The right Medium

Earlier this month, after yet another frustrating attempt at searching my esports newsletter‘s not that extensive archives, I tweeted:

I figured I’d give you a little update on this.

My original decision to start Working As Intended on Medium was made because I wanted to separate it from this blog, to allow me a little more freedom what to write about here. I remembered the platform as a good-looking offering and its built-in audience felt like a nice signal boosting opportunity without having to spam /r/esports with clickbait. And fair’s fair, on these counts the choice has paid off.

However, much like what Reddit has been doing, I feel like most of the changes made to Medium’s software in recent times have been to.. entice users to sign up, get them to download the app and upsell them the paid plan. Often this feels done to the detriment of the actual reading experience. The company also holds fairly tight control over publications’ branding and customization options, statistics are opaque and their related content is often old and more often just not that related.

Part of this is that it’s become the prime platform for marketers and, at least in gaming, blockchain and gambling companies. There are awesome esports writers on there, mind, but you have to look for them pretty hard which kind of negates what should be one of the platform’s main selling points.

The way I see it we can do better banding together, providing our different viewpoints to a shared audience. Especially in these rough times, which have seen several esports publications go under and the remaining ones nichifying along society’s battle lines and whatever else brings them the most views, a fresh, less commercial collection of voices feels like something that could not only work, but perhaps is needed.

Most of us don’t do this professionally but may aspire to though and a move to a new place with someone you don’t really know is not without risk to your existing audience. As such, while I have been approaching people one-on-one and running some exploratory ads to gauge interest, right now this feels like it’s going to be a longer term project than I’d hoped for.

Which is not to say that I’m quite ready to give up on it and if you do have an interest in or ideas on all of this, I’d love to hear from you. For now, I’m finally feeling a little better after having been ill for most of the week and I’ll be focussing on publishing a lot of new content both here and on Medium over the next month or so. But I’ll be circling back to this. Hope to see you there!

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