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Medium is changing… start panicking… now.

Can independent writers survive this change?

Medium just announced that it is expanding its partnerships with publications, launching new ones in rapid succession and propelling their creators to “Medium fame” in a few days tops.

It sounds wonderful — and the publications are truly top notch.

But what does this mean for the rest of us?

A quick look at the homepage shows that more than half of the articles are from Medium’s new featured publications: OneZero (stylized as OпeZeго, so to my Russian-reading eyes, it’s “Ope Zego”), Salty (which I’m loving, don’t get me wrong), and a few others.

Here’s why I’m concerned.

1. There is no way to pitch these publications.

There is no way to submit an article for consideration, or to get in touch with the editors. The process by which writers are selected is a mystery.

2. These publications are heavily promoted by Medium, such that every single article is immediately distributed and gets thousands of views.

They’re great articles, so that’s fine! But what about the rest of the amazing articles on here that aren’t published in these publications? Will anyone see them?

3. I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but today is Thursday, and Medium did not post its Partner Program estimates yesterday (Wednesday).

Does this mean that they’re busy focusing on getting these publications launched? Everyone knows that Wednesday is Medium earnings day. Busy week, maybe?

4. MANY writers have been complaining that curation rates were down drastically in the month of March.

My curation rate dropped from “most of the time” to “not happening, sorry”.

I’ve seen similar thoughts from others. And it wasn’t about not getting distributed, it was about articles sitting in the queue for 24–36+ hours before finally being left out of distribution.

It makes me wonder if they will shift their attention away from independent writers, paving the way for professional writers so they can increase the amount of paying members on the site.

It’s an understandable business move, but doesn’t it change the tone of Medium as a whole?

Not gonna lie — I pitched a publication idea to Medium. It’s not the idea of these publications that bothers me, it’s the fact that the homepage is now almost entirely Medium publications and pieces chosen by the editors. Where are the rest of the curated stories? Will our stories be seen if they aren’t in these featured publications?

Please share your thoughts. I would love to hear from Shannon Ashley ~ Tom Kuegler ~ Jonathan Greene ~ Alec Zaffiro ~ Bridget Webber ~ Caitlin Dragon 🐲 ~ Gary Vaynerchuk ~ Kevin Horton ~ Keith Horton ~ Maggie Haukka ~ Lisa Martens… what do you think?

technical writer • site reliability engineer • engineering leader • all views are my own • 👩🏻‍💻

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