Quora and Medium. Shall I compare them to a summer’s day? It’s instructive to note that Will Shakespeare lived in England when he wrote this, where comparing a girl to a summer’s day was more romantic than if he’d lived in Florida of the Armpit Climate. If he’d lived in Vegas, he’d be saying she was one hot number.
I’ve been over at Medium for awhile. I haven’t written consistently until recently. I wrote a post last night from a lifted Quora question in an experiment with illegal activities, because I’m such a badass. We’re not supposed to do that, because Quora owns those question, doncha know.
That’s right; Quora owns them and the alphabet they rode in on, bucko. Before you call the cops, I changed it up a bit. Put the phone down.
A bunch of Quora users have opened accounts on Medium. I understand why, and I know why they haven’t been active, yet, or not more than a post or two. I’m following all of them as I find them, because I would hope that we can create a vibrant community there, just as we have on Quora.
They’re concerned Quora won’t last for very long. To write a lot of content for a platform, for it to just disappear, like soap bubbles popping in the air, is disheartening.
Scott Welch wrote an excellent piece on Quora’s life expectancy. The users are in the Matrix, the unconscious dwellers of some hive, willing to endlessly work under oppressive conditions, and even letting other dwellers nibble at our flesh while we continue to churn out answers.
I’m referring of course, to the ease with which Quora lets groups of users target and attack another writer. We will call them Loser Users to satisfy the seventh grader in my soul. I’m sure they fill some purpose. The oppression is real; there’s often a feeling that there’s an entity standing behind you, ready to collapse and ding you for your content.
One Quora writer reminded me yesterday that drafts are saved AS we write them, and almost before he could submit a post yesterday, it was collapsed. Is that creepy or what?
Yesterday, Quora implemented a ‘Thank you for the upvote’ feature, so now in addition to having just plain upvotes and comments in your notifications, you now have ‘Thank yous’.
No one seems to like it, but Medium has given its users the Clap. You can clap as often as you like for something, and each time you do, little red dots burst out of your hands, like you’re squashing bloated mosquitoes. So you get a Thank you, and the Clap. In that order.
Quora has also hidden the comments of those people whom you have blocked, or who have blocked you. It looks now as if people are talking to themselves, like those wandering denizens of the streets we still see muttering about government spies and aliens, only without a cell phone attached to their ear.
We are to be spared the very sight of our enemies, as if what we don’t see won’t hurt us, very apropos of modern society, but we still cannot flit about leaving disrespectful jabs, just because we know the person can’t see our comments. Everyone else will be able to.
Medium will make more of an impression as time goes on, but for now, it feels clean and quiet. Like when you’re on vacation, and your room is an unholy mess when you leave to go sightseeing, but when you return it’s all in order? Yeah, like that.
Or you’ve moved into a new house, and there are no posters, pictures, knick knacks, scuffs on the wall, or clothes on the floor in the new room. It’s free from unsavory history and old baggage.
The neighbors are unknown quantities, too. They might be the most obnoxious neighbors ever invented, but you don’t know that when you first move in. They don’t know you, either. This is the reason kids cleave to their peers when they reach their teens. Their friends don’t whip out pictures of them on the potty when they were two, or have any but fresh expectations of them.
I remember starting out on Quora. It felt like no one would ever read my stuff. I kept at it, because the questions are prompts, and for reasons I can’t fathom, they often set off a sparkling fuse of creativity. Medium isn’t a Q and A platform, making it closer in nature to my own blog.
I don’t write about depression, illness, abuse, egregious politics and antics, or editorials, nor do I have a very commercialized blog. Still, I kept writing posts on my blog, and gradually it’s become more searchable, as I’ve become familiar with SEO. I’m considering advertising it. I want my stories and books to be found. For both Medium and Quora, I have to depend on their commercialization and SEO results.
Both platforms allow for the posting of products, or links to other websites, more so on Medium. Quora allows it on the profile page. Medium doesn’t seem to have anyone peering at what we’re doing, our comments, content, links, images, nothing. It’s very freeing, just as it is on my own blog.
On both platforms, friends can be made, which I really enjoy, as much as I enjoy writing. There must be a popularity rating, which can be seen in the numbers of followers writers have. That sometimes convinces me that they are consistently erudite, charming, funny, informative.
One thing I really like about Medium is that comments show up like posts. You can see them on your profile page. That’s an interesting feature, and comments can lead people to find your profile page and read your postings.
I’m experiencing this right now, so I’ll add it: Quora is constantly down! I haven’t seen that yet on Medium. A friend just asked me today what I made of his diminishing views, and I suggested that perhaps the news being so awful all the time, users have left to see what’s happening, leaving the screen door swinging, letting the flies and trolls in. Now I think it’s the frequency of ‘504 Gateway Errors’.
I’ve had such a problem lately with moderation on Quora, and have been hearing about the same ones and worse from other users on the site, that by contrast, Medium feels like America must have felt to refugees from the Soviet Union, or at the very least, when your parents were gone for a weekend.
“You mean, I can say what I want, post infographics and memes if I feel like it? I can jump up and down on the beds and yell at the top of voice? I can state an opinion and no one will throw me out of the country? Woo hoo!”