Now is the time for human stories.
For thousands of years, stories have been how we learn and pass our wisdom onto other people. We aren’t computers and we aren’t moved to true understanding by a crib sheet of facts, by summaries, or by hot takes. Writing is how many of us process our own understanding of the world. Then, by sharing our stories, we pass our own wisdom onto others.
At some point, the Internet made a wrong turn that corrupted what we write. Instead of writing for each other, we started writing for the algorithm, desperate to win the favor of Google search or virality.
With our Boost, we have pivoted (yes, pivoted) back to where the Internet should have gone. The status quo hasn’t been good for readers. And, to be really blunt: it hasn’t been good for authors, either. The creator economy treadmill is a dead end. It’s exhausting. Worse, it hides the secret to a great story which is that first you have to have lived it.
All of our lives generate stories that are filled with wisdom about how to live (or often, how not to live). We are committed to putting humans first so that those human stories get shared. When I say the Boost was a pivot, it’s partly because ripping apart our AI recommendation algorithm and putting humans back in the roles of recommenders is so deeply counter to the dominant trend in the tech industry.
On August 12th, 2023, we are going to celebrate the human storytellers of Medium as we also celebrate our 11th birthday (turn it up to 11).
Medium Day will be a virtual conference of our community where you’ll learn directly from people who share their lives on Medium. You’ll see a wide variety of perspectives from various publications, editors, authors, and our staff, and be able to ask questions.
How you can be a part of Medium Day
If you are a reader, we’ll keep you posted on an official attendee registration link soon. What would help us the most at this stage is participating in this 5-minute survey, where we’re asking for your suggestions and opinions about what Medium Day should be. Submit your email in the survey if you’d like us to stay in touch with updates.
If you are a publication editor, we would like your help in putting authors from your publication on stage. We are going to run this as a multi-track event. That means multiple sessions going on at once. We’ll be sending out an application process to thousands of publication editors over the coming weeks. Keep an eye on your inboxes.
If you are an author, stay tuned. We are going to work with publications to launch a submission process for panels, sessions, and talks at Medium Day. We have been working hard to elevate the role of publications in finding and boosting your words, and this is part of it. More to come.
In an effort to prioritize the safety of our community, we will also be distributing a Code of Conduct that we expect all attendees and participants to abide by, and it will feature a clear moderation process. As our rules clearly state, Medium exists to share and discuss ideas, and we don’t tolerate harassment or hateful content.
What to expect
Before I came to Medium as CEO, I was a publication editor here and wanted to try an event like this. The result was a huge success. We had 67 speakers and 1700 attendees. The talks were short and sweet, often drawing from a Medium story. The short talks left room for Q&A and that’s the part that I heard the most about — attendees and speakers loved having a chance to talk to each other.
We are also working on ways that the team here can talk to you all. Listening, after all, is one of our primary goals. So this is a big chance for us to make that happen. We are planning a Medium track that will be author-focused. What should we talk about?
Now is a good chance to let us know. To get you thinking, we’d consider, but don’t want to promise yet:
- Live (public) review of why your article did or didn’t get traffic. We have tools and data that you don’t normally see, but which we would love to share.
- I’d wanted to interview Ev, Medium’s founder. But maybe it would be better if he interviewed me: “Top ten mistakes you made while cleaning up mine!” Wait, what? We can admit we made mistakes? Yeah. But we have the bones here to do much better.
- We could go very niche: how to succeed with poetry, fiction, company engineering blogs, etc. What niche do you want to hear about?
- The future of Medium. You can count on me giving an update like this.
What else would you like to see at Medium Day?