Finding Content on Medium, MacBook Issues, Etc.

Long form discussions, keyswitches, and piles of content!

Michael Smith oh man, you just opened my favorite can of worms.

Medium gets prickly if writers are too critical of the platform. In fact, you’re not allowed to write about Medium at all in articles behind the paywall.

So hopefully, if I bury this down here in replies that’ll be okay!

Unsolicited request: start replies with the lede as the generic thank you masks context in search results. Makes finding your content less than frictionless 😜.

I think about this problem every day, and it’s a big part of the reason I started www.worldbolding.com (shameless plug).

On the one hand, I love the concept that all Medium responses/replies/comments are unique articles. It encourages long-form discussions, and it allows users access to the full breadth of Medium’s editor for writing comments.

But, just like you said…it makes actually finding content as a reader incredibly frustrating.

That’s something that the entire platform suffers from, and there’s no easy way around it.

I struggle to navigate my own content on here, and imagining what it’s like for a reader that wants to quickly find something I wrote more than a month ago makes me shudder.

I often have to resort to Google searches just to find something I want to link back to. And the only organization tool I’m offered as a writer is a big list I can sort a few different ways. One that doesn’t load all of my content unless I scroll down several times.

I wish that I had more control over my user profile page. I wish I could more easily create searchable categories outside of Medium’s awkward tagging system. I’d love to be able to add different choices to these headings, so that users could click a tab and see all of my headphone articles in one place, but I’m stuck with Medium’s predefined categories and they’re all big blog-like lists.

I’d even settle for the clickable tags appearing at the top of the article page instead of at the very bottom . I know that articles look nicer without tags at the top of them, but it would be a good start, I think.

Right now the tags are basically buried, and I have no idea how many people every actually use them.

The Medium algorithm has a tendency, from what I’ve seen, to serve up content from a breadth of authors over a single category of content, and it picks those categories based on what you’ve been reading previously. It’s very easy to get locked into reading about the same one or two things, and never get access to the other topics a particular writer creates content about, even if you’re following them.

I have nearly 1000 pieces of content on Medium, and I’ll admit some of the mess is my fault. At a certain point, they switched from allowing three tags to allowing five, and from hearts to claps…and I never updated any of my pre-switch articles.

As for me starting everything with a thank you, that’s just me not ever totally knowing whether to phrase a reply as an article or a “comment,” haha.

I sincerely appreciate this feedback.

Medium’s writing platform is great. Medium’s content management system is…a thing.

Reply Fridays

You might have noticed that I’m replying to you on a not-Friday! I’m trying an experiment for a couple of weeks where I go back to the old way of doing things, which was replying whenever I felt like I had time and could contribute something.

The original point of Reply Fridays was to simplify my weekly workflow…but it ended up bogging it down in a lot of ways instead, since I had to write a summary article in addition to writing the replies. And it stifled me when I got really excited to reply to someone, like I did just now when I saw your comment.

Reply Fridays was also one of my least-read features, so I’m not afraid to throw it under the bus/rework it.

MacOS Continuity

I’m right there with you, I totally love Handoff/Continuity.

MacOS and iOS accomplish this so much better than any competing setup, and it’s the thing I miss the most about the Apple ecosystem.

It seems like Apple rates it little more than a footnote if you look at how “prominent” it is on their website these days, but if I were them I’d still be out there screaming about how fast/instant it is.

You’re right that Google’s system has improved, but I still frequently have to force my phone to manually sync my photos when the auto sync stops for no apparent reason. It’s ridiculous and silly every single time.

THE DREADED BUTTERFLY

I’m one of the few people that adjusted to and liked the feel of the butterfly switches, but man oh man the dust/sticking/switch failure problems are unacceptable.

And what’s even weirder is that Apple keeps doubling-down on this design over and over again, every time they have a chance to fix it.

The new MacBooks are no different.

The silencing of the clicky switches is going to make them have even less feedback than they already did. That doesn’t sound like a good change to me, even if this new membrane helps prevent dust build-up.

Fortunately all of the switches on my 2016 12-inch MacBook, which is currently in my closet awaiting its future, still work…but I know it’s only a matter of time before one of them becomes stuck beyond function. And I’ve had to air can it several times to restore keys to working order.

I hope you enjoyed this really long reply and you’re having a great weekend so far. Thanks very much for reading my stuff, and for your insights and replies.

Discussions like these are the main thing that keeps me on Medium as a platform, even as the pile of content in my wake gets larger and larger…

Photograph so that Medium’s algorithms are happy, because they get angry at me if I don’t use a high res photo.

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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