Medium, the Blog Host That’s Banned in Malaysia
Name: Medium (Visit Medium)
Type: Blog Host
Best Website For: Blog Host with a Clean UI
Reason it's on The Best Sites:
Medium is a trendsetter when it comes to blog hosting. The host has only been around since 2012 and has risen to popularity due to their simple, yet effective UI. Many bloggers exclusively publish on Medium.
How we are building a system for high-quality publishing at scale
In “The rationalization of publishing,”I argued that subscriptions for publishing on a wide scale are inevitable — and that’s a good thing. Now I will describe Medium’s unique approach to this opportunity.
First, in case you’re not aware, Medium has a subscription offering called Medium Membership. We launched it just over a year ago. Here’s what growth has looked like since then:
After a strong start (when people were really just subscribing because they believed in and wanted to support Medium’s mission — 🙏), and a mediocre middle (when we were figuring it out), we’re now seeing not only more subscribers, but higher-percentage gains every month this year (accelerating growth).
The factors driving this took us a while to figure out and then get into motion, but they’re gratifyingly simple. In fact, there are just two major 🔑s:
- Put great stories behind the metered paywall.
- Help people find the great stories they care about.
In these ways, Medium is not unlike other digital media subscription businesses like the Washington Post or The New Yorker — or even Spotify and Netflix. We sell content on a subscription basis. Like most paywalled sites, we give some stories away for free (currently, it’s three per month). But unlike most paywalled publications, we rely solely on subscriptions (no advertising), and we have a mix of original and non-original content. Medium is also an open platform, which makes it different than most premium subscription products — except for Spotify and other music services, which anyone can upload to and get paid (if they know what they’re doing).
Let me break down the various aspects of of the Medium model. Most of them are not, on their own, unique to Medium. But in combination, they create a powerful formula:
We offer a lot for a little.
As I wrote over here, I believe bundles are a large part of the future of content monetization. That doesn’t mean there won’t be lots of individuals subscriptions and patronage and other models that work — all of which help serve the cause. (It also doesn’t mean writers and publishers won’t be paid well.)
Medium is one of the largest bundles of original content of its type, so it’s a great value for readers. And it’s definitely the easiest way to get paid directly for writing, so we’re seeing rapid growth in people who may not have written on Medium before.
We welcome ideas and stories from everywhere.
I sometimes describe Medium as a system for moving ideas between brains. You could describe most of the internet that way, but at Medium we specialize in ideas that require a little space and thought — or, as we also like to say, smart thinking on things that matter. This has always been the point. And if that’s the point, why would you limit your source brains to those who work for you — or even those you know?
More than 50,000 writers publish on Medium every week: politicians, professors, storytellers, experts in your field, and people you’ve never heard of. The best of these stories contain knowledge and insight that can’t be found anywhere else. We take pride that we offer a level playing field for diverse voices from everywhere to be heard. By curating and organizing these stories, we have the equivalent of a publication with more talent than any other — and it’s growing all the time.
As it relates to the business model, a subset of the stories on Medium are behind our paywall and contribute to our Membership. Our Partner Program is designed for writers and publishers who wish to get paid for their work.
Our editorial team commissions original stories and uplevels organic ones.
We have no writers on staff and don’t plan to add any (except for marketing). However, we have a growing editorial team that is commissioning world-class writing by professional journalists and authors. The team is also partnering with some of the world’s most compelling writers on ambitious projects (like this one we just did with Roxane Gay).
We’ve also found that many great writers — especially, people who are experts in their field — are writing on Medium already. Since a little editorial guidance — a better headline, some nice art, a copy edit — can help stories reach even more people, we’re now working with folks to take their work from good to great and help it get the audience it deserves. This is a very efficient way to get more professional quality stories.
We partner with publishers on and off platform.
Our goal is to offer the best selection of insightful stories — not news — you can get anywhere. To do this, we go beyond what our editorial team and individuals on the platform create and partner with other publishers in two ways:
First, there are hundreds of small publishers on Medium that do original work. Some of them are in our Partner Program, which means they publish their stories behind our paywall and can get paid. We work with some of those publishers on a contractual basis to do original projects (like this great series on California politics).
Second, we license content from major publishers that are not on Medium. By doing this, we give our readers a curated selection of excellent stories that they can read and interact with in our ad-free environment every day.
We use personalization to deliver the best for each reader.
Finally, a key element of our model — and a differentiator for us — is personalization. We serve a broad set of interests — and we serve many of those interests deeply. We collect data — both explicit data (which we get when readers follow specific topics and writers) and implicit data (which is informed by which stories you read) — in order to suggest stories that we think you will be interested in.
Unlike the vast majority of publishers, we never sell your data to third parties or leak your activity through ads.
Also unlike how most of the internet works, we do not only surface the very latest stuff. People come to Medium to get the smartest thinking on things they care about. If you care about, say, entrepreneurship or relationships, the best thing you could read today was very unlikely to have been published in the last 48 hours. But most of the internet treats anything that isn’t new like bad fruit. This is a huge detriment to readers and writers alike. It encourages people to spend their time on the novel in lieu of the worthwhile, and it discourages creators from investing in things of lasting value.
We solve this by suggesting stories based on their current relevance, not their publish date. Some topics require more freshness than others, but if you see older stories coming up in your feed, it’s because it’s stood the test of time.
A huge benefit of this is it allows Medium and our writers to make bigger investments in stories, because we amortize that investment over months instead of days. And it means we have a continually growing library of stories that subscribers gain access to (making their subscription a better deal every day). This is a big reason our subscriber growth is accelerating — and we’re just scratching the surface.
That’s how Medium works today. And, again, it’s working well. One thing I didn’t mention is that all aspects of Medium are growing — not just subscriptions. (We don’t use it as a core metric internally, but we often get asked about unique visitors for comparison sake. That’s at 80M for the last 30 days.) With these basic mechanics established, we can continue to grow and invest, which will allow us to do a better and better job serving both readers and writers.
That said, we have a lot of work to do. Here’s what’s on our short-term list:
Improving quality and relevance
Our most important job is to deliver great stories to readers. And we have great stories. We also have not-great stories. And we don’t always manage to help the best get seen. We’re obsessed with helping the best quality stuff get in front of people — as well as that each person really cares about. And we know we have a ways to go here.
One of the big learnings we’ve had from the last year is that you can measure and algorithmically optimize for engagement — as all ad-driven platforms do. But that’s not the same thing as user value, which is very hard to measure and algorithmically optimize for.
Another way to say this is we can use machines to figure out what stories will get the most reads, but we still need humans to know if they’re actually good (true, useful, well-written, not just disguised marketing…). We want to promote the good stuff. Therefore, we’re doubling down on human curation. We’re revamping the algorithmic part of our recommendation systems, as well, to give people more of what they want and less of what they don’t.
A streamlined and more beautiful user experience
It’s been a while since we took a serious look at Medium’s design, from how the site looks and the UI to the app and to the underlying code. We’re going to be doing some major remodeling the next few months. This includes upgrading parts of our technical infrastructure to make the site speedier (and, for the nerds: faster to develop on).
This shouldn’t concern you unless you don’t like things that are faster and work better. Or unless you’re a badass engineer or designer who’d like to help us with it.
Writing bigger checks
As our subscription base grows, so does our budget for content. We will continue to invest in the ways we do now: through the Partner Program, by commissioning stories, and via publisher partnerships. But in each case, we are going to be looking to do bigger, better, and more ambitious stuff.
What’s a little further out…
As long as I’m painting the picture, I’ll mention two other goals on the horizon. These aren’t nailed down, but we’re excited to get to them:
📝 Collaboration tools: From the early days of Medium, we’ve talked about the idea that people can create better things together than they can alone. And we’ve enabled that to some extent, but we want to do much more. Especially as the stories being published are the work of more than one person. The end-to-end editing process could be vastly improved.
🎧 Audio: We see audio as a highly complementary format for sharing the types of stories Medium is great at. We started adding audio narrations to some of our best stories last year. This has remained a minor feature, but it is increasing in popularity, and there’s a lot of product and content work we’d like to do to make it better and grow what we have to offer.
It’s been a heck of a 12 months for Medium, full of growth and learning. I’m lucky I get to work with a team committed to doing things right and doing the right things. We’re very excited about the future.
For members of our community, I’m sure this post has brought up some questions. Feel free to respond below, and we’ll try to answer anything that comes up.
A preview of a month-long anthology from Roxane Gay and Medium on what it means to live in a human body today
On April 3, Medium launched an anthology edited by the bestselling author Roxane Gay. The collection is at times intimate and brave, with 24 of Gay’s favorite writers responding to the same prompt: “What does it mean to live in an unruly body?”
The Medium collection, says Gay, builds off her 2017 memoir Hunger, a blazingly honest account of her life so far, told through the history of her body. In Hunger, she writes about her roots as a Haitian American (she is technically both but sometimes feels like neither identity fits exactly); about the abuse she experienced in childhood; and the reality of being large in a world that makes space only for the small, taut, and beautiful. Her memoir is brave and painful in its candor.
“In Hunger, I focus explicitly on what it means to be fat without a weight loss narrative attached to it,” Gay explains. “Generally body-based memoirs are about some sort of journey of completion and some sort of triumph. Hunger is really just about what it means to live in this body right now.”
Gay’s frankness is contagious. With Unruly Bodies, two dozen writers and Gay herself tackle the question of what our physical bodies mean in a time when gender, race, sex, consent and more are hot-button topics, central to the national discourse around identity and politics.
“I want our culture to be more open to and more accepting of different kinds of bodies,” says Gay. “Unruly Bodies is an extension of Hunger in that I wanted to open up a conversation about bodies with more people.”https://medium.com/media/3b41b08f92e9649e34d691302f0a4b40/href
“I could make the argument that all bodies are unruly,” says Kiese Laymon, author of the book How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, whose Medium essay explores race, history, violence and gun culture. “I think that we do a lot to police the kinds of bodies that stick out of the norm. We don’t like to talk about the violence we do to those bodies that, on the surface, are not supposedly normal, which in this culture means cis, hetero, white, and thin. There’s obviously violence inherent in a culture which makes particular kinds of bodies seem unruly.”
Laymon’s essay is a searing personal response to that culture. It’s also about why he doesn’t own a gun. “There are certain kinds of bodies in our culture that people assume are harmful,” Laymon says. “Big black bodies are perceived as being the epitome of violence. I’ve never done anything that a cop has accused me of doing. I’ve had police drag me out of cars and pull guns on me for reasons that they should not have. I feel like a gun because I’m treated as a gun — I’m treated as a threat.”
For many of the Unruly Body writers, the idea of having control over one’s own body is central. For Carmen Maria Machado, whose essay will be published in the second week of Unruly Bodies on April 10, it’s about accepting that our efforts to control our bodies are usually futile.
“You know when people try to take in wild animals and they get bitten or attacked? What did you expect?” says Machado. “I think that’s a useful way to think about the body: People who really try to beat their bodies into submission, they’re the same as those people who try to keep a tiger as a pet: You’re gonna get bitten real bad, you’re gonna get fucked up real soon.”
Control for Randa Jarrar, the author of Him, Me, Muhammad Ali, is something altogether different. For Medium, Jarrar writes about her experience becoming pregnant while in an abusive relationship as a teenager—a relationship she kept secret from her Palestinian parents.
“It really took until now, now that I feel completely in possession of my body, for me to be able to write this,” Jarrar says. “It’s been really painful to look at and to write about. Who wants to spend their time remembering so many awful things? But I think that’s what writers do; writers take stock. We try to figure out what happened through language. We try to make sense of violence through the structure of an essay or a story or a book — we use history or we use historical details and these facts to try to make sense of human behavior, which is really difficult to figure out.”
She continues: “I’m a lot kinder to myself now, and I know my own strength. But I also know what bad things people are capable of. My experience has made me very hard, and unyielding, and overly protective of myself. I’ve had to learn how to negotiate ways to be vulnerable that are healthy for me rather than constantly being at high alert.”
When I first read the collection, I didn’t expect to be chewing on the essays days after the fact. I didn’t expect to go back over and over again to re-read that line I liked or to connect dots between two essays that just sit so well next to each other. But that’s the beauty of this project: The individual stories stand out on their own, but in aggregate, their power is amplified.
“Unruly bodies — and the art made by people who inhabit unruly bodies—can make the world better,” says Laymon. “They can make the world more vulnerable, make the world more able to accept its own unruliness.”
And when that happens, none of these bodies feel quite so unruly after all.
Perspectives on a changing industry ahead of this year’s Oscars
Movies are part of our cultural fabric — both the act of going to see the films and the impact they have on those of us watching. Whether it’s strangers bumping elbows as they dig into their popcorn or sitting by yourself huddled under a blanket in your living room, the magic of the movies is often in the experience itself. But the cultural phenom that is the movie industry is more than just box office numbers and red carpet faux pas. What has made this industry such a cultural powerhouse is the emotion a piece can inspire, how we’re brought into the story with each and every laugh, punch, tear, and heartbreak.
Over the past few years, the movie industry has seen a pretty substantial transformation. From changes in distribution models, to technologies that beam movies to pocket-sized screens, to new funding models that open up the creative decision process and prompt conversations about who gets to tell their story — and these changes show no sign of letting up. So with Hollywood’s annual golden moment coming this Sunday, it felt like the right time to take a look at the future of film — how those streaming shows instantly arrive in your living room, what it means to see your childhood story come to life in a polarizing year like 2018, and, of course, what does this all mean for VR! Below are six very unique perspectives on the industry that we hope will make you hit a mental pause. Grab your popcorn.
In the age of rising film stars like Netflix and Amazon, it’s hard not to see the writing on the wall for what Hollywood once built its world around: visits to the movie theater. M.G. Siegler shares his perspective on where Hollywood is going (and no it’s not just down) with the powerhouse Disney still smashing hits out of the park and newer business models like MoviePass shaking the industry up (for better and worse). So what does this mean for old Hollywood? Well, that remains to be seen — and depends on how these frenemies’ business moves play out. One thing is certain, that the tides are shifting, and fast.
Going into Netflix binge mode involves planting yourself firmly into the couch with snacks in reaching distance. Flash forward and you’re deep into the world of maniacal politicians, pre-teens battling monsters from the upside down, or an LA cop and his orc partner finding themselves embroiled in an out-of-this-world turf war. But how much do you really know about what happens in the seconds from when you fire up your Netflix to when the chills hit your spine as the credits roll? Tech writer Mayukh Nair breaks down the highly technical steps Netflix has orchestrated to bring hours of enjoyment without moving a muscle, literally. Nair’s piece makes it hard to not respect the system they’ve put in place, and may even make you think twice before yelling at the spinning red circle on your screen.
Documentary films often feel like an add-on at the big awards shows — sneaking in with a quick award before rushing to commercial break. But that pattern has shifted in the past few years as new distribution models have entered the marketplace and a culture of wanting to know and do more (rather than simply escaping) has grown. Chief Creative Officer for Weber Shandwick and LA-based artist Josh S. Rose highlights some of the biggest drivers of this change and what we can expect in the future for the documentary film genre.
A Wrinkle in Time is a childhood classic — a story that instantly wraps us up in the world we escaped to as young readers. Weeks before Ava DuVernay’s blockbuster film adaptation opens, researcher and author M. B. Moorer shares a personal essay about how the novel has shaped her life and helped her find a sense of identity. Through vignettes of pitching Madeleine L’Engle on a movie at age seven, to her own struggles with isolation and change during her parents’ divorce, to realizations about her insecurities as she neared adulthood, Moorer demonstrates the continued impact one story can have on a person. And how, as a passionate fan, seeing your world come to life can fulfill your wildest dreams in ways you couldn’t have imagined.
When we think of the future of film, it’s hard not to consider how VR will play a role. The technology has the power to take stories that already capture every ounce of your attention and make you feel like an active participant in them. But what does that mean when it comes to making the film itself? Science and technology journalist Signe Brewster gives us a peek at some of the challenges VR moviemakers face and the inventive solutions they’re creating, like thoughtful positioning of cameras (it’s more than just watching out for the dreaded boom mic!) and out of the box lighting design. While advances are made in how this technology is used, we’re only just starting to understand the very real responses they can inspire.
Imagine a world where you’ve never been hurt or afraid, a world where your past is free of pain. In this expansive long read, writer and performer Max S. Gordon examines his conflicted relationship to the idea of Wakanda, a fictional African nation in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. As Gordon describes it, “Wakanda is presented to us as a sunlit dream; real American racism and the colonization of Africa are the stuff of nightmares.” But what is gained — and lost — by “coasting along on the myth” of an Afro-futurist paradise? Black Panther has broken innumerable barriers, but no vision of utopia is universal. Through engaging critically with the film, Gordon confronts systems of representation and colonization that continue to impact the way we think and the stories we tell.
Six perspectives on the tech to the traditions, and everything in between.
Long gone are the days when we huddled around a shared television to watch the Olympics with rapt attention. Still, millions of us will tune into the Games this winter. We’ll cheer for our home countries, root for the underdogs, and eagerly wait for (or at times hide from) lists of winners and losers. The Games ignite a patriotic spirit, sure, but also a humbling appreciation for the precision and brilliance of our athletes. These moments make the world feel like a much smaller, friendlier place.
We know the Olympics are about more than the medals, the victories, and the heartbreaking defeats. That’s why, as the PyeongChang games officially kick off today, we’ve gathered six unique perspectives on parts of the Olympics that don’t usually make headlines. From an on-the-ground journalist’s dispatch and to a brief history of its iconography, we hope these reads bring another layer of depth, understanding, and appreciation to these spectacular Games.
With every Olympics comes a special set of “athletes.” No, these aren’t each countries’ top talent, they’re the Olympic pictograms designed uniquely for each Game. Chief Creative Officer for Weber Shandwick and LA-based artist Josh S. Rose takes us on a design journey through pictograms of the past — the evolution of style, the thread of cultural pride that runs throughout them all, and what makes PyeongChang’s set one for the books.
PyeongChang will play host to the first female Nigerian bobsled team — a historic moment but one rife with conflict. The three athletes are American-born but opting to race under the flag of their ancestral country. This decision, made with the hope of helping to represent Nigeria in a positive light, inspired this piece from journalist and Nigerian-American Ezinne Ukoha. Ukoha regularly writes about the conflict she feels between her homeland and America, but in light of this bobsled team, she argues we’re giving Nigeria a level of respect and admiration it falls very short of deserving.
The Olympics are more than a sporting event — they’re also a technology event. An intricate circuitry of recording and tracking devices bring the Games into your living room (or your phone). Tech journalist Lance Ulanoff, shares some of the new technologies being used to make this Olympics a moment in tech history. He outlines the VR experiences bringing the half-pipe inches from your eyes, the hundreds of drones capturing (and making their own) aerial action, and the illusive 5G network making the at-home experience bigger, stronger, and faster.
At only 17, Korean-American snowboarder Chloe Kim has already accomplished a lot. She’s the first woman to land back-to-back 1080 spins in competition, score a perfect 100 at the X Games, and bring home a gold from the Youth Olympic Games in 2016. But this year, Kim takes on the biggest challenge yet — her first Olympics. And expectations are high. Inspired by Kim’s story, graphic novelist Ryan Luikens draws a personal, poignant tale, capturing the sacrifices that athletes make to pursue victory, the motivations that keep them moving, and — ultimately — what it really means to win gold. The story is told with a mix of original illustrations and text, featuring both English and Korean translations.
Most of us watch the Olympics from behind a screen, and we often forget the army of dedicated reporters, producers, camera crews, and more who are tirelessly working to help us feel every throw, jump, and dramatic dive across the finish line. Mary Pilon, a sports journalist who covered the 2012 London and 2014 Sochi Games for the New York Times and was an NBC producer for Rio in 2016, shares her view from the other side of the lens. From grueling days to behind-the-scenes relationships to not-so-luxurious accommodations (hint: Sochi hotel room) and even almost being hit by a javelin, we get a rare view of another form of Olympic sprinting, jumping, and spinning.
Essayist Zaron Burnett III shares a personal essay about his first time barreling down the mountain, unable to turn or stop. And while he (spoiler!) does crash and burn, the inevitable fall pales in comparison to conquering the stereotype that “black people don’t ski.” Burnett’s piece compares his personal story of being the only black person on the mountain to the scarcity of black athletes competing at the Winter Olympics. But just as he broke a barrier (with admittedly far less grace), we’re now seeing more and more black athletes donning their country’s colors in hopes of gliding, sledding, and skating to gold.
A new Medium.com designed to help you discover stories that inspire and inform, now easier than ever before.
The Medium homepage is the place to go to quickly see the latest from your favorite writers and publications on the topics that matter to you most. So today, we’re excited to share a refreshed homepage that will make it easier than ever for you to find great stuff to read.
Let’s cut to the chase so you can start exploring. Your homepage is divided into three sections: featured stories at the top, a section of personalized stories for you beneath, and a right sidebar with quick links. Here’s what you need to know as you navigate your new Medium.com.
Featured stories, front and center.
Featured stories live at the top of your homepage and highlight the stories that matter most at any given moment. They’re handpicked by our curators throughout the day, so you can always check back for something new.
Personalized suggestions with more of what you love.
Below the featured stories of the day, it’s all about you. You’ll see pieces from topics, publications, and authors you follow (you can always fine-tune your interests here), as well as browse recommended stories we think you might enjoy.
Quick links to get caught up fast.
On the right-hand side of your homepage, you’ll find handy links to stories you might enjoy now or later.
- “New from your network” — features recently published stories from writers you follow. It’s the easiest way to stay connected to your favorite voices on Medium.
- “Popular on Medium” — shows you the most read stories in the last 24 hours, so you’ll always know what’s rising to the top in the Medium community.
- “Reading List” — shows everything you’ve recently bookmarked. Every story on Medium has a bookmark icon next to it, so if something catches your eye, you can save it for later, and it’ll show up here.
We hope you enjoy using the new homepage — iOS and Android updates coming soon. In the meantime, let us know what you think, and what else you’d love to see.
Today, we are updating our rules to help strengthen our community.
As the internet has evolved in the five years since we launched, so has the way people use Medium. To accommodate this, we regularly assess our rules, and adjust them accordingly.
We strive to be a place where everyone is welcome to share, read, and engage with the stories that matter to them. When we see abuse of this system, we act quickly and fairly to take appropriate action. Where our policies fail, we carefully analyze and update them.
Beyond Medium itself, we recognize that we are also part of the larger internet ecosystem. Just as we rely on outside technology, systems, and information to run Medium, we also consider off-platform signals when assessing potential rules violations.
We have all seen an increase and evolution of online hate, abuse, harassment, and disinformation, along with ever-evolving campaigns of fraud and spam. To continue to be good citizens of the internet, and provide our users with a trusted and safe environment to read, write, and share new ideas, we have strengthened our policies around this type of behavior.
One of the most critical signals we rely on in maintaining a high standard of quality is you, our community of readers, authors, and thinkers. We appreciate your many contributions to making Medium a better platform.
If you find content you believe violates our rules, please flag it for our Trust and Safety team to review, or email us with more information.
You can read our updated rules here.
Medium Trust and Safety
At Medium, we strive to be the best place online to find interesting ideas and perspectives you won’t find anywhere else. As a company, we believe that diverse perspectives deepen our understanding of complex issues, and great ideas can change the world when you create a welcoming space for them. Diversity for us includes, but is not limited to, gender, ethnicity, race, culture, socio-economic background, religion, age, physical ability, veteran status, country of origin, primary language, sexuality, political preference, education, and family makeup.
In the past year, Medium has gone through a lot of changes but we’ve remained constant in our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We’re dedicated to building a team that not only embraces but seeks out a diverse group of people. We’re committed to being a place that welcomes and includes all the things that make each of us unique.
In 2016, we signed the Tech Inclusion Pledge, and as a part of that pledge, we wanted to share with you our 2017 numbers. To us, this means more than just signing a pledge; it’s an ongoing promise to which we are committed.
What you see below was primarily collected through an optional survey we sent to our staff last month and is valid as of December 1st, 2017. A few notes on the data:
- Some gender, race, and ethnicity data was supplemented with our HR data if individuals chose not to respond.
- We separate our statistics into tech — which includes engineering, product, and data science — and non-tech, which includes (but is not limited to) marketing, content, operations, human resources, and design. We do not separate the demographics for other functional groups because their small size precludes anonymity.
- Senior employees are defined as individuals who are either an executive or are in one of the top two levels of our five-tier internal leveling system.
1. Who are we?
In addition to more traditional diversity questions, the survey our team took also included things about their interests, skills, and habits. Employees feel their skills and abilities are well represented in the tech industry, but within Medium, a lot of employees feel like they’re more extroverted than the rest (we do have a lot of introverts).
Looking specifically at gender, we’ve had a decrease in female employees in the past year. Last year, 46% of the staff were women; this year we’ve dropped to 40%. Our team today has a much higher percentage of engineers compared to other roles than this time last year — when we dug deeper, we saw a 2% lift in female engineers over the year (from 36% to 38% of the technical teams).
When we look at women in senior level roles, we see a drop from 26% in 2016 to 23% now. This decrease is one we are not happy to see but we are aware of it, and working towards improving it.
3. Race and ethnicity
Looking at diversity from a race and ethnicity perspective, we see some pretty strong improvements. There was an increase from 6% to 11% of those identifying as Black or African American. We also saw some smaller increases in the percentage of employees who identify as Asian, Hispanic or Other (meaning an identity not represented by one of the presented options).
