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Medium’s Biggest and Most Impactful Boost System Ever Is Here

  • 8 min read

New! Introducing Medium’s highest-level Boost. It’s boosting quality writing across Medium.

Medium does a lot of behind-the-scenes work.

Within the last past weeks, the company has made a number of changes to the recommendation system.

Now Tony has another awesome update and shared where Medium is going.

It’s all about the Boost!

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I tell ya. This Boost is worthy of a capital B.

Here’s why!


After Medium killed curation last summer, a lot of Medium members were wondering what Medium’s new distribution system would look like.

Here’s how:

Featured authors can now see a notification on their Story Stats Page

Boosted story; Tony Stubblebine

and in their inbox that says their story has been Boosted.

Medium already tested the algorithmic changes during a soft launch within the last past few weeks.

So you should definitely check your Stats Page to see whether one of your stories made the cut!

But there’s more news.

Medium did a lot of behind-the-scenes work

In the initial announcement, Tony Subblebine shared:

“Our job is to boost the best ideas and best information on Medium.”

What’s boosting?

  • Boosting comes down to which stories Medium recommends.
  • Medium wants to find and recommend quality content that’s tailored to each reader’s interests.

In yesterday’s announcement, Tony added:

“Authors shouldn’t be required to build their own audience or mailing list to share their ideas and knowledge.”

Boost with a big B — Bigger rewards and bigger hits

In fact, it’s the highest-level Boost in the history of Medium.

That’s why it’s “worthy of a capital B Boost”.

Getting boosted means…

  • more money
  • more page views

Medium’s promise:

In the future, the way Medium boosts quality stories will be much more impactful than the old distribution model.

3 Factor-Boost-System

There are 3 factors:

“Suggested by our community, confirmed by humans, delivered by robots”

1 — Community Curators

Medium relies on publication editors to send in high-quality story suggestions.

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2 — Internal Curation Team

Based on the official Distribution Standards, Medium’s curators will confirm or decline suggestions.

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Medium’s curators will work in partnership with Community Curators to maintain a high standard.

The updated Distribution Standards in a nutshell — these are the types of stories Medium is looking for:

  • constructive
  • original
  • written from relevant experience
  • well-crafted
  • memorable.

Click here to read the updated Distribution Standards.

3 — Algorithms

Medium’s trained algorithms match stories that made the cut with the readers most likely to be interested in these stories.

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Medium’s algorithms weight those stories for extra distribution across Medium.

In regard to boosted stories…

“(i)nstead of being the judge of what’s good, the algorithm will play more of a matchmaking role between what humans think is good and what readers like to read.”

Plus, almost all articles will continue to get distributed by the recommendation algorithm.

However, “engagement” (the old gold standard of curation) is not the same thing as providing satisfying reads.

This is what the algorithm is looking for:

  • what topics a reader follows
  • what they read
  • who they follow
  • what people they follow read and clap for

Let’s dig a bit deeper now into the role of publications.

The impact of Community Curators and Publications

Before I get into the FAQ section, I think it’s worth speaking about the role of publications.

Publications will become important curators.

At the moment there are 15 Medium publications that are testing the Boost button and are having a major say in what gets boosted.

In the near future, it can be any high-quality publication.

The owners and editors know “so much better than (Medium) what is an important read and why”.

For becoming a trustworthy partner, Medium will pay editors based on the number of stories they successfully recommend for boosting.

Medium is looking for taste: “taste comes down to having the experience to know what is true, what matters, and where there is debate”, Tony shared.

Medium’s wish is to spark an influx of new publications.

FAQ

These new changes are raising a lot of questions.

I aggregated the most popular questions from the comments, stories and official announcement:

Who qualifies for this Boost?

Everyone.

Does my story have to be in a publication to be Boosted?

No, but it does help a little.

Which publications are curating?

Medium isn’t telling us yet who the 15 publications are.

Here’s the reason:

“The first is that it’s the job of these curators to find you. The second is that listing them now has a tendency to stick when we expect it to shortly be many or most publications.”

What should I write about to get boosted?

Tony’s #1 tip: “write what you want to write.”

Since there are a lot of meta stories about Medium that are totally misguiding.

Here’s what Tony recommends:

Tips from Tony Stubblebine to get boosted:

  • writing can’t move you in any substantial way unless it can first move you to click and read.
  • Medium wants to reward you for writing your best stuff, but only you know what that is.
  • the top-performing stories had the most engaging titles, the most compelling intros, and the most entertaining writing.
  • attention-grabbing is not the same as useful or valuable or entertaining.
  • often the tricks of engagement lead directly to disappointment.
  • Authors who promote their articles through social media, email, to their followers, and publications are now more likely to get their articles picked up for a boost.
  • Medium wants to boost great writing, not great growth hackers.

Which posts are Medium boosting and why?

These are the types of stories Medium is looking for:

  • constructive
  • original
  • written from relevant experience
  • well-crafted
  • memorable.

Click here to read the updated Distribution Standards.

Is the Boost big enough?

In the test period, Medium has seen boosts between 500 views and 100,000 views.

Medium’s goal: every Boosted story should get at least 500 extra views within 7 days!

Why?

“In practice, that’s usually enough to tip a story over to a much, much wider audience.”

According to Medium, it’s the highest-level boost ever.

Is traffic shared evenly across all authors?

No.

Plus, what gets boosted changes as new readers and authors join.

How many recommendations does Medium make per month?

In total, Medium makes several billion recommendations each month.

Can other people Boost?

No other people than publication editors and owners.

Why is a Boost necessary?

Often authors join Medium because they want their stories to get more views and reads and to (finally) feel rewarded and recognized.

“Often, the best writing comes from people who don’t want to be audience builders. With the rise of the creator economy, these doers are often left out. Our goal is to find the best individual stories, regardless of who wrote them, and give those stories to a wider audience.”

How did Medium give the highest quality recommendations in the past?

Medium had many ways to boost a story on Medium…

  • via the recommendation algorithm
  • tags
  • newsletters
  • publications.

“To give readers the highest quality recommendations, we’ve seesawed between two primary heuristics. The original model was mostly human curation, with a bias towards well-written, well-constructed, and well-supported stories. Then we swung to a heuristic that was dominated by machine learning algorithms biased toward engagement.”

What about evergreen stories?

Medium has already other mechanisms for boosting stories in the works.

Medium has started several projects to organize the best of Medium as a form of boosting.

“Evergreen writing should get boosted well beyond the day it publishes.” Tony shared.

What about canonical stories?

Medium has already other mechanisms for boosting stories in the works.

Canonical stories are part of it.


What’s next?

Getting Boosted on Medium definitely takes some effort and strategy, but it can pay off in terms of more readership and engagement.

Follow the tips shared above to optimize your stories for distribution and visibility on Medium’s network.

Although Medium doesn’t publish any income reports anymore, I bet a lot of writers will share how many views/reads they got and how much money they earned thanks to getting the Boost!

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If you’re one of them… feel free to share your insights in the comments or send me a screenshot to mail@kristinagod.com

Last but not least, I hope my story helped you to have the breath and no excuse to not execute and get Boosted!

Found it valuable? Want to see and know more?

Sure thing!

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P.S. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please give it a clap👏 or share it with someone who might find it useful😊

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