As Medium Slashes Operations, I Sent Ev Williams A Message About Steem on Medium

in #medium6 years ago (edited)


Medium, my favorite reading platform, just cut 50 jobs and closed two of their offices, one in New York and one in DC.

I came to Steemit from Medium and I still regularly post content there. I'm not surprised to learn that CEO, Ev Williams, is acknowledging that advertising models are broken. He posted this new blog post yesterday about Medium's change and closures. Yesterday, three hours after I read his blog, I sent him a reply directly on his Medium post, in the hopes that he reads my article from 2 months ago titled, If Medium Had Sex With Steemit, Their Love Child Could Be A Killer Platform. I posted this same article on both Steemit and Medium. I also emailed this to @ned at the time. Actually, 2 love children could be created not one, but the title sounded too long so I stuck with 'love child'.

Here's the message I sent to Ev Williams on Medium:


I haven't received any sort of response, as it's really hard to actually get through to famous people. In my article I don't propose the specifics of how Medium would operate but I point out the fact that Medium's and Steemit's strengths and weaknesses are in different areas that complement each other. What I see as a potentially powerful combo is if Medium were to adopt the Steem blockchain and develop its monetization strategy with Steem. The normal advertising model is dead, as Ev has admitted and the option left to Medium is to create what Steem has already done. It seems like so obvious a solution, it's almost absurd.

I suppose the other option for Medium would be to create their own currency, but that would be like reinventing the wheel. The currency and micro wallets have already been invented, and specifically for a blogosphere.

I'm very passionate about Medium and I think what they have accomplished thus far is amazing.


Image Source: my Medium blog post, Brainselfie

But going back into the history of Ev Williams, you'll come to realize that monetization strategy is not Ev's strong suit. He developed the site Blogger back in the day and had trouble monetizing it. It got to the point that all the employees at Blogger had to be laid off and it was being run only by Ev himself. His story is pretty grueling. I used that Blogger site and my blog is still on there. Then Google stepped in. Ev is the founder of Twitter, too. Twitter has issues with monetization, so it's not surprising to me that Medium is having some related monetization issues. Ev's story of why he created Twitter is fascinating: Ev is from a small town and he wanted a way to have more friends. Ev is fundamentally a good person from what I've learned about him but he seems to struggle with monetizing platforms.

It seems to me that Ev would be better off partnering with someone in the blockchain space who understands the monetization solutions moving forward into the future. If we could get Ned, Dan and Ev to meet in a video, wouldn't that be productive? Someone can set this up, I have no doubt. I can try to contact some editors within Medium. I think a talk would be a good step. Who is up for this?

I was also wondering if I could write for the official Steemit presence on Medium? Who is in charge of that account? On Medium I have a decent following, about 1.2K, so I have devoted a lot of energy to that platform. I still think it's the best source for information that currently exists.

If Medium adopted the Steem currency, then writers I think would feel more comfortable coming to both platforms, and the widespread adoption of Steem could become a reality. If anyone has connections to Ev Williams, now is the time to give him our messages.


Stellabelle's book, Un-Crap Your Life: Navigating Life's Crappiest Situations is available in e-book or paperback on Amazon.


Thank you for this post! I'm new to steemit and really enjoy the platform, and I'm also very attracted by medium's platform for it's design, the quality content and the bloggers who seem really good. Would you recommend that I post my articles on both platforms? thank you for your help

yes, just make sure and put a link to your medium article the cheetah bot doesn't think you're plagiarizing.

ok thanks for your help!! I will follow your advice.

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Excellent thinking! Have you read the article from @williambanks about the same topic? You two should have a chat.
Resteemed and upvoted.

I read all the updates, including the person who first posted about this yesterday on Steemit. The first poster just put a link up. I have been thinking about this and coming up with possible solutions from 2 months ago. We need to get Ned and Ev together in a meeting.

Excellent, I think you can make it happen.

Great idea, and thanks for writing it! You're right about it being very hard to reach famous people: they always have their guard up & they have to prioritize their time.

I don't understand why people like that site. I've been told there's a lot of memes and I get that the looks may be slightly more pleasing, but in regards to features I still don't know of any that medium has and steemit doesn't. Why do you personally like their site?

the quality and diversity of information is unparalleled. Medium has attracted experts of every field, including blockchain, decentralization, personalities, writers and intellectuals. It's interface is a lot cleaner than Steemit. Also, niche communities are highly developed. I write for a publication called Hacker Noon....I'll post a sample of it. Notice how it is like a magazine. If you cannot see why it is so much better and slicker, then I don't know what to say.

For starters, you can do a search and bring up old blog posts by subject. We can't do this on steemit yet. It's hard to find old articles. Very frustrating, indeed.

There are some very good article there but I don't hangout there I usually happen upon the articles. It would be a great match though.

Here's Hacker Noon that contribute to:

And here's my article on the Hackernoon platform (within Medium) :

There are so many features that Medium has which Steemit does not and vice my article.

Steem is open-source, so nothing stands in the way of Medium or anyone to integrate it into their platform.

egos stand in the way. From what i heard, a license is involved in some respect.


Maybe they're not the leaders who could bring long-term success to an organization then.


Yes, you are right. Here is the copyright.
(I didn't want to use "license" because it doesn't rhymes, lol.) This license makes hard to release just a new currency with the same code. They would have to contact Steemit, inc. if they'd want to start a new blockchain. So they'd do better if they just integrate Steem.
It takes courage as well.

