This all seems very growth-hacker-y. Does that seem at odds at all with the direction Medium is going?
So the standard growth hack on Medium from the author side is to spam publications asking to be an author. I say spam, because as a publication on the receiving end of this, it’s obvious that they haven’t read our style guidelines or submission instructions.
For the many publications this spam is no big deal, because it fits perfectly with the standard growth hack from the publishing side, which is to publish as many articles as possible with the idea of converting some of the author’s readers into subscribers for the publication.
- There is nothing about quality in those two hacks. Every time I see Medium’s CEO quoted in the press, quality is the topic he is most interested in. He’s going around saying that free content is broken and that content marketing corrupts the content. He’s not just talking about other platforms. That happens right here on his platform.
- In the Medium Member program, authors are specifically forbidden from calls to action like the Smedian Email capture. That kills content as marketing and I believe it’s intentional.
- Medium just turned off the “request for my publication” feature. That was the way the big publications got big early. They just hunted down as many authors as possible and brought them into the publication. Now the established publications get pitched directly. But the initial growth hack they used is dead so that no other publications can follow them.
The way I look at it is that Membership is the cure and everything outside of Membership is probably suspect if it is even remotely Growth Hacker-y. I guess every experienced Growth Hacker knows to take advantage of every opportunity while it’s available. I just see the standard ones on Medium as being near the end.