What I’ve Learned from Medium 2 Months In – It Isn’t Good
I made a really important resolution this year: I was going to write the stuff I wanted to write, the stuff that made me think and more importantly made me happy. I spent plenty of time last year in that incredibly unsatisfying hamster wheel of writing bullshit listicles, constantly checking analytics and trying to be popular. It sucked.
So I accepted the fact that the kind of writing I wanted to do wouldn’t have popular appeal. Check out my posts here (my ones this year anyway), they’re all 10 minutes reads or close to. Most of the stuff that shows up on my feed is a max of 5 minutes. Even on a site full of writers, it seems people don’t want to spend much time reading. That’s why I loved reading that letter to the CEO of Yelp today and one of the responses to it. Hey, she may be an entitled little so and so, but at least she can write something that takes more than 2 minutes to read.
I decided to make a go of Medium because I liked the fact that it was a platform for writers. I loved the fact that I could get amongst it, connect with people, and support people that were putting good writing (I really despise the word “content”) out there. I noticed after a couple of weeks that I was always seeing the same people appear in my feed. “That’s cool, at least their work is interesting”, I thought.
Then in the seeming blink of an eye (especially when you consider I’ve been on Medium for only 2 or so months), my feed is flooded with more self improvement shit than I can shake a stick at. So in a bid to counteract it, I started following anyone who wrote a good post. I’d follow people that wrote good responses to other people’s posts. I found that I was starting to get followers of my own, and I thought “wow, people do want to read my stuff, other writers. I must be in the right place.”
But then I looked at my stats. My most successful post has 5 views, 5 reads. Some of my articles have a big fat zero. So how is it that I have followers but barely a soul has read anything that I’ve written here? Could it be that people just want a follow back, that they’re just pushing their own work and trying to amass followers of their own? That they don’t actually care about reading anyone else’s work, they just want their own amazing insights to get read?
Honestly, I expect that kind of shit from “content marketers”, but I expect better from my fellow writers. I expect that if I have 20+ followers, that I’d have at least 20 total post views. More, because if you like one of my posts enough to follow, you’d surely read at least one more. But no, I get follows from people that haven’t even read a single post.
This isn’t a complaint about my lack of post views – even on a site like Medium, the length and content of my posts isn’t going to garner many fans. No, my complaint is the constant stream of self improvement listicles and writers clamouring over each other to get more attention and post views. I thought Medium would be better than this. I thought I’d find some really interesting, unique stuff here. Unfortunately it’s just more of the same stuff that’s appearing on major sites everywhere.
I’m fairly certain that no one will actually read this, much less see it, as it’s most likely to be buried under the avalanche of people talking about morning routines. In case anyone does though, how about doing the following things:
For the love of Christ, stop writing bullshit listicles and articles on success.
Write something that’s unique and/or interesting. I’ll settle for either as a reader.
If you’re going to follow me, at least read my fucking work.
Since my profile is cluttered with my responses to other people’s work, here is some of mine: