(Finally) Understanding Medium

Alec Zaffiro
3 min readOct 6, 2017


Since downloading Medium this past summer, I haven’t had much productive use out of it. I attribute most of this to “new user” oversight. I didn’t know what to put in. I didn’t know what to take out. Only recently I began to get a feel for the community and learn what Medium is all about.

I think I’ve got the hang of it.

Blogging and Medium

Originally, I discovered Medium through the launch of my personal blog. As I do often, I looked for ways to improve my blog presence. I sifted through the App Store, playing off words such as ‘Writing’ and ‘Productivity.’

“What’s new? What’s useful for someone looking to write online?” I sought after anything that could boost my performance.

I downloaded Medium. I used it briefly. I liked the platform and I enjoyed the reading experience. “But I am here to write,” I thought.

Optimistically, I transferred one of my blog post to Medium. The result? Absolutely nothing. Not a single clap, response, or share. Granted, I had 0 followers (I still have few). Looking back, I wouldn’t share that exact post at that particular time… Not the result I was going for.

Irresponsibly, I placed little value on Medium in respects to writing.

Novice at Best

In hindsight, my disregard for Medium shows quite a bit of naivety on my part. As an anxious new blog owner, I wanted results quick. I participated in other realms — on platforms I already had decent influence and reach.

Why take the time to post where no one’s going to read? I have better established followings on other socials aside Medium.

My first crack at Medium failed for these reasons:

  • Not a fluent user (reading or writing)
  • Not enough participation (claps or comments)
  • Not seeing Medium as an accelerator to my writing skills

I was getting out what I put in — which was very little. I wanted to write, but that’s why I built the blog.

However, with time I’ve come back to Medium.

As I began to follow more writers and leave my thoughts on other peices, I began to enjoy my experience much more. It’s a balance of reading and writing. You can do one or the other; some do both. There’s power on each side.

Since correcting these miscues, I finally understand Medium.

Seeing What It’s Worth

Medium does bring unique value in comparison to other platforms. For starters, people here actually write — and they’re damn good at it. I’ve found sizeable, articulate write-ups that add to my ethos, both directly and indirectly.

As I follow great writers, I read more great writing. This as an opportunity for me to learn from others. I see how seasoned professionals structure, style, and deliver their message.

I notice talent and it makes me better.

Substance Lives Here

Medium breeds expression; connection holds weight. It’s something that matters to me. It’s something that matters to a lot of people like me. People want to impact others and spread change.

Twitter somewhat crumbles in comparison here.

It starts with boundaries. Last time I checked, I’m allowed more than 140 (or 280) characters on Medium. An imposed restriction, gets you a diluted result. Much of the content on Twitter feels dense and dry. It doesn’t feed my craving for something palatable.

Many other medias whiff on connection. Much of the content I get on Instagram and Facebook scream “Look at me! Look what I’m doing!” You press ‘like’ and move on. There’s no real exchange.

On Medium, people look to provide; to provide value, experience, and knowledge. That’s a community I feel much more in-tune with.

Happy to Participate

It’s taken some time for me to warm up, but I’m glad things are finally moving. In my short time active, I’ve come across encouraging words and characters. While I admire the work of others, it inspires me in my own.

Medium is an open space; a place to share ideas, thoughts, and intuitions. You have a platform and all the tools to say what you want .

I intend to do so.



Alec Zaffiro

I write to think and organize my ideas. I like psychology, philosophy, and self-improvement—em dashes are my specialty. Not an expert.*