I really like Medium.com. There’s a wide range of articles available on virtually ANY topic – from the trivial to the very important. And if I were feeling lazy, I’d end my post right there – those are reasons enough for me to publicly state my fondness for Medium. But I’m not (too) lazy.
I recently read the above article, which is what prompted me to start writing about a website. If for some reason you can’t see the link, it’s an article called “This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit: The story of how one metric has changed the way you see the world“. To give you a brief summary, it talks about how journalism has changed for the worse because of online metrics.
What struck me about this article, and others like it that I’ve read, is the simple fact that articles and reading such as this exists in the first place on Medium. I think that it’s important that different viewpoints exist and are easily read, especially when more and more news feeds are curated to show you what YOU want to read, and often give you a skewed world view.
But on Medium, there doesn’t seem to be any particular algorithm (that I’m aware of, at least) that aims specific content your way. Their main page starts with a series of article suggestions, which as far as I can tell, is based on a combination of what you’ve read previously + content categories you’ve identified as what you’re interested in reading.
It then goes on to suggest articles that are specifically found in your categories of choice. OK, so it is curated, a little bit; but the fact that the “you might like” choices are based on what you’ve already read is still leagues better than news articles who change their headlines and content based on what people are more likely to read.
With Medium, I have a choice of what I want to read. The articles that are submitted here aren’t done so in order to increase precious advertising revenue or clicks; they’re on the website because somebody wanted to write that particular article and wanted someone to read it.
I was about to call it ‘one big letter to the editor’ – but that’s the thing; while there ARE opinion pieces on the website, there are also some well-researched journalism pieces that are more about facts than opinion. And then there are some nice stories to read as well.
Given the state of current journalism, we need a website like Medium to continue to thrive. I myself need to make a more conscious effort to read it on a regular basis. You should, too.