Loot From 120 Days on Medium

Dec 26, 2022
8 min

I started my Medium journey on August 23rd, 2022. In the first 90 days, I was able to acquire approximately 4,644 reads and 39 followers with 28 articles. In that article, I also mentioned that I planned to release “content that may change everything”. However, I have yet to release that content as I await important decisions from two entities.

So what happened in this 30 day period?

A Flashback

All I know is that — throughout this entire incident — the apartment complex lost three employees from management. So I’ve won… But at what cost?

Resolving “The Incident”

Here’s what happened. I signed a lease with no security deposit required. On the date of move-in, we provided the employees the first month of rent via check. The accounting of this exchange was mishandled by multiple parties for a multitude of reasons. Regardless of any other factors, the verdict was clear: I paid for the first month of rent. Therefore, the applied late fee was ILLEGAL.

At some point between October 31st and November 14th, an employee must have realized that they had an additional check from us. Such that its failure to be applied — in addition to every other way that incident was handled — led to multiple employees being fired. That’s not all though: To take sole credit of the end result would be pompous. There are at least 6 public accounts of other incidents with said employees. Such that I no longer feel guilty for defending myself of theft.

I must add that the property management company has continued to churn employees; regardless of my intervention with them. Such that I would also NOT be surprised if there is conflict within the company between employees and upper management. Regardless, I would only be discussing these incidents if they were relevant to the time period this article is about. So what is going on now?

I received a notification regarding a payment for certain utilities: A $10 water bill. A $10 trash service that I don’t use. Then $7 more for… pest control? Of course, this charge refers to the spraying of the unit for cockroaches that I dealt with at move-in: The ones that kept me up at night to create the “Uber Was Hacked” article. Perhaps, there would be no issue if this fee was a one-time charge. However, it’s marked as recurring even though that service has stopped.

That service is also not my responsibility.

Companies are known to pursue people over nickels and dimes: Such that I will have no remorse for them in dealing with a $7 charge; especially if it’s recurring. Wave two has already been prepared since the last incident. The only remaining factor is whether these new employees will handle this incident in a reasonable manner. The significance being that I may not be as productive on Medium if further action must be taken.

And when Medium has yet to pay me, it’s more valuable to spend time saving money anyways.

A Head Start

The growth I experienced during this 30-day period is dependent on articles I released right before the last period ended. This includes “I released vaporware” (November 21), “The Pay Disparity of Programmers” (November 21), “I created a 25000 line proof of concept” (November 23), and most importantly “I Placed a GPL License in my Take Home Interview Project” (November 23): A relatable and entertaining Wagie Woe.

Views, Reads, and Read Ratio of “I Placed a GPL License in my Take Home Interview Project”

Of the 2,300 views, 81% come from Medium’s distribution algorithm. That’s because this article maintains 3,521 minutes (58+ hours) of Member Reading Time. To put this in perspective, that’s 3 times more than the combined member reading time of “Uber Was Hacked” and “One Line to Debug Your CSS Issues”! What is the significance of this story’s performance? People want to be entertained.

A Logical Conundrum

On November 25th, I published “Food Delivery Apps are Bound to Fail”: An article that received less than 100 reads since then. While there are a host of factors in any article’s performance, I believe that the poor performance of this article is due to its analytical nature. There are a number of articles I create which condense multiple periods of thought into one. These articles consistently fail to perform.

The Theory of Relatability

The Theory of Relatability is not an official theory. However, I use the phrase to describe a phenomenon with regards to content consumption, in which humans prefer content that relates to themselves (or their interests).

A key context of the Theory of Relatability is that various content requires a certain level of skill to understand; such that high-level content remains less popular since less people understand (relate to) it. In addition, content that requires more effort to create is likely to contain more incorrect statements; which people are likely to highlight since humans fixate on negatives. The end result is that highly skilled audiences are both hard to reach and hard to appease.

The Theory of Relatability is the reason that “low-effort content” tends to dominate all platforms. Keep in mind that “low-effort content” refers to content that objectively takes a low amount of effort to create. However, one could argue that “low-effort content” is only low effort since there is a high demand for said content; such that there is a demand to make creating “low-effort content” a low-effort activity.

The Social Tradeoff

Humans are social animals, which is why stories and anecdotes are emphasized — on an individual level — over logical assertions and data. However, logical assertions and data may be relevant to a story and/or required to understand a story in its full capacity. As a result, I would always include logical assertions before a story so the reader would understand it in its full capacity. The problem being that this practice goes against a human’s natural preferences.

So how can I separate a story and its logical assertions without compromising the reader’s understanding of the story?

