Medium Authors Have a Last Mile Issue

Henry Wismayer did a cheeky experiment with the same content and changed title/keywords for an article he published in Medium. He replaced his original story from life to suit the title slant to more “techie” like and tweaked his keywords. His recommendation rates bumped up although the reading rates remained pretty much as before (so people saw it that number was very high as well, but then only about 34% people dived and read the piece). This is clever audience research that kind of affirms for many of us what we think as confirmation bias — there are certain kind of stories that get promoted (?promoted) or read by or visited by Medium users.

Which once again brings up the question of how do we control this firehose called Medium? Medium is an incredibly rich repository of beautiful stories (not just tech stories and life hacks and entrepreneurship lores and tips BUT life stories, fiction, deep good essays), but how do we access them? Individually, we can adjust tags, follow people of our interests and publications, so that may be OK from a reader’s perspective. It becomes a little frustrating from the author’s perspective if the stories are not picked up by the right kind of audience one writes for. Somehow that connect needs to be forged. A connection that should layer stories and storytellers and listeners. Perhaps that will take Medium to the next level.

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in:

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