What I’ve read on Medium this week

When it comes to books and movies, there are reviewers helping us discover what is worthy of our time. But why aren’t there reviewers for op-eds and Medium posts?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The algorithm and the claps try to play this role, but sometimes we need a news-jockeys, a la disc-jockeys or DJs, to compile us a list of blogs to read.

So, here is my list of what I’ve read this week.

Content Creation

Christine Stevens raises a good point about the social aspect of Medium. She reminds us that we have to keep the interactive part of the platform in our minds.

“Your reach out to other members. You comment on their stories. You get to know them. You make jokes with them. And there’s a back and forth. And so on”, Christine Stevens.

Her post made me wonder how the shape of our stories will change once we treat the platform more like a social platform.

On Medium we answer the questions we have in mind. We sometimes even lecture each other. On Quora we rather start by asking questions, and let others answer them. On the likes of Quora, StackOverflow and Reddit, we ask more questions than we answer. That makes me feel less arrogant sometimes.

On Medium comments are nice but we rarely check them. On YouTube we avoid reading the comment section altogether because we care about our mental health.

Speaking of YouTube, HungryMinded wrote tips for turning your Medium content into YouTube videos.

“Growing presence on other platforms is always a good idea. Especially on platforms that are still growing like YouTube”, HungryMinded

Repurposing your content for different platforms is something Nicolas Cole talked about in his book, The Art and Business of Online Writing.

“For example, one of the reasons I was able to grow so quickly on Medium was because I already had 2,000+ usable articles in my library of content … I had been writing daily on Quora for almost three years, and had amassed a library of content at my disposal”, Nicolas Cole

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t take content as it is and just re-publish it on a different platform. One of the tips HungryMinded suggested is using speech to text to create an audio form of your written post. Personally, I just turn off any YouTube video that has a robot narrating it. So, I wouldn’t really second HungryMinded’s tip here.

I would also select what content to re-publish. I agree with Nicolas Cole that the content has to be timeless to be able to live longer on multiple platforms.

Business

I am a fan of Michael Porter’s way of understanding an industry, and his theory of understanding the five main forces at play there.

Nevertheless, when one is new to an industry, understanding the industry’s value chain is overwhelming. So, in this post, Steve Blank offered tips for mapping the players in an industry.

“Don’t let the enormity of unknowns frighten you. Start with what you do know”, Steve Blank

He used the semiconductor industry as an example. He asked whoever wants to map this industry to list the names of the companies they know, then start by explaining what each of them does in few words. Once you see one company described as “makes chips” and another as “uses chips to build phones”, you will start to get an idea of who is a possible supplier to whom.

These links you just came up with are your starting hypothesis. You need to put them in a table and start from there to research the facts about the industry. I suggest you read Steve Blank’s post here.

Make Money

Of course, Medium loves to bombard me with getting rich articles all the time. I wish making money or saving money was as easy as reading an article.

Sometimes you see good buy obvious advices:

“A side hustle isn’t about working a zillion hours, not seeing your kids, eating ramen and forgetting to sleep. It’s not about vanity metrics, showing off or buying fancy cars”, Eve Arnold

And some other times, an article tells you if you want to retire early don’t buy swimming pools! Thanks a lot for the valuable tip.

How to check what you’ve read this week?

I’ve recently discovered this link, where you can see a list of the articles you have read. You too can use it to write a summary of the articles you have read this week.

Some of the stories I mentioned here are for Medium members only. I personally find valuable content here, that I pay $5 per month for the Medium subscription.

If you want, you can click on this link to subscribe and read the member-only content.

P.S. All links to books on Amazon are referral links.

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Tarek Amr

Tarek Amr

1.8K Followers

I write about what machines can learn from data, what humans can learn from machines, and what businesses can learn from all three.