.
But, Medium, your member profile page design is just not cutting the mustard. It’s a list. If I went to a library or a book shop and had to start at the front door and work my way in, in date order to find something I like, I would be back out on the pavement in a jiffy.
Create a publication then.
I can hear you. But the thing is, I don’t need one. Correction. I don’t want one. And here’s why:
- I write for 15 different publications. Almost everything I write finds a home in a publication. Often it would happily sit in two or even three, but I know, that that isn’t possible. So if I can’t add my published (elsewhere) work to my own publication too, it ceases to be my entire portfolio. Which brings me to item 2.
- With the four or so pieces that just didn’t fit anywhere else, it would become the leftovers. Let’s call it that. Marie’s Leftovers. That’s going to sell, isn’t it? Strokes chin thoughtfully.
- There are already far too many publications here. Some died years ago, why are they even still visible on here? The door closed, nobody’s home. Clogging up the servers. Hell, I even got added as a writer for one which hasn’t got any content. It never had, it was probably somebody’s impulse creation. Someone who realised they had nothing to put in it because it’s all in publications already. I refer you to items 1 and 2.
So, you see, I simply don’t need my own publication. What would be the point? I refer you back, yet again, to item 2.
Back to the bookshop analogy
If I was a writer, with 60 (correction, 61) books in a book shop, my readers would not find all my books in a row on the same shelf. At least not the bookshops I know. They would be littered throughout, and then discovered by topic or genre.
And that is how I would really like readers to discover my full repertoire on Medium.
I want them to open my profile and think ‘what mood am I in today’ and go and read something that fits. Instead, they see a featured article and then an ever-fading list of 59 more, in date order.
Structure…I want my readers to be able to have a nice clean structure, with everything indexed. As I can in my own blog. Regardless of which publication on Medium it sits in.
Get the technology to work for you
I cannot even search for a particular genre, on a writer’s profile, by tag or keyword or anything. I can only do that on the entire platform. But would I want to even if I could? If we have twenty spare minutes to read, don’t we want to spend that reading? Not dipping in and out, searching, drawing a blank, trying another favourite writer. So, let’s make it easy for readers. Let them simply open their favourite author and then see a lovely catalogue of choice.
And before you suggest it, no I don’t want to give over my featured article spot either.
It makes no sense. Even if I did put it behind the paywall and get a double-dip. I want to hold that for an older story which is still popular.
Technology has moved on, guys. We shouldn’t have to do our own index on a platform CEO’d by a computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur and founder of several Internet companies. It’s a bit Mickey Mouse, isn’t it?
I am not going to lie. Categorised member portfolios would make my own reading time far more pleasurable too. I die a little inside every time I find a writer by chance, and then decide to go and read more. Only to find their portfolio is also a date ordered jumble of stuff. Before I know it, I am back into 2018 before I find another similar piece. But I still want to read it. If that writer is also an advocate of the ‘write every day’ brigade I might have to scroll 365 stories to get there. Spoiler alert — I won’t.
So what do you think Ev? Any chance you can put your best team on this and give your writers a more user-friendly profile page?
And while you are at it, maybe take a look at the ‘published stories’ listicle too. When you respond as often as we do, they dominate that page entirely. Just slide them across to another tab.
Technology, son, it’s all there, we just need to use it a little smarter.
Want to read the response to this?
Letter To The CEO. I’m Sorry I Called You Son.
It’s a term of endearment —if you’ll let me explain.
©Marie T Smith (She Wordsmiths..) writes for a number of Medium publications. She has already been credited as a top writer in Food, Travel, Cooking and Satire. She is also a published writer in Travel Magazines and a keen photographer of wildlife. She Wordsmiths is where it all began and is where she manages her newsletter updates.