At the Senior level we lack Hispanic and Black or African American representation.
4. Beyond gender, race, and ethnicity
Other notable changes from last year: we’ve increased the number of new grads and remained consistent with LGBTQ representation and diversity of origin.
5. Measuring inclusion
Measuring inclusion in the workplace is a more challenging task. We approached it by asking our team what demographics are under-represented at Medium and in which parts of the organization. The answers varied, but the majority noted that we need to diversify our leadership team, and in general broaden our gender and racial diversity. Some employees also felt that we would benefit from increasing the representation of people with a larger range of skills and abilities, as well as older and more experienced employees. They also called for diverse points of view either due to their background or political preferences.
Beyond the data
Data can only tell part of the story. This year, we’ve been really excited to have created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The mission is, as you might expect, to increase, promote, and improve diversity and inclusion at Medium, within both the company and product.
The D&I group will be auditing our hiring practices, enabling employee-driven initiatives, and building awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion within our organization. Additionally, the group will work on ways to better elevate stories that give our readers the most diverse and well-rounded experience possible.
Diversity and inclusion is something we’re dedicated to, because we know the stronger and more diverse we are as a team, the better product and experience we can provide our users. We also know there’s still a lot of work to be done, and we’ll be working hard to make 2018 an even stronger year.
Six perspectives on net neutrality
This week, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on the future of net neutrality. Whether you’ve been following the political back and forth, skimming the headlines, or struggling to decode acronyms, the decision will have an impact on what we can do online (and who can afford to do it). Because the internet has effectively been free and open since the day it was born, it’s easy to lose sight of the impact this vote will have.
The reality is, the internet is a fragile thing. Open, crazy, weird spaces where people swap stories and secrets, create rad digital art projects, type furiously and freely with people seven time zones away — these spaces are rare. People build them, people sustain them, and now, people are trying to restrict them. If this week’s vote passes — which is looking increasingly likely — the internet’s gatekeepers will have more control over their gates than ever before.
Because we live and breathe the internet, laugh and cry on the internet, connect with people who’ve tangibly changed our lives on the internet, we decided to gather some perspectives on this moment in time. Why it matters, how we got here, and what the future may hold. Here are some of the most insightful essays we’ve found on Medium to help us make sense of the fight to keep the net wild and free.
In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Now, he’s defending it. “I want an internet where consumers decide what succeeds online, and where ISPs focus on providing the best connectivity,” Berners-Lee emphasizes. Content and connectivity are two distinct markets, and they must remain separate. Conflating them risks blocking innovation, free expression, and the kind of creativity that can only thrive online.
What’s happening now is not just about net neutrality, law professor Lawrence Lessig argues, but about the foundations of our democracy. Tracing the history of the concept from its origins in the aughts (one of his students, Tim Wu, coined the term “net neutrality”), Lessig sees the rollback of Obama-era regulations as a symptom of a larger issue: a democracy that doesn’t serve its people.
Through statistical analysis and natural language processing, data scientist Jeff Kao shows that millions of pro-repeal comments submitted to the FCC were faked. Organic public comments, according to Kao’s analysis, overwhelmingly supported preserving existing regulations. The report calls into question the legitimacy of the FCC’s comment process, and the basis of chairman Pai’s intention to roll back regulations.
In part one of a five-part series on net neutrality, computer scientist Tyler Elliot Bettilyon takes us back to FDR’s New Deal. Piecing together the history of “common carrier” laws — those that govern everything from shipping to telephone lines — Bettilyon contextualizes today’s fight for a free and open internet.
Social psychologist E Price interrogates the idea that the internet we’ve grown to love is really as “free and open” as we’d like to think. “Internet activity is already deeply centralized,” Erika writes, and major social media sites are today’s answer to the Big Three TV networks of a few decades ago. The internet is closer to cable than we think, and it’s (probably) about to get even closer.
Why should the internet be a public utility? Economist umair haque debunks the “competition will lower prices” argument against internet regulation, and makes a compelling case for why going online, “just like water, energy, and sanitation,” should be a basic right: “It dramatically elevates our quality of life, best and truest when we all have free and equal access to it.”
Margaret Atwood, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Roxane Gay, Deepak Chopra, Ellen Pao, Jonathan Safran Foer, and dozens of other influential voices reflect on the words that defined the year
If there were ever a year that’ll take a long time to process, it’s 2017. (Probably because we spent most of it processing 2016.) With laws, leadership, and social norms changing at a pace so relentless our data plans can scarcely keep up, our mental energy is spent skimming endless push notifications, rather than taking the time to step back and think about what it all means.
