Ev Williams, one of the original founders of Twitter and the founder of Medium, recently stepped down as CEO of the Medium publishing platform. Lots of people started to decry that Medium was a failure and that it was good as dead. I don’t see it that way. I see it as a changing of the guard. Ev has done what he can at Medium and with some new blood in there maybe it will flourish again.
The problem on the web now, and it’s always been the case, is discovery. Medium tried to solve that and didn’t totally succeed. But with newsletters spreading like rats swarming a pile of cheese, finding good content is still a challenge. We still rely on recommendations from others to find content.
The article by Nathan Bashez over at Every.To makes some great points about how Medium did both — win and lose. Monetization is where everything breaks down. To fund a writing platform or a publication in general you need funds. So do you charge the writer? The read? Go for ads? That’s where I think Meidum might have lost. They tried to monetize and put articles behind a subscription paywall that was too restrictive and blocked a crucial need on the internet — Content Discovery.
Nothing is more frustrating than finding something you want to read and then discover it’s behind a paywall. Especially when it’s poorly implemented.
According to Bashez:
The problem was: what kind of writers do you attract by building the easiest way to make money from writing on the internet, rather than the best way? Furthermore, the value proposition for readers was always murky. What kind of stories do you get when you become a subscriber? Why are they worth paying for? Who’s it for?
So what’s different between Medium and Substack? Well, for one, Substack has billed itself as the next way to do a newsletter. Medium is thought more of as a blogging platform. Substack is new and shiny compared to Medium, which has been around for a while — don’t underestimate the power of shiny object syndrome.
Ultimately I think we have crisis of lots of content and not an easy way of discovery. Yes, we have Google et. al but finding specific writers is still a battle.
What do you think? Will Medium survive? Or will Substack eat its lunch. Let me know your thoughts.
- 34 Ways to Make Money as a Creator (with Examples)
There are some good ways in here for creators to make money. Have a look!
- Google search quality rater guidelines update: What has changed
One of my favorite people online and in SEO, Lily Ray, just outlined what changed with Google’s quality rater guidelines, so we don’t have to do the sifting ourselves. Thanks Lily!
- Neeva shares search rating guidelines for technical queries
Neeva is another search engine, new to the scene, made by some ex-Googlers. They have recently released their search quality guidelines. This is helpful to see where others in the industry are, but is anyone using Neeva? I tried, and I just go back to Google, Bing, and Duck Duck Go.
- Google Gives Third-Party Cookies Another Year
I can’t say I’m surprised. But how powerful with the cookie be for the remainder of its life if it only lives in Chrome? It’s true that Chrome is the biggest browser, by market share, out there right now, but still, data will still be skewed cookie-less from the other browsers.
- Twitter Transparency Report Shows Dark Side Of Social Media
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but there is a dark side to social media. Now we have a report to prove it.
- Interesting Discussion About AI Writing Tools and Ranking In Google On Reddit
I think AI writing tools are helpful to help you write content, but not to completely replace you from the writing process. Next time you decided to use AI for some help writing add some of your own flair, it’ll rank better and be more original, which is what we’re going for.
- A Quick Guide To Content Marketing: 6+ Lessons I learned from 5 Years of Content Creation!
Another great thread in Reddit on Content Marketing. Many of these marketing Reddit communities are great resources for information to better your game.
- The 4-Day Work Week. Is it possible?
I would love a 4-day work week. But often times I end up working more than 5 days a week. That’s the life of the entrepreneur. Or so I thought. This article is intriguing.
- Twitter Announces Price Hike for Twitter Blue Subscriptions
Twitter Blue isn’t much to write home about, except for the undo button. Other than that, it’s nothing special. So Twitter upping the price of the features without adding anything new to the offering seems counter-intuitive and even stupid. What do you think?
- How federal scrutiny of mobile location data might affect marketers
The recent political atmosphere around SCOTUS and their decisions have clear ramifications and some not-as-clear ones. A not-as-clear one is the mobile location data. This will be interesting to see how it pans out.
Newsletter Of Note
The Menu by Amanda Natividad is a great quick read premium newsletter published every Sunday. It’s a newsletter of marketing and creativity-related insights — all bundled into a list to give you some food for thought. It was recently named in Forbes as one of the “Top Marketing Newsletters You Need To Subscribe To.”
Every Sunday you get:
- 1 short essay on marketing or creating.
- 4 valuable or funny links.
- 1 recipe or kitchen tip.
Be sure to also check Amanda out on Twitter where she posts prolifically.
Podcast Of Note
If anyone knows my podcasting habits, they will know that I have a thing for Tom Merritt‘s podcasts. It’s A Thing is no different. To be honest it’s made even better with the addition of Molly Wood as the cohost. The two of them have so much fun on the show talking about trending topics and culture that has become “A Thing” in the mainstream. Check it out. You won’t be sorry.
The Latest From Entrepreneur’s Enigma and Digita Marketing Dive
Until next week. Stay curious!