Down with The Triumvirate! Petitioning for Clarity on what Medium Wants to Be
Think of it as an exercise in people power, like one of those change.org petitions, but with little green hearts taking the place of digital signatures.
The premise is simple. Many Medium users, to judge from the popularity of my recent post about click-bait, are concerned that the site has been usurped by what I’ve labelled The Medium Triumvirate, that is to say articles covering the popular (but by no means universally popular) subjects of ‘TECH’, ‘LIFE-HACKING’ and ‘ENTREPRENEURSHIP’.
“I went from falling in love with this site to no longer reading it in 2 weeks because every article is 5 Life Hacks That Involve Kittens,” grumbled Stephen Perteet in response to my post; “95% of the stuff on Medium is tired, self-indulgent, hipster-has-an-epiphany mush,” echoed murliman; “I’m so sick of seeing all the same exact crap in the stream!” declaimed Stacy & Brandon.
Many of us, too, feel like the truly original voices on Medium, of which there are plenty, require too much excavation to unearth.
“You guys need to address this balance of quality discovery, especially on the front page and in how publications are surfaced,” advised Tadhg Kelly, adding to the chorus; “Medium, tweak your damn algorithm and give writers like me a fighting chance,” entreated Stella Njogo.
There is no way that the Triumvirate takeover isn’t a topic of water-cooler conversation at Medium Towers.
Either they’re thinking:
“Jesus Christ, it’s a fucking lifehack avalanche out there today. Tell Kevin to pull his finger out with that amazing new widget we’re working on, the one that’s going to revolutionize the site and put this subject to bed forever.”
Or they’re thinking:
“Have you seen how much traffic these lifehack articles are generating? When we push the big red button to monetize this sucker we’re going to make billions! Mwahahahahah.”
One way or the other, Medium cannot possibly be indifferent.
So let’s demand some clarity.
Does Medium acknowledge that the site is becoming over-populated with Triumvirate content? Is Medium bothered?
Recommend this post if the preponderance of Triumvirate articles is turning you off Medium.
Recommend this post if you think the current filters make it too difficult to find the pearls hiding on the Medium sea-bed.
Recommend this post if you’re not too fussed either way, but you’re an inveterate trouble-maker who likes making waves.
And perhaps, if we can get this post to achieve some prominence on the site, someone from Medium Towers will do us the courtesy of responding.
Footnote: It’s important to point out that I am very much an accidental spokesperson for the anti-Triumvirate movement. This is the extent of my rabble-rousing energy and, hopefully, my final post on the subject (lest I risk boring others, and myself). I just felt obliged to exploit what small momentum has been created by previous posts to pose the question: what does Medium want to be?
Of course, I might have catastrophically misjudged the prevailing tide here. After all, the smattering of support for my click-bait experiment pales besides the 12,000 people who’ve recommended ‘33 Websites That Will Make You a Genius.’
But if Medium does want to be a predominantly tech-oriented platform, it would be good for them to admit as much so that the rest of us can just pack up our words and move on. Perhaps we could establish a breakaway site — we could call it ‘Middling’ — where listicles and posts with numbers in the title are verboten, and you get extra kudos for writing stream-of-consciousness in Onegin stanza. Or something.
Thanks for clicking.