From AI to cryptocurrency, #MeToo to #VegasStrong, and tax reform to net neutrality, millions of readers turned to Medium this year to read beyond the headlines, make sense of the senseless, and draw inspiration from fresh voices. Likewise, storytellers turned to Medium to share their experiences and expertise, writing with the kind of depth, nuance, and context that has the power to change — or at least open — minds. The potential of the conversations that begin here is just one reason, of many, that we believe words matter.
So we thought it’d be fun to ask some of the year’s boldest thinkers, newsmakers, and creators to reflect on just one: the one word that mattered most in 2017. Some contributors chose the words upending their industries; others, the words upending our society; and others still reflected on the kind of personal growth — and personal pain — that transcends both pay grade and political party. The result is a collection of over 40 essays that explores the buzzwords, the bad days, the violence, and the victories that make up a year — one word at a time.
We’ve invited a diverse set of voices across a spectrum of topics. John McCain exposes how chaos defeated order this year, and Hillary Clinton argues for the value of radical empathy. Roxane Gay dives into why words — and the truth — still matter, while Margaret E. Atwood reflects on The Handmaid’s Tale through a modern lens. Jonathan Safran Foer reflects on the act of reflecting.
Powerful essays try to make sense of our political landscape. Ana Marie Cox redefines what it means to be an ally in 2017, Eve L. Ewing frames today’s struggles in historical context, Carmen Maria Machado and Deepak Chopra reflect on gaslighting and normalization, Reid Hoffman finds the opportunity amongst the danger, porochista khakpour bridges the political with the personal, while Tom Scocca wonders who will face the consequences.
In technology and industry, Sam Altman assesses our robot future, Ellen K. Pao urges us to not let history repeat itself, Lawrence Lessig takes stock of the setbacks for net neutrality this year, Siddhartha Mukherjee and Nathan Hubbard look at shifts in the medical and music industries, and Tim O'Reilly draws our attention to the fight for our attention.
Inspired by each essay, you’ll find an illustration that brings the word to life, created by a dynamic roster of amazing artists. Here’s a few of them:
You can browse the collection from the Words That Matter 2017 homepage, share your favorite essays and highlights using #WordsThatMatter2017, or write about the word that moved you most this year. And — finally — thank you for all the time you spent reading on Medium this year. After all, words have the most impact when someone is willing to listen.
Tips and Tricks from Medium’s User Happiness Team
Here on the User Happiness Team, we know there are a lot of questions folks have about how to get the most out of Medium, their accounts, the day-to-day of writing and reading online, and more. So last week, the team took to Twitter to field a few of those — and we thought we’d share a few popular ones here on our blog as well. Now, we know Medium people are curious people, so we’ll be doing features like this on the regular. You can also follow us on Twitter @MediumSupport and send us your questions whenever they pop up using #askmedium.
How do I grow my readership? Some of my stories receive more reads and engagement than others. Am I doing something wrong?
There are a few things you can do to help your story find an audience:
- Make sure you have a strong title and an interesting featured image.
- Be sure to tag your post properly.
- Once you publish, share your post on your personal social channels, and with friends and family.
- Find your community on Medium by following other writers you like and applauding for posts you like.
Find more writing tips here.
Signing in to Medium is confusing because there are so many options. I think I might have created 2 accounts by accident!
Many people have accidentally created two Medium accounts without knowing it. We know this can cause a lot of confusion. We recommend always signing in the same way you signed up. So, if you signed up with your email address, you should sign in with email; if you signed up with Twitter, you should sign in with Twitter. If you suspect you may have two accounts, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you sort it out.
How do payouts work for writers in the Partner Program?
As a member, your $5 monthly membership gives you unlimited access to stories for members and also lets you directly support the writers you love. So how is payment determined? Throughout the course of a given month, you read and clap for different member stories (you can tell they’re for members by the snazzy little star on the top left corner of a post). Some you liked, and some you loved. At the end of each month, your $5 is proportionally distributed to all the authors whose work you enjoyed — and we determine this based on a combination of your claps, reading time, and other measures.
That’s all for now. We’ll be back in a couple weeks with more answers to common questions. In the meantime, you can always shoot your questions to us on Twitter using #askmedium whenever something comes up.