How to fix an important writing platform so it doesn’t become the next YouTube.

Medium new logo development sketches.

That title is bothersome, isn’t it? It instinctively goes against all of the advice that's out there. The advice about how you’re supposed to be succinct, yet descriptive. Or that you need to have a sort of qualitative quality.

But then, where do we draw the line between a good headline and one that’s just clickbait? What even is clickbait?

Medium Stories We Should All Stop Reading (And Writing)
There’s no shortage of Medium posts criticizing the derivative content that rises to the top on Medium, but far fewer…

Perhaps I just have a biased scope, but I find new social media companies have a distinct niche of people who use their platform explicitly for the purpose of criticizing the platform itself.

This — by itself—isn’t worth much note. There will always be critics. What’s noteworthy is when it gets weird — when this group actually becomes popular on the platform. Causing a weird sort of meta-dialogue.

Case Study: YouTube

Before I talk about Medium, or what’s perceivably wrong with it, I want to show a clearer example. For those that are in the loop, it’s well-known that YouTube is pretty terrible at communication:

Of course, YouTube has far bigger, more popular platform with equally larger problems. And it’s far more problematic since it generally has a monopoly on online video content. What was once the prime location for anybody to upload anything has become a service for celebrities and the extremely lucky. But I digress, this isn’t the issue at hand.

What is worth noting is how these issues have caused a rise in channels that are quintessentially anti-YouTube. Such as H3H3Productions, GradeAUnderA, IHateEverything, among others.

Of course, there’s not a lot I can do. I’m just another voice in the wind that won’t get heard. And once you realize you can be OK with that, you are not just liberated, but enlightened.


An effective weapon is, and always will be, satire. Being able to be critical in a humorous fashion not only is more original than ranting, but it also make people actually rethink their opinion.

How To Success Your Success Into Succeeding Successfully
A Success

But being against Medium’s rhetoric of self-improvement and regurgitated, quasi-holistic advice doesn’t actually push anything forward. If anything, it just stagnates the conversation even further. A new dialogue has to begin, one of openness.

Openness is the birthplace of change. If you want Medium to transform its current niche, you have to start creating different and sometimes even weird content.

I can count the number of websites that promote user-created long reads that are actually successful with a single hand. Medium provides a rare opportunity for any story to be shared, no matter what it’s about, or who created it.

But what’s even more important than creating is that you search and interact with different and weird stories. As it stands, Medium’s search functions are a bit lackluster when it comes to doing this, but that doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Send feedback, be opinionated and be informed.

It’s a brave new world.