Medium Needs a Fix
Greg McVerry

Okay I was a little harsh. I love writing on Medium.

Mainly because I do the bulk of my writing elsewhere and syndicate here…but when I am here I rub verbage with talented writers and thinkers.

Plus everyone I have ever interacted with at Medium on a personal level: Gabe Kleinman, Sandra Upson, and katie zhu have been nothing but amazing. They are trying to create a future I believe in.

I play here because I see it as a network of writers. I believe there is a vision behind Medium that will hopefully play well with the open web.

I was writing and reading on the train after a few days of hotel living in NYC. I can’t do cities (except the food). I live in a town with three stop lights. The process of reading and responding on Medium was going to be uncomfortable no matter the tool.

I was also going in with a jaded mindset. I had just finished reading a book on my Kindle. I was trying to socially read with a bunch of friends. I was pissed off by the limitations of the in-app “browser” and the Twitter functions.

The travel and the bad taste in my mouth left from other platforms was the perfect experience to leave me sour against any service not using or working on an open standard for annotation.

I fell in love with Medium because of the inline annotation and despite my diatribe it still works okay. Yet when I was annotating on an article here on Medium while trying to discuss another the process just felt off…and I published without pondering the finer details. The act of creating a new story for each annotation…not sure..but it isn’t perfect yet.

So the tradewinds carried in just enough pressure for a hyperbolic customer service storm.

But imagine if the clouds did part and opened up.

Can we think of networks built on open standards that play nice with the Open web? Ben Werdmuller has posited their is no #indieweb version of a network that could survive. Maybe it is more about an #indieweb ally. What is going to be the social network most aligned with open standards and most generous with an API? Where can third parties flourish in a user centered way? Can they without opening up the Wild West? Is the Wild West a bad thing?

Could a marketplace be created that could support Marc Andreessen’s vision of McGovern Libertarianism? Allow commerce based on some community standards (way more G rated than Reddit or Craigslist for example)but then just take a cut.

If users want to sell, use a patronage model, be subscription, or freemium can a social network emerge that allows an economy of flourish exist?

A dystopian or utopian end..maybe not even possible. Still be a fun journey to explore.

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