Quitting Medium seems to be all the rage these days. Let’s be honest, it’s been the rage for awhile now. People have been publishing, as Timothy R. Dunn puts it, condescending “Why I’m Leaving Medium” stories for as long as the platform has been around.
I’ve been hitting publish on Medium three years this month. To try out the platform I modified a story from my long retired WordPress blog. I published that story, Memories From My First Job, eager to see what happened next.
Medium Staff must have liked it, because they hit the green heart and shared the story on Twitter. Nearly a thousand people flocked to that first story. I had made it! Except I hadn’t. My subsequent stories would be read by dozens of people, which was still great, but nothing like that first hit.
At the end of 2014 I published From Seinfeld to Snapchat and the floodgates opened. Steven Levy picked it up for Backchannel and personally left editing notes. This was huge for me. So huge, I stopped writing for awhile. I didn’t know how to follow up the momentary viral success.
I paused and took my time. Only hitting publish when I was certain things were ready to be read. Some things hit and some did not. But I kept writing and hitting publish when I was ready.
Over time, Your Friends @ Medium would make changes to the platform. Stories were only allowed to be in one collection — renamed publications — at a time. Collections came back for a time and then became featured tags. Professional publications moved in.
Some changes I praised and some I didn’t understand. Either way, the changes were Ev Williams and co.’s prerogative. Their platform, their rules. I am completely fine playing by them.
No, I’m not leaving Medium. In fact, I’m hitting publish more often then ever before. In addition to telling 52 stories this year I am helping Sand Farnia, Jessica Jungton, and Stella J. manage The Writing Cooperative, one of the largest publications on Medium with a growing membership of excited writers and storytellers.
Medium isn’t perfect, but it is what you make it. I meticulously cull my following list. Like all of my other social platforms, I only follow people, publications, and tags that bring me personal value. Is the algorithm perfect? Is an algorithm ever perfect? No, but my feed usually provides interesting stories and new people to discover.
Some of the people I enjoy reading have disappeared over the years. Some have made it known they were leaving and others have faded over time. It happens. But through it all, I remain here writing words and hitting publish when the time is right.