Why Does Medium Look Like a Clean but Generic News Page?
EDIT (8–10–2020): Before you read this rant or stream of thoughts, the writers’ names have returned to the home page! It either was a bug (which is hard to imagine because I know Medium internally tests features before they deploy), or a test to see how the users would react. Either way, I am happy to see the homepage looking human again, and I can continue to read works by my favourite writers here on the platform without first having to click my way through all publications to find them.
I noticed there are some new changes implemented to the platform. I like the clean look, but I do have some concerns. I second what Linda Caroll wrote in “Dear Medium, Why Can We Mute Writers Whose Names Are Hidden?”.
The large publications are now prominently displayed all over the homepage. But…
What happened to writers’ names and why are they not visible?
The writers I follow are now tucked away in the corner, where they reside in the “Latest from following” section, along with… more publications. This feels a bit discouraging for beginning writers who want to get their voices heard and their writing out in the world.
When I scroll down the page, I still see publications and various recommended reads.
The writers’ names of the individuals who bled their words on the page, their names are now missing.
I follow individual writers because I like how they think and I’m interested in the topics they write about. Whether or not I will like a piece largely depends on who wrote it.
I don’t like to feel like I’m reading the news. I would then go elsewhere because the writer of the piece would be of less relevance and importance to me and I would click based on topics, not author.
The seamless reading experience? Not sure. When I finish reading one piece I don’t intend to continue reading the next one by continuing to scroll. I want to choose what to consume, not blindly swallow what is given to me by the feed. By now I have over 400 bookmarked pieces and I treat those with precedence.
We must keep in mind that this platform is still a source of opportunity. We, as writers on it, just have to adjust, whether this change is permanent or not. And:
We can rant all we want, but it won’t solve anything.
These elaborate writings on the new Medium changes contain an excess of feedback, to Medium. We could also directly make use of the Send feedback button if we wish so. I was naughty and I did send mine through.
Maybe Medium will take our feedback into account and revert the changes they made, or use it to build upon.
I am sure these adjustments were done with the best intentions in mind. Maybe it will take us as users just some getting used to, or we are overlooking benefits that we cannot see right now, purely because we got comfortable with how things were.
That is a danger in itself. To attach too firmly to a mindset of comfort. To get comfortable with the status quo, and unwelcoming of any changes at all.
Even though I still don’t like how small or not at all writers’ names are featured on the homepage (and also on the beta version of the new publications), I took these newly implemented changes as an invitation to test the waters with new publications grouped in the following topics.
- Introvert Collective: How to thrive as an introvert in an extroverted world. Written by and for introverts. If this topic resonates with you, I invite you to join our writing forces and grow this publication with me.
- How To Be A Human: Stories & learnings about all that happens on the broad spectrum of the human experience.
These are experimental. I even opted in to use the new design layout for one of the publications.
And, I am looking forward to reading the opinions on the changes in a month or two. I wonder if my own opinion will have changed, and whether the changes will become the new normal.
No matter what, I choose to not pack my bags, but stick around. I just got started with writing, and I still acknowledge the opportunity, so I’m not going anywhere. It’s either that, or giving up and having a go at it elsewhere.
Eventually I choose to adjust to and embrace this change, and see it as a turning point to try new things. In the end it’s about how we deal with circumstances handed to us. Let’s roll with it and see what happens next.