After five years, Friday was my last day at Medium. I’m going to take a break and let my mind wander for a bit. I don’t think I’ve taken a break much longer than two weeks since 2009. I’m looking forward to this. I appreciate all I’ve learned from my teammates over the years at Medium. I’m proud of our work — in editorial tools, recommendations, reader experience, and writer initiatives like Creators Hub.
The best comment was a tattoo of the story. Actually, numerous tattoos of the story, from people I've never met.
Years ago I tried out a story format of pairing an illustration with a short essay going deeper into the ideas behind it. I didn't get much engagement from the posts, but then sometime later I started getting responses and messages on one of them. The ideas in the post connected deeply with readers, so much so that they wanted to get a tattoo of the illustration. To this day I'll get responses, emails, and DM's about it. I’ll receive…
“Our worth as individuals isn’t our personal integrity or sense of virtue, but our ability to advertise our relevance on the platforms of multinational tech corporations.” ~Barrett Swanson
I find the impact of social media on our interactions, wellbeing, and personhood endlessly fascinating, because platforms shape everything around me. Barrett Swanson’s “The Anxiety of Influencers,” is a wonderful exploration into all this. To get an idea of the extent that platforms success has penetrated our culture check out this stat:
According to a poll released in 2019, some 54 percent of Americans between the ages of thirteen and thirty-eight would…
What impact could advances in web3¹ have on the creator economy? Drew Austin explores this in the essay Paid in Full. Here he compares content in the Web 2.0 world with what’s possible in web3:
Web 2.0’s incentives emphasized quantity — more posts, more content, more engagement, more followers. Everything was free so that users would consume more of it and sink more of their attention into platforms, which had every incentive to increase information’s fluidity (more data should be collected, more information digitized and uploaded, more users should generate more content, etc.).
Yes, this is familiar.
This put them…
There’s a couple cool web confs this week.
Update (6/5/21): I’ve included links to the talks for both conferences below.
Join creatives, developers and leaders for a one day unconference about the future of personal agency, decentralization, protocols and payments, identity and who we are as a species.
You can see the talks from the conference here:
Bringing together a virtual collective of passionate…
It's definitely been up and down for me in terms of writing, I think because of just so much screen time. I tried handwriting drafts in a journal, but that didn't really catch on for me. Still, I feel like I've been able to write more this past year than before just from staying at home. Most of the writing I've been doing has been in support of some inquiry. Like, what am I curious about right now? How can I support that curiosity? I found that if I feel curious and if I'm learning, I feel better about things in general. Writing (and reading) has been super helpful for that.
In our latest Hub Talk, we asked “How Do You Connect With Your Readers Beyond Publishing?” This can be a difficult area to figure out and manage. In the responses, a common thread surfaced — connecting with your readers outside of publishing helps support the publishing itself.
Here’s a few highlights. If you have ideas, share them in the responses of the discussion here.
I try to engage with the readers as people, and to check out what they are up to. I’ve connected with some great writers and interesting people just by following back readers on Twitter or Medium…
What’s the biggest challenge in your creative work? Often it can be finding time to focus, make some progress, and go deep. This is especially crucial for writing, yet that space to focus feels like a rare luxury.
This Wednesday, May 5th at 5pm PT / 8 pm ET join us for the next Medium in Conversation. Amy Shearn, senior editor at Forge, and bestselling author Nir Eyal will discuss how we can reclaim our attention — and really ourselves — amid all of the distractions. The event is free, please register here.
Eyal will share what he’s learned by…
I used to have a tough time reading long-form articles on the internet. Part of my job at Medium is to encourage writers to publish long-form articles on the internet, so this was hard to admit. If you recommended an article to me, I’ll bookmark it into a folder called
to_read and then keep working. If it’s urgent, I’ll block out some calendar time to read it. While I’m reading, I may get a Slack or a text. I may pause in the middle for an errand. Over the course of hours or days, I’ll eventually finish it. …
Over the last year I got back into various little programming projects. Most of it was fixes and tending to projects, from updating little apps to migrating my server, and some of it was trying out new tools. Most recently, it was some data manipulation in python, which I hadn’t really done since I was a researcher.
Usually, it begins with some task I need to do. Some feature I’d like to have or some error that I want to fix. I’ll google for that feature or I’ll copy/paste the error that shows up in the console into a google…