My Medium Stats are Disturbing
I am not a popular writer on Medium. While this is too bad for me, I understand that creative occupations have a lot of competition. To succeed in these endeavors, one must have an appropriate level of talent/skill and drive. I am lacking in both.
And Medium needs to build a certain business matrix to keep its bills paid and original investors happy. It needs to give certain writers a higher profile that help convince the rest of us pay our $50 annual fee. Whether that selection has been made by wise algorithms or by deliberate manipulation of the feeds by the Medium psychologists is a moot point. Only a few of us will ever be selected as a top writer — and earn a reasonable paycheck for our Medium efforts. No one should be surprised if he or she has not made it to this elite group.
Let’s analyze five stories I submitted last August. I see a disturbing trend.
“My Campaign Promises” and “Campaign Financing” are the fourth and fifth installments of my satire “Dave Volek for President of the United States.” My endgame is not to become a well-known political satirist. I am only looking for some additional readership to help promote my alternative system of democratic governance. My little political satire is a quick, comical, and relaxing read. It should have provided a modest increase in readership.
But if you note the Views/Reads/Likes stats on these two articles, we can conclude that the Medium crowd is not interested in my presidential campaign.
Let’s bring two more of my August articles: “Combatting Political Mental Illness” and “Kabbalah & The TDG.” No satire here: I am trying to bring in different perspectives about the TDG (my alternative democracy). The stats here are similar to the stats of my presidential campaign. The Medium crowd does not want to hear about this TDG thing, either.
Looking at these four articles, it’s easy to conclude that I am a Medium writer that has not crossed any serious threshold of popularity. We should expect that my future articles should receive similar low traction. Let’s just call this situation as “fair enough” for whatever reason.
Then I went a little off my usual path in August. I had an interesting interaction with a conservative thinker, and I decided to write about it. Look at the stats of “The Rise of the Right Wing on Medium:” it is getting at least three times the traction as my other articles. Why should this unpopular writer get a little boost in popularity?
That’s an easy answer. I have written an article the left wingers like to read. The article has a right-bashing title to it. And content is also right bashing. It makes lefties feel good about themselves that they are smarter than the other side. I got more of comments from this article than the other four articles combined. If I were a Pavlov’s dog, the response to the stimulus is telling me to write more right-bashing articles. The formula for more political popularity on Medium is so simple.
But will I really be changing the world? When there are already so many right-bashing articles on Medium and other places?
Comparing the higher popularity of my right-bashing article to my other four August articles is a reflection on our inner collective psyche.
To understand this reflection, sometimes we need to look at a contrast. Here’s an interesting contrast. In several hundred of my 4772 Medium comments I’ve made in the past 28 months, I have written something like:
“Instead of criticizing Mr. Trump and his base, we should be criticizing the electoral system that gave him high office. He should have never been a viable contender in the first place.”
In other words, I have been offering a possible solution to the Donald J. Trump problem. My website stats and book sales say we — the people — are not interested in a solution. Looking at the kind of articles that get traction on Medium, we — the people — would rather fight.
This collective left-wing decision to fight rather than look for a different solution is only contributing to polarization of American politics.
Sad. Isn’t it?