Here we are, at the crossroads where chaos and opportunity meet
Yesterday, Medium announced that they’re turfing topics in favor of tags.
I hoped that was coming when they updated how tag pages work in May.
Because honestly, it was convoluted. Curation (now distribution) happened by topic, but top writers were by tags. And they didn’t match up particularly well.
Like, Film was a topic that would get you curated/distributed, but the corresponding top writer tag was Movies. Economy was the curation/distribution topic, but the top writer tag was Economics.
Here’s the one that stung me every time…Women was the topic that would get me curated/distributed, but the corresponding top writer tag was feminism. So I’d have to use both of them just to cover the bases.
There were 100 topics, which meant that all the stories they curated/distributed had to be shuffled into those topics. If a writer didn’t use a topic as a tag, they had to figure out where to put the story.
It was kind of nuts. So they’re fixing it by turfing topics and keeping tags.
You know what’s inevitable, right? Already, I’ve seen more than one post wondering aloud if “medium is dying”. Here’s how the logic went.
Omg, Medium has made so many changes in the past months.
Are they dying? Scrambling to save themselves?
lol. No puppy. That’s corporate thinking at it’s finest.
In the corporate world, the wheels of change are big and heavy. No one likes to change anything, lest it be a bad change and they get blamed. No one wants to be responsible for a bad change. So they don’t change unless they have to.
In the corporate world, success leads to stagnation. People say things like don’t fix it if it’s not broken. Change becomes what you do when you’re scrambling to stay alive.
That is not remotely how it works in the rest of the world. Remember when we were young enough to change stuff just to see what happens? Entrepreneurs still do that, amazingly. lol. They just try stuff. To see what happens. To not stagnate.
That’s what Medium does. They change things to see what works. Not all the changes are great, but whatever — websites aren’t carved in granite. If they change something and it doesn’t work, they can change it again.
The part of the announcement no one highlighted
It’s always interesting to see what parts people highlight. Here’s what no one highlighted.
7 million tags.
That’s how many are in use so far. 7 million. No more competing with the top writers for visibility in 100 topics. And heck, you can go to the new tag pages and see who the top writers are. Maybe handpick a few that work for you.
There’s going to be some chaos, for sure. People writing their nonsense opinions and whining when the topic pages disappear. But if you take a step back and look where we are, we are standing smack at the corner of chaos and opportunity.
7 million tags. If that’s not enough to carve out a corner of Medium that you can dominate and own, I don’t know what is.
If you write on Medium, what do you think of the change?
Here’s what I wrote this week…
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