5 Ways Medium Could Still Grow

Over the past 6 months, Medium has become the main reason my iPhone battery stays lows — I use it all the time. I love it. But let’s imagine the possibilities for a moment…

How could Medium grow and become even better in the future?

Here’s a handful of ideas:

1.) Undo button. This is my first point for a reason: we NEED an undo button. Writers edit, rearrange, and move text around all the time. Sometimes we make mistakes.

The worst is when you want to move a large block of text, select it, then accidentally hit the keyboard. Whoops. That awesome section you typed out? Gone.

You’re now left staring at the letter ‘q’ where a full page once was.

Heartbreaking stuff.

2.) Private Messaging. This would truly be a game-changer.

I listened to Pete McPherson’s podcast, featuring my guy Tom Kuegler, recently. Among many topics of conversation, they briefly scoped over the vision behind Medium’s conception.

Apparently, typical social media features were intentionally left out by the founder.

“Medium is designed to increase the speed for which ideas go from one human being’s mind to another human being’s mind. That’s it.”

Ev Williams did not set out to create a social media archetype — this platform has properly steered away from that.

But, instant messaging would be monumental.

There are plenty of niches and communities that harbor like-minded individuals. We should be able to easily connect! Not have to track down another user on LinkedIn or email (and leave the site) just to have a personal conversation.

Why not boost the collaboration power?

3.) Fan ratio. I’m a numbers guy, so I love stats. We already have the read ratio, which is great. It’s super helpful when it comes to knowing what content performs well.

However, fans (clappers) are probably the most intriguing metric to writers. I recommend adding a ratio to reflect that.

So, if you get 80 views with 60 reads on a post, you’ve got a read ratio of 75%. Great! Let’s say you had only 8 people clap. You’re fan ratio is just 10%.

That tells you something! People read through it no problem, but you didn’t give them enough reasons to actually clap. With this information, you’d quickly learn what makes for engaging content.

Of course, you could do the math yourself every time… but you don’t need a ratio to realize 0% of people actually do that.

When it comes to stats, the more the merrier.

4.) Polls. Just another way to interface with fellow members on Medium.

At times, I’d like to get feedback about certain issues or topics. This could also be a unique tool for generating new ideas for articles.

It’s a thought.

5.) Article Organizer. The wonky thing about Medium is so many articles get buried on our profile. Sometimes, a ‘response’ will show first thing on our page over an article.

I know we can add one feature post… but that’s not enough.

For starters, you can’t add / remove a feature post from a phone or tablet. (What gives?) Two, we need to be able to add up to five feature posts. Possibly even a swipe-able banner for all of our top performing content.

Either way, I see big room for improvement in how we showcase our work.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a happy user when it comes to Medium. But, the perfectionist in me wants to make things even greater.

These aren’t meant to be hard critiques, rather just fun ideas and suggestions. I understand not all of these changes are plausible or within the scope of Medium’s mission.

Just things to think about.

- AZ

Bored, uneducated, homeless — em dashes are my specialty. I write what I see, think, and feel. That’s it.