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Open Letter to Medium

Your changes do not help writers.

Carol Burt
4 min readSep 23, 2022

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First off, this month — or I think it was this month — you stop putting the icons of people with whom I regularly connect across the top of my homepage. I’m forced to remember who I usually read and respond to and then search them out. That has made it much harder to keep up with “my” writers and made me less likely to see the stories of my community.

The change of taking my “friends” off the top of my homepage did nothing but make the relationship-building you say you treasure more complicated, and I, for one, don’t appreciate it.

Why would you want to remove it when most of us appreciated it being there as a way to keep up with what our connections have recently written? Why? Who or what did it benefit? Not your writers.

I’ve been mad about it since you did it and haven’t said anything until now.

But today, I learned you have now stopped putting “chosen for further distribution” on our stories. Almost all of my stories had that notation when I checked my Medium Partner Program stats.

Maybe it meant nothing, but it made me feel a bit better about spending so much of my time on Medium and writing and responding my heart out day after day. It felt like someone was noticing that I produce good copy that has been edited and run through a grammar program. Well, not really that someone was noticing, but that the powers that be, whether human or AI or just automated, had noticed that I produce good quality stories.

Now I won’t see that on my stories. What the hell is left?

First, earnings are down for just about everyone I know. If there’s no money and no “atta girl” in the form of telling me my story has been chosen for further distribution, I am wondering what I am getting out of this.

For the last few months, my earnings have been so low I’m certainly not writing for the money.

And now you aren’t even going to tell me when my stories are chosen for further distribution. That kind of makes Medium look like the ungrateful, writer-punishing platform it has lately become.

My morale in terms of writing for Medium is low right now. And I’ll take a chance and say many more writers feel…

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Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.