“An editor can publish a story, but if nobody shares it, it might as well never have been written.”

In case you wonder about those stats:

“readers are the new publishers”

A Medium user can publish a story, a medium publication can publish a story, but if nobody shares it, it might as well never have been written.


This is how it works folks. Because we rely on humans.

Can’t we make machines do the sharing and percolation here on Medium? With all this hype on AI and open sourced AI systems, why do we, the Medium community, still depend on that heart icon being pressed? Why do most stories required outbound sharing for inbound traffic, and why so many of them got popular outside of Medium first?

The power of this platform is that readers and writers can transcend their state at any time. That new story link is there, luring you with fame and rage and venting warm fuzzies and tear sharing and love making with words and so many other sweets writing has in store.

The problem is most of the time you speak to a void.

Medium can fix this. I don’t know if it is a business solution, but it definitely is an issue worth investing in, because part of what makes the advertising model suck is the over dependence on sharing.

Do you remember print? They had ads too. But those ads had guaranteed and measurable reach and exposure. No one had to “share” a good piece of work, it was there and all that was shared was the newspaper itself. That was auto percolation and it worked with HI (human intelligence). At Medium we require AI to build auto percolating content in lack of a physical medium.

Did Facebook hypnotise everybody with that “Like” thing?

Start rant …

This is different, why do I have to like something to propel it once I’ve clicked on the thing with the intent to read? Medium is no Facebook feed. I don’t see lolcats. There is no quick mindless “Like”.

And this:

… is an abomination for those who steal time from their brief existence to squeeze out words from their soul. Why would one be encouraged to recommend things they didn’t click on yet, on a platform aiming to help voices be heard?

Also, why can I recommend my own stuff? I asked, and the reply:

What is this about … what does it mean? Is Twitter the online go to for good UX ideas? What is the actual answer to having a million followers and recommending my own story :)? Is it OK?

End rant …

If we’re ever to fix the advertising driven online publishing we need to lower the importance of sharing by automating the process.

Just my 2 cents.