Medium doesn’t suck, actually?

Yesterday, I made a Medium account and started importing stories from here onto it. I was listening to the Writer’s Well, one of my favourite writing podcasts, and J Thorn from the show was talking about his recent blogging project, where he writes articles on living the author life and distributes them to various platforms – a podcast, YouTube, Medium, Soundcloud etc. He noted that Medium had been the most successful, and that thanks to Publications, which are essentially curated collections of articles that boost visibility, he’d done pretty well there. I was hesitant before, but with his recommendation, I went home straight away and made my account.

It’s only been a day, so maybe it’s hasty to make judgements, but I’m already loving it! The recommendation engine, far from shovelling Silicon Valley sickpieces down my throat, is actually providing me content I care about. Today I read a great post about autism and diagnoses, and I was referred to a solid piece about anti-trans rhetoric.

This came as a big surprise to me. Thing is, most of the people I know online I hang out with via Twitter, and the majority are indie game dev people. Very few writers. So my impression of Medium was: a shitty capitalist walled garden for tech bros and Goins-wannabes. And to a certain extent that kind of content does still exist. But Medium does what I always wished WordPress reader or Google could do for me: it puts me in touch with writers that I actually care about. It makes me feel that blogging, the kind of emotional, spiritual blogging that I’ve spoken about before, has a life.

I’m actually kind of angry. You know how many fruitless Google searches there were, with me trying to find genuine voices amongst the listiclised mess of the searchosphere? And it was there for me the whole time; the perfect balance between writing experience and adversion to direct profitability that I’d been thirsting for the whole time.

Of course, it is still a walled garden. Do I wish that I could find all these writers just as easily through their own websites? Absolutely. But the overton periscope gazing over the search engine algorithms war is already too far off course for any of us to realistically change that. Projects like Neocities and the Lowtech Webring are ingenious carpet bombs in this battle, but currently they’re tiny tics on the proverbial St. Bernard.

Anyway, I can easily import my content from here onto Medium, so why not? Maybe I’ll even get a few clappity claps while I’m at it. If I’m really lucky, I might even make some writery friends. I’m interested to know what other people’s views on Medium are. I know there must be people like me who aren’t in the cynical anti-Medium crowd, nor the techslurping futurist squad, either. Put your thoughts in the comments and validate me a tad.

EDIT: I didn’t realise until just now that you can only read 5 articles for month on a free membership. Paid membership is $5. I can’t figure out whether this applies to all articles or just Premium articles, but either way it sucks. Fortunately, it’s easy to get around, but it does put a large dint on my praise above.

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