A personal journey of lifelong learning, sharing resources, creating things, and trying to be better.

Tag: Social Media

23: Dying Without Seeing You Again

Living on fire without putting yourself out — and cherishing the heat.

“May you live in interesting times.”

English translation of a purported traditional Chinese curse.
A message is written in graffiti on the campus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong
A message is written in graffiti on the campus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

My good friends! I would like to say hello, once again. For the past three years, I have written a birthday post. A sort of thematic idea that is supposed to encapsulate the idea I would like to live out this year. Small self-experiments just for fun. My fourth one, however, it is very late. My twenty-third birthday was almost a year ago now, with my next birthday now creeping in.

The Artist Never Leaves by Caleb Salomons

The Artist Paradox

Why you should create — even though there’s already far too much in the world already.

Six years ago, when Medium was first starting out, it was invite-only and was created by one of the founder’s of Twitter to simply publish thoughts longer than the then-limit of 140 characters. Oh, how so much has changed — and so quickly.

Medium has now grown into momentous platform that allows anybody to share their story freely and easily. The growth in such a small amount of time is absurd — but Medium is just the tip of the social media revolution iceberg.

Twitter itself was founded eleven years ago. If we go back further, to thirteen years ago, YouTube was founded. A year before that, Facebook. This was coupled with the exponential development of hardware, which now allows anybody to utilize these platforms within seconds from the palm of their hand.

Anti-Medium

Medium new logo development sketches.

That title is bothersome, isn’t it? It instinctively goes against all of the advice that’s out there. The advice about how you’re supposed to be succinct, yet descriptive. Or that you need to have a sort of qualitative quality.

But then, where do we draw the line between a good headline and one that’s just clickbait? What even is clickbait?

https://medium.com/p/eed4975f4bee

Perhaps I just have a biased scope, but I find new social media companies have a distinct niche of people who use their platform explicitly for the purpose of criticizing the platform itself.

This — by itself—isn’t worth much note. There will always be critics. What’s noteworthy is when it gets weird — when this group actually becomes popular on the platform. Causing a weird sort of meta-dialogue.


Case Study: YouTube


Before I talk about Medium, or what’s perceivably wrong with it, I want to show a clearer example. For those that are in the loop, it’s well-known that YouTube is pretty terrible at communication:

Of course, YouTube has far bigger, more popular platform with equally larger problems. And it’s far more problematic since it generally has a monopoly on online video content. What was once the prime location for anybody to upload anything has become a service for celebrities and the extremely lucky. But I digress, this isn’t the issue at hand.

What is worth noting is how these issues have caused a rise in channels that are quintessentially anti-YouTube. Such as H3H3Productions, GradeAUnderA, IHateEverything, among others.

Of course, there’s not a lot I can do. I’m just another voice in the wind that won’t get heard. And once you realize you can be OK with that, you are not just liberated, but enlightened.


Endgame?

An effective weapon is, and always will be, satire. Being able to be critical in a humorous fashion not only is more original than ranting, but it also make people actually rethink their opinion.

https://medium.com/p/eed4975f4bee

But being against Medium’s rhetoric of self-improvement and regurgitated, quasi-holistic advice doesn’t actually push anything forward. If anything, it just stagnates the conversation even further. A new dialogue has to begin, one of openness.

Openness is the birthplace of change. If you want Medium to transform its current niche, you have to start creating different and sometimes even weird content.

I can count the number of websites that promote user-created long reads that are actually successful with a single hand. Medium provides a rare opportunity for any story to be shared, no matter what it’s about, or who created it.

But what’s even more important than creating is that you search and interact with different and weird stories. As it stands, Medium’s search functions are a bit lackluster when it comes to doing this, but that doesn’t mean you should be complacent. Send feedback, be opinionated and be informed.

It’s a brave new world.

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