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In The Year of The Boost

Don’t treat us like children: Community helps vulnerable individuals feel less isolated and a part of something positive

A chosen one : Image by 11570 from Pixabay

I hadn’t planned on writing any more about the state of play regarding Medium changes over the last six months. I have already added my share to the mix, which includes these:

But then I read a very heartfelt piece by Dixie Dodd

“Who are we to decide someone’s writing has no value or they are wrong in the way they wrote it?” Dixie

I agree, and have said from the start that writing is subjective, why should a handful of people hold the fate of many?

In general, I am tired of all the Medium changes. Some made, then reversed slightly, or their path altered.

The reason I am moaning today, is not only about the fact I now make half the amount of money I earned before August. It is also because of the atmosphere change I feel within the community since the boost.

The other day, I made this comment to Smillew Rahcuef

I personally think the boosting program has really separated a community, one I used to enjoy being part of.

When I first came to the platform, I adored the way the community supported each other and how the publications welcomed a person with open arms, happy to have a writer sharing their work.

These days, Medium are treating us like kids. Holding out a boosting gold star.

The hope of a boost changes the way members choose a publication to write with.

I am part of a couple of teams who run popular fiction magazines, and I know some writers who previously would have written for our publications now choose other places with nominating powers.

One may say it is human nature.

Very early on in the year of the boost, I looked around and worked out where I wanted to continue to submit my work. My choices were ethical in that I did not use how much power or influence a publication had as a reason to pick them. Indeed, I have actually removed some of my older work from places I previously published with, who have nommers on their team.

Why? Well, when the boost arrived, I would say I was acquainted with four people who were chosen to be nominators. Two of them are so extremely busy I simply felt my work was not getting the attention it used to on their publications. Another, nominates in a specialist area, and I am certainly not going to write about a particular thing just to get seen. And a fourth turned out to be a bit of a jerk… in my opinion.

We are told by Medium to suck up to nommers. Yeah right! I am often more principled than is good for me — so it is hugely unlikely I would take this on board. I like who I like.

Suddenly it felt as if the community had split three ways:

  • The chosen nommers.
  • Those who ingratiate themselves or already were pretty friendly with the chosen ones.
  • And authors who simply want to write, support each other and enjoy a little bit of like-minded interaction.

Now, I don’t think I am having nearly as much fun as I was — say — a year ago. It makes me a little sad as I have always been highly complimentary about the platform and I basically think it has let many of us down. Not because it boosts some and not others — although rewarding people for subjective output is nuts. But what I am annoyed about has little to do with the logistics of boosting, and everything to do with how Medium choices have created a space where one section of a previously united community is pitted against another.

For a while I wondered why they would instigate such a thing. But then I remembered, Medium don’t really seem to think their platform is a community of writers.

However…

Community matters to many. It helps vulnerable individuals feel less isolated and a part of something positive.

Rant over. Just one more thing

give us back our bloody page views!

How hard can it be? Perhaps Medium fired too many people when the new CEO turned up!

A betterer boost by Marsha Adams

Ridiculous by Sanjay Singhal

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