Writing on Medium
Why the 100 follower requirement is destroying Medium’s community
Medium is going down a dangerous road
Before anything else, let me start by saying that this is only my opinion. You may be having a great time and connecting with some great people here on Medium, and that’s alright. Each person is a different universe. And this is just mine.
I’ve been writing here for only a couple of weeks, but I’ve actually lurked on Medium reading stories for more than a year. Back then, there used to be some great content recommendations.
I used to enjoy reading stories here. Rich, entertaining, unique stories. Now, all I get is “Follow for follow,” “How to reach 100 followers in a week,” and “ make $XXX on Medium every day, here’s how.”
Just loads and loads of unsolicited crap about making money.
Again, don’t get me wrong. This sort of articles are great for people looking to “make it” here on Medium. The problem is the sheer volume of them. It’s like 2 out of 3 articles Medium recommends me are about that.
How to ruin a community
Community building is gaining traction as one of the top priorities in all digital marketing teams and social platforms. And rule #1 there is to build a community based on the values you, your brand, and your company wants to reflect.
What does the 100 follower requirement say? Firstly, it’s Medium telling its writers that it doesn’t care about their stories, only about their numbers. So writers start making significant efforts to comply, and that’s when you get all these articles about how to get followers, views, and money.
Before you know it, writers are no longer trying to tell a story. They’re trying to get followers as quickly as they can.
All this situation is leaving readers out of the picture. People on Medium who don’t intend to write and are here only for the great stories are getting less and less of them, as writers are focused on getting followers. In other words, writers are writing for writers, while readers get left out.
So you had a community where writers and readers could connect according to their interests, gather a following, and have great conversations. But you changed the rules, told writers that you care more about their followers than anything else. And writers reacted.
Now, writers think that gathering followers is more important than crafting rich, compelling stories. They also write about it because newcomers and rookies will look into how to get that following going. And suddenly, your beautiful community turns into a self-help group of writers who only care about building a following to make money. And it’s all on you.
As I said, this is just my opinion
I’m not telling you that you can’t like Medium anymore. In fact, I hope you disagree with me because that means you still find what you’re looking for here.
Sadly, as an amateur writer, I can’t say that for myself. I wish Medium started recommending me some good stories again, which I’m sure they’re still here. But even then, I feel like the community took most of the damage, and it has already started to decompose.