Curation isn’t what it used to be

Christopher Oldcorn
Aug 22 · 3 min read
Photo by Deanna J on Unsplash

I don’t think curation matters much anymore. When Medium first introduced curation, it meant something beyond a sense of validation. I used to make more money off of curated stories. Now I see no financial difference from curated stories.

Curation used to mean more eyeballs

For people new to Medium, the homepage used to look much different. Across the top were topics that people knew, such as Politics or Productivity. If I clicked on Politics, I would get all the curated stories with the politics tag.

The topics were useful to get to the content you wanted to read, which is no longer the case. The Medium homepage is a design mess.

Medium’s publications

Medium started its own publications and hired mostly outside writers. I know several journalists who wrote for Medium’s publications and said they wouldn’t do it again. Medium pays like crap compared to elsewhere. I wrote an article months ago about how Medium pays all its writers poorly compared to other media.

Slowly, the names of the Medium publications pushed the topics off the screen. I do not understand what topics OneZero, Elemental, Gen, Zora, Forge, Human Parts, Heated, or Modus are about. When I click on those publications, it doesn’t get much clearer.

No longer financially lucrative

Being curated is no longer a financial payoff. The reason is Medium’s own publications take up the top of the homepage.

In 2018, my top six highest-grossing stories were all curated. In 2019, not one of my top six highest-grossing stories. Medium began pushing their publications starting back in February.

When curation started, there were topics across the top of the homepage (they curated me a lot in Politics). People would click on the topics that interested them. Now it’s Medium’s stupidly named publications that are anyone’s guess about the topic.

Final thoughts

Medium has done a great disservice to the writers who built this platform. Hopefully, Medium will realize their mistake before it is too late and all the good writers have left. I use Medium to supplement my writing income. I write on “lighter” topics than what I write about as an investigative journalist.

I don’t even load the homepage anymore. My browser goes right to my favorite topic page bypassing the Medium homepage.

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Christopher Oldcorn is a writer and journalist. He holds a BA in Psychology from Laurentian University, and a post-grad in Research Analysis from Georgian College. Christopher studied at The Centre for Investigative Journalism (Goldsmiths, University of London). Recognized as a Top Writer in Government, Politics, Books, Climate Change, Productivity, Creativity, & Writing.

You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!


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Christopher Oldcorn

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Discover tomorrow’s bestsellers today. You'll say you knew them when.

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