Medium is Ruining Publications
Help us Stop it from Happening
Earlier this week Medium made a drastic change that directly impacts publications like ours, like HackerNoon, FreeCodeCamp, and BeYourself. These publications are based on curating content from 100s if not 1000s of writers to provide their communities with the content they are looking for on a daily basis. Their goal is to amplify the voices of everyday people to inform, teach, and support their readers.
There are three ways publications like ours do this.
- Our current writers submit their stories to us for review.
- Writers find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and ask to be added as writers.
- We read stories we love on Medium and request them to be part of our publication.
We are always looking for new stories and new writers to join our publications to add their stories and perspectives. With this move Medium is taking away an easy and streamlined way for us to find and add writers.
Where our workflow was:
- Find an awesome story
- hit the … at the bottom of a story.
- Choose ‘request story’,
- write a note to the author explaining why we want to include their content in their in our publication
- hit send. (If the author accepted the request it automatically added them as a writer to the publication)
Our new workflow will be:
- Find an awesome story
- Copy the author’s username from the URL of the story.
- Open a new tab and navigate to codelikeagirl.io
- Click the Publicaiton icon on the top right.
- Choose Homepage and Settings
- Scroll past all the hompage settings to the bottom of the page.
- Add the writer’s username into the add writers form.
- Hit save on the page.
- Go back to the Writers’s Story.
- Leave a private message on the story explaining that we have made them a writer and give them the instructions for submitting their story.
Why is Medium claiming they are making the change?
As a tech leader when I read this I see,
“It was confusing for our authors so we will just remove the feature instead of trying to make it usable and put the onus on the publication to solve the problem”
Have they made it simpler for the author? Maybe.
Have they made it what it means to have their stories included in a publication clearer? Not even a little bit. Nothing about that has changed.
If Medium and Ev Williams really wanted to help publications writers build stronger relationships they would give publications and writers a way to interact outside of the stories that are submitted. They would also make it easy for writers to contact publications to start becoming contributors. Their current solution is to push it on the publication and writers.
The only way Medium gives for writers and publications to communicate is via private notes on individual stories.
As a result many publications have had to go to other platforms like Facebook to create groups where they can interact with our writers.
Why would a @Medium want publications and writers to leave its platform to communicate ?
So the real question for us is, are Medium and Ev Williams actually trying to make publications better, or are they trying to push our style of publication out of the platform to make room for paid magazine style publications with a limited number of privileged writers.
The latest email I received today backs up this theory. They are implying that the content that is curated by our publication and others like it is not “the most interesting, timely, expert pieces.” What has always made Medium great has been its ability to let the everyday person be heard in a non-censored way.
To be the place where all ideas are valued and given equal measure, and where independent writers can share anything and have their words read by anyone.
Moving toward highlighting stories from traditional media outlets defeats the purpose and really makes Medium like every other publisher. That in effect makes it irrelevant.
We came to Medium because their platform made it easier for us to find writers and for writers to find us. For us to find the stories of women in technology, not those shaped by journalists. We love the community we have built here and we want to keep growing and fostering it. But we can only do that if Medium continues to support the publication format we and many others are using.
We would like Medium to understand the problem. We want to work with them to fix it. We want to stay here for the long term and keep curating and creating compelling content with our writers.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
(This worked! They responded! See below. Thanks so much everyone!)
Please help by copying the following text and leaving it as a response on this article to increase the volume on it.
Please do not remove the ability of publications to request content.
Please work with publications to make joining publications easy for both writers and publications.
Please work with publications to make it easier for them to communicate with their writers in a way that doesn’t require them to leave your platform.
My response is here:
I personally want to thank everyone that added their voice and amplified this story! Without your help it would have gone unnoticed!!!