It’s extremely rare for people to read 100% of any document; let alone a writer’s entire oeuvre. Such that it’s inevitable for someone to take what you say out of context. When it comes to controversial topics, this is especially true since humans — who don’t like to read content they disagree with — may react to a controversial statement by clicking off the page. This results in the reader placing significance on a body of text that lacks context; such that the author’s point is lost in favor of the reader’s misunderstanding.

Of course, the above assertion doesn’t answer the question. However, it’s important to understand because it suggests that separating a story from its logical assertion has little effect on a reader’s understanding of the story: Since the reader already selectively reads text, splitting that text into multiple documents is annoying at worst.

There exists multiple benefits to separating a story from its logical assertions using multiple articles. This practice is also supported since you are able to reference (link) the document of a logical assertion within multiple stories or vice-versa. Say that you wish to write for a specific target audience with a focused purpose. You can create an article optimized for entertainment (reader’s from Medium’s Algorithm) and an article optimized for information (reader’s from Google Search).

So What?

All this to say that I need to change the way I write and distribute articles. Hence the experimental format of “The Incorrect Perception of Human Effort (In Startups)”.

I Released Disgo

Work continued on Disgo from November 23 to December 6th. I also published multiple articles discussing “What is Disgo?” Most important is the validation of the above theory by comparing the articles “Implementing The Fieldalignment Bundle in Go” and “Rapper Destroys Google Software Engineer in API Development”.

Views, Reads, and Read Ratio of “Implementing The Fieldalignment Bundle in Go”
Views, Reads, and Read Ratio of “Rapper Destroys Google Software Engineer in API Development”

As you can see, the “dramatic” article has maintained many more views.

If I’m being honest, the article itself is not that dramatic. All I do is compare two Go Discord API Wrappers in an objective manner, while also providing an introduction to both maintainers: One of which happens to work at Google. However, one of the maintainer’s read this article, then took offense to it. This led to a situation that may be discussed in a future article.

Most important of all is that the article was shared as soon as emotional value was attributed to it. Multiple members from the Google Engineer’s API Wrapper community would bolster the article’s position within the Medium algorithm through comments and shares in outrage. Others would relate to the credentialism discussed in the conclusion of the article and support it.

In contrast, the “Fieldalignment Bundle” article is informational and straightforward. The technique itself is not relevant unless you create applications in the Go programming language AND you are at a level where memory optimizations are justified. In order to meet this criteria, you require a higher skill level than 99% of the population. Based on the Theory of Relatability, it should be no surprise why this article performed worse.

I will also add that I promoted the “Fieldalignment Bundle” myself. In contrast, the “Arikawa vs. Disgo” article was promoted entirely by other people. Thus, the dramatic nature of that article resulted in more organic marketing than any informational content I have ever created. I cannot argue for creators to create “dramatic” content on purpose; although it does happen. However, actions speak louder than words: It’s pretty clear what the people want.

My Interview Experience

Nothing is more relatable in a first-world country than the job-interview process. NEETs aside, most people have participated on one side of the table in the job market. Those that haven’t are hungry for an edge, and what’s a better way to learn than reviewing other people’s interviews.

I discuss the optics of releasing your interviews in “How I Wasted 6 Months Releasing Disgo”. Some aspects of that article are a joke. Others are real. It’s true that interviewers don’t enjoy having their actions displayed in public (even if I were to say nothing bad about them). On the other hand, candidates are fed up with the inane dance they must do to get a job. Everyone has their own opinion on this type of article depending on which side you are on. But it doesn’t matter what you think because you click it anyways. Then I get paid.

Views, Reads, and Read Ratio of “My ClickUp Interview Experience” and “My Chainlink Interview Experience”

Half of these views come from a post on Reddit (that the poster deleted). No effort required on my part to promote this. No need to deal with moderators either.

Loot From 120 Days on Medium

Let’s analyze the results from this period and compare them to the aggregate.

Views from November 24th — December 24 (2022)

The Last 30 Days

What did I gain from posting 10 articles and 0 responses in the last 30 days on Medium?

  • 6930 views (2827 reads)
  • $0 earned.

The Aggregate

What did I gain from posting 38 articles and 12 responses in 120 days on Medium?

  • 17,700 views (7,500 reads)
  • 62 out of 100 followers (required for a Medium Partnership).
  • $0 earned.

At the current rate, it will take me 74 more days to become eligible for a Medium Partnership: A month earlier from the last estimated rate. I may be able to release more content in order to achieve this goal faster. So after 120 days on Medium, I am reminded (for the fourth time) that I have the potential to make money on Medium.

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