Actually it is possible to fork the Steem blockchain, even with creation of a new Genesis block. The MIT license is one of the least prohibitive licenses available and pro-open source forking.

But that would defeat the purpose of having a love child and Medium would have to do it all over, there where STEEM (the token) already has value.

Medium is obviously the prime candidate for SMT adoption/integration but @stellabelle’s post is all about not having to create a new token (find investors and build token value) and run with STEEM as main currency.

One important element, struggle here could be that Medium is heavily VC funded and its boardroom may block such move.

Back in the days they didn't use the MIT license. We was very happy when they finally switch to it. :)

Great ideas here! Upvoted and

Very cool you're reaching out to Medium. Having them join forces with us would be amazing...we have the cool new tech with big monetization potential, they have the much bigger audience and'd be an interesting experiment for sure!

Hello @stellabelle. Sorry for this unrelated comment. I know a yours story of someone named Leah Stephens sharing about her experience with Steemit. Here's the link.

I'd like to ask for confirmation if this is you. 'Cos it says here that she's an author of the book that you put on your signature. If it's not you then you should be aware about this impostor who I think is making (?) Steemit and you look bad or wrong without much consideration.

Before I joined Steemit, I got into Yours. I knew about Yours first, after I found it in a Forbes contributor article from googling the word "blockchain" for the first time. Further searches about Yours led me to that article, and despite me not having any idea about Steemit, its message led me to neglect Steemit's existence and focus on planning for what's to come in Yours instead.

Based from that experience, maybe we could tell that that story is a barrier to anyone who only knows Bitcoin (or Yours) but would actually prefer Steem (Steemit) much more when they discover it. Perhaps that issue must be addressed.


That is me. If you noticed my comment on the article, here it is: I’m continuing to contribute to Steemit despite its imperfections. With time and constant improvements by the developers I’m cautiously optimistic about its future. The recent hardfork also could help redistribute power so I’m curious how things will play out in the next three months.
Next gen social media is not about choosing an exclusive platform. It’s about trying them all and learning good lessons along the way. Steemit has had massive growing pains and I hope it is successful just like I hope Yours is successful. There’s plenty of room for both to coexist.

Ah. I see.
Yes, they could coexist much like other different social media platforms (i.e. FB, Twitter, Reddit, etc.).
Let's all continue to hope for the best and lift the spirits of one another to get this going and growing. Thanks for your response. :)

Yours and Steemit are entirely different models, so I doubt they will be competitors. Yours relies on a tipping model, Steemit does not. In this respect, they are not similar. You might also check out another one which is more like sharing videos, tweets, shorter content. It uses Steem also.

I am open about my criticism of Steemit. It is not a perfect platform and the problems of centralized power are still plaguing it. We are guinea pigs on here, and so the developers change the structure based on how problems crop up and then are resolved. I'm actively researching and participating in many different decentralized social media platforms as I think it is the future. I am not a religious person, and I see no reason why I cannot contribute meaningful critiques to all of them. I am a blogger/creator/artist and I'm looking for a solution to the re-imagining of the blogging/artist model, which means being a part of a community that values individual's contributions. Steemit is doing that for me so far.
I don't believe in candy-coating the truth. That article accurately reflected my feelings at the time. A lot has changed since then. However, I still feel that the centralized nature of how the trending page operates is defective. It simply is not working well, and is not conducive to new user retention.

Many people don't understand how I can be critical of a platform and then remain there. I have invested 7 months of my existence into this platform, and I do want it to succeed. The responsiveness from the devs on issues that continually crop up is the reason i stay. A few weeks ago, this community was divided on how to handle NSFW posts. That issue has been resolved with both sides happy. This is a cause for a real celebration. I was part of the reason that the issue was dealt with. Problems need to be discussed, and resolved. That's how the world moves forward.

Yup, and criticisms are vital too specially for platforms that have the potential to become the next big thing.

I remember you saw this coming last fall.
Did you see this?

yeah, I saw it while I was on Twitter

I like your proposal. I hope that @ned and @dan will reach to Medium. Today, I also posted about Fred Wilson of Union Ventures (Venture Capital Firm) comments on this very subject.

He thinks Steem is the answer, as well.

I tweeted the heck out of that one as well! Found @fredwilson on twitter, and he Liked my tweet...

He did? That's great. I hope others within his peer group start to notice the value of Steem and its potential.

change is slow.........

I read good articles well.
Are you saying that the writing system is medium and the compensation is steaming?
But apart from the writing platform?

Great article @stellabelle! I also draw a lot of correlations between Steemit and Medium. I was even a paying member of Medium from that launch until a couple weeks ago.

I have a soft spot for Medium because it goes hand-in-hand well with Twitter which I LOVE. It's decline is depressing.

I started out on Blogger I've run the gamut with you of Ev Williams products. He knows how to create awesome platforms. I think you have a strong point about his lack of monetization skills though, and he would do well to listen.

I think watching the evolution of all these platforms will be interesting indeed.

Yeah, I love #medium and am new to #steemit
For me Medium's editor is a lot richer, and less dirstracting. If SteemIt was full width I'd be less distracted right now. Also the font's are better on Medium.
I also like I can easily draft something on Medium, and send it to collaborators for proof reading. SteemIt paying authors of content is admirable. Will it just be click bait marketeers, or is the idea to build a genuine community? Time will tell.

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