The Best Platform for Thought

20 ideas to make us think even more

Not just developer-designer-hustlers.

Writers, Readers, and Conversations between them

Thoughts occur when writers engage readers with brain-tickling content. Conversations emerge.

20. Encourage Quality Writing

As a superior writing tool and networked system, Medium already attracts writers.

19. Get more great writers

By asking them.

Pick up the telephone.

By offering them editing services.

With a quality editorial and editing team, some of the world’s best writers could be persuaded to contribute pro bono pieces to Medium (and to the Partner Program).

By nurturing them.

I mentioned to two of the Medium staff that I wanted to be a household name in 5 years at Medium. I’m in no rush to be a great or well-known writer. I understand what it takes to learn the fundamentals of craft, train for tens of thousands of hours, and still have more to learn about communication through copy and prose. (There are publications like the Writing Cooperative which are doing this — but Medium could build an in-house team.)

18. Challenge Top Writers

I like the CTA, but it could be emotionally stronger.

What should I do next?

Give me a challenge.

One small tweak

None of the links in the email actually travel to the Top Writer page, which I later found here:

17. Continue Featured Articles

The article I mentioned above was one for which I spent extra effort writing. My process: read several books, make notes, wait to see if ideas arise, write a few down, expand, turn them into a proper essay or book review. For “All of Life is a Wager”, this meant about 15 hours of work. When I’m a better reader and writer, maybe I’ll be able to reduce the time and effort for the same quality.

16. Writer Onboarding: First Article

After publishing my first essay in the Medium Partner Program, I received a congratulations email. (And was invited to a writer feedback call.)

15. Writer Onboarding: Success Guides

One of my favorite ways to share my posts is with the highlight-to-tweet feature, since it produces an image in a tweet.

14. Make Better Writers (and Readers) by Highlighting

Speaking of highlighting, there are many ways to expand their utility.

13. Create Top Readers

Marketplaces run on supply and demand.

12. Most Valuable Responders

If an article made me think at all, I leave a response.

11. Connect the Community

One of my favorite parts about Quora in the early days was being able to message other Quorans and get to you know them.

10. Provide Reading Variety

In 2016, here was the breakdown of tags for the top 252 stories on Medium:

+------------------+-------------+------------+
| Tag | Stories | Percentage |
+------------------+-------------+------------+
| Startup | 62 | 25% |
| Tech | 47 | 19% |
| Life Lessons | 45 | 18% |
| Entrepreneurship | 37 | 15% |
| Design | 34 | 13% |
| Self improvement | 31 | 12% |
| Productivity | 26 | 10% |
| Politics | 21 | 8% |
| Programming | 18 | 7% |
| UX | 18 | 7% |
| JavaScript | 10 | 4% |
| Web Development | 10 | 4% |
+------------------+-------------+------------+

9. Advocate Reading Variety

Providing variety and advocating for it are different.

8. Harness curiosity

If I read too many articles about productivity in a row, why not give me the following message?

7. Increase Introspection in the West

The West lacks introspection, but understands its value.

6. Improve thought between minds

Through Responses

How might Medium encourage writers to write more responses to articles?

Through Debates

Quora’s Writing Sessions are neat as an AMA feature, but they lack discussion and ongoing debate. The Economist has also hosted debates, although their scope was limited.

5. Audio for creators

Provide writers with a dashboard to record their writing. (Or partner with a company like Zencastr.)

4. Address readers without accounts

Not everyone knows about Medium or has an account. I had one friend in Silicon Valley decide not to read my locked article because of the paywall. (He wasn’t reading closely enough to notice he could read 3 articles per month.)

3. Educate people about claps: Part 1/2 (Philosophy)

2. Educate people about claps: Part 2/2 (Function)

In conjunction with time read, claps are signals of value that can’t be gamed.

1. I want to read…

Instead of always showing me a feed, which distracts from a thought I had while entering Medium, ask me:

What do you want to read today?

Let me type an answer. The prompt forces readers to introspect and includes the reader in the process of discovery. It provides a sense of agency.

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Artist seeking better explanations

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