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I Hate It On Medium And I Never Want To Leave

  • 6 min read

This is for all who are in the middle of “quiet quitting” Medium.

Okay, first of all, this story isn’t about me.

No worries I don’t hate Medium and I don’t want to stay… ahem… I will stay… but it’s about the elephant in the room:

“Should I stay or should I go?”

Additionally, it’s inspired by my toddler who is in his terrible twos. Sometimes when I hold him in my arms he says “No, mommy” but nestles closer and closer to me.

Am I comparing grown-ups on Medium with a two-year-olds?

Well,…

I’m an avid reader of Linda Caroll’s Substack newsletter which is all about writing (on Medium).

In one of her latest issues she stated:

Michael Thompson, 77K followers. Gone.

Matt Lillywhite, 40K followers, gone.

Jessica Valenti. Jessica Lynn. Ton

Michael Thompson left Medium in April 2022. Check.

Jessica Valenti called it quits in February 2022. Check.


Top Writer Matt Lillywhite is still on Medium

What about Matt Lillywhite?

I still remember a story written by Burk about Matt leaving Medium in search of greener pastures. But then… Matt came back.

He’s publishing on Medium on a daily basis!


Anonymous is still on Medium

Linda is also referring to a writer with 57K followers who complained about Medium, said awful things, announced he’ll leave the platform at the end of 2022 with a big bang, and then… came back.

He sent an email to his subscribers (me!) about how super awesome Medium is going to become under the regiment of Tony Stubblebine and that he would believe in Medium again.

He also publishes on a daily basis.


Top Writer Nicolas Cole is still on Medium

Then we have Nicolas Cole. I love him. He is a genius!

I was also pretty sad about him stopping publishing on Medium in the spring and hoped he’d come back soon. He did come back to the platform he recommends for republishing content.

In his book, Cole explains how he used his Quora answers and republished them on Medium. Now he continues to do so.

He also publishes on a daily basis.


Writers are “quiet quitting” Medium

As Linda Caroll shows in her story, I also know from a lot of my students and fellow writers that they’ve started to use Medium differently.

  • Those who have been publishing on a daily basis stopped doing so. Now they only publish every now and then.
  • Those who have been commenting on a lot of stories stopped doing so. Now they are only reading stories without commenting.
  • Those who have been recommending Medium on other platforms stopped doing so. Now they recommend their Substack newsletter.
  • Those who have been checking their stats every day stopped doing so to not throw in the towel. Now they only check their stats on a weekly or monthly basis and focus on other platforms.
  • Those who saw Medium as THE platform to write about stopped thinking so. They don’t put all eggs in one basket anymore. They write on Vocal, NewsBreak or spread their wings and try video content.

The list goes on.

Medium’s system = broken

As Linda states, the system is definitely broken.

The “true follow feed” is a mess. No one is seeing me or my work in their feed anymore. People asked me if I quit writing on Medium.

Writers I loved reading don’t pop up in my feed anymore.

Oh, and since Medium killed the “chosen for further distribution tag” more and more writers are frustrated. It was okay to earn only a few dollars when they were notified they got curated. It was a motivation boost.

The “secret distribution”, as Linda calls it, is just a pain in the butt for most writers.

Dilemma: Should I stay or should I go?

This goes out to all Medium writers who are in a dilemma about how to tackle the “Medium crisis”, their “view apocalypse” and getting “shadowbanned”.

To those who told me their views have dropped by 50% in the past month/s for no apparent reason or their follower count has come to an almost standstill.

All those Top Writers *hate* it on Medium but they never want to leave.

Just like my toddler. He says he doesn’t want to be in my arms but nestles closer and closer.

Why?

I’m his mom. I feed him. I caress him.

Medium = motherland

And Medium?

Most of the writers mentioned went from zero to popularity thanks to Medium! Medium is their motherland.

They stay because they know they can (still) grow their following here and earn some extra cash here (although their stats aren’t what they used to be (because of the algorithm) or on other platforms with their Medium popularity.

As Silicon Valley reporter Casey Newton stated:

“If the biggest opportunity Medium can offer its users is getting famous enough to make money in some other way, it’s hard to imagine the company putting together a roster of writers that will sustain hundreds of thousands of annual subscriptions or attract many new ones.”

I guess that’s exactly what Medium is trying to do right now.

Medium = putting together a roster of writers to make their subscribers happy

Somehow Medium’s new CEO Tony Stubblebine is luring a roster of Top Writers (and publications such as “The Post Grad Survival Guide”) to come back to write on Medium.

Maybe he’s telling them about new rewards that will come, bonus payments, getting paid for external views, or more for referred members.

I bet they are insiders or at least Tony shared some hints about future updates that will come.

This reminds me of last summer when Top Writer Nicolas Cole knew that big upgrades and rewards would come to the writer’s community on Quora, LinkedIn, and Medium.

He was right.

So why not stay, be part of Medium 2.0, and (hopefully) also get rewarded?

PS: Worst case scenario: those Top Writers are getting paid thousands of dollars for writing here. Medium did this or still does it for journalist Susan Orlean. Then, maybe only pennies would be left for us. But we want to *stay positive*. Your positive realist, Kristina

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