The Future of Medium
Can Medium Avoid Becoming Just Another Website?
I love the concept of Medium: a site dedicated to quality writing. The people running the site are doing a great job. But I see storm clouds on the horizon.
I’ve been on Medium for three years now, but I did very little with it for the first year being too busy with life changes. And I had a healthy skepticism from earlier Web sites devoted to publishing writers so was reluctant to go all-in on Medium. I fear I lost an opportunity because Medium feels a little different lately. More so, I fear Medium may be losing something valuable.
Increasingly, it feels like Medium is looking like the rest of the Internet. Articles are increasingly aimed not at quality content, but at quick hooks and feel-good fluff. More memes, more “life hacks,” more Tweets inflated beyond sense, and especially more “how to make money easily.” Two of Medium’s most popular publications concentrate on tips and tricks to make money online by writing or some other “side hustle.”
Yes, Medium curates articles, and it does a superb job doing so. It’s difficult for an author to get established on Medium and that’s as it should be. Medium can’t control what people want to read, and the surge in empty content is without doubt an organic product of what people do read on Medium. At least for now.
It’s fair to say that people won’t pay for what they can get elsewhere for free. Memes, clickbait, life hacks, and get-rich-quick schemes are everywhere else. Leave that vacuous material for the crowds who feel they shouldn’t have to reimburse writers for their articles. Medium will continue to be great as long as it promotes great writing about subjects people can’t read about elsewhere. I hope years from now I can look back on this article and know that my worries were unfounded.