How To Customize Your Best Reading Experience On Medium

Algorithms and editor recommendations will only get you so far. Here’s how to truly make Medium your own.

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The availability of great content on Medium is an embarrassment of riches. There’s so much of it, you never know whether you’re missing out on a chance to connect with stories or writers you would like the most.

Medium has attempted to address this issue with the redesign of its home page and app. However, there’s only so much screen real estate. With a few quick supplemental tricks, you can make sure you always get to see the best of what Medium has to offer.

In this story, I’ll give you some tools that will help you make sure

  • You never miss stories in your favorite publications
  • You never miss stories by your favorite Medium writers
  • That you know how to build a portfolio of other Medium readers with interests similar to your own, and discover great stories they read, stories you might have otherwise missed

Let’s get started!

The /latest Medium hack applies to publications as well as tags

In a previous post, I noted that you can view the latest stories that have a particular tag by appending /tag/(your tag)/latest to Medium’s home page address.

For example, to view the latest stories tagged “writing,” you would type into the address bar

http://www.medium.com/tag/writing/latest

This will give you an unfiltered list of the most recent stories tagged “writing,” meaning everything, not just those recommended by an algorithm or editor. Therefore, you’ll get to see the work of a lot of undiscovered authors that might have otherwise flown under the radar.

The “latest” trick works with publications too. Take, for example, the URL for rapidly growing publication The Innovation:

https://medium.com/the-innovation

Simply tack on /latest behind it like this:

https://medium.com/the-innovation/latest

You will see all stories in that publication, from most recent going back. This is great for reading publications that publish many stories on the same day.

Bookmark the profile pages of your favorite Medium writers

The Medium home page has been redesigned to foster a closer relationship between you and the writers you follow. However, unless you follow only a handful of people, there is not enough screen real estate to see all your favorite writers’ new posts.

In particular, this makes it challenging to repeatedly see the work of writers new to the platform. You might really like something they wrote, follow them, and then not see another story of theirs for another month because established top writers dominate your feed.

What I like to do is build a bookmark list for the writers I really like. I don’t bother with the top writers; I know I will see their work on my home page. However, I want to remember to come back to the future work of Joe Newbie, who has been writing some killer content but who just joined Medium last month and only has 14 followers.

There are several ways you can build a list of favorite writers’ profile pages containing links to featured and latest work; a few suggestions are below.

  • A “favorite writers” bookmarks folder in a browser such as Chrome that lets you access your bookmarks across devices
  • A “favorite writers” note in a program like Evernote that you can access from all your devices
  • A “favorite writers” document on a cloud storage service like Google Docs or Dropbox

Find other readers with reading interests similar to your own

Finding favorite writers is often-discussed on Medium, but what is often overlooked is building a portfolio of favorite readers, people who like to read the same types of stories you do. You can then use that portfolio to discover new content.

When you find a story you really like, hopefully you clap for it by tapping the clapping hands icon. Clapping for a story tells Medium’s algorithm “more people need to see this” and you can clap up to 50 times.

Clapping hands icon (top) as seen on sidebar
Clapping hands icon (left) as seen in footer

You can use the clapping feature to discover other readers with similar tastes. Click or tap the number that appears next to the clapping hands to view a list of people who have clapped for a story.

Next, tap on a clapper’s screen name to make their profile appear. On that profile will be a “Claps” tab, showing other recent stories they have clapped for.

Take a few moments to look through these other stories. If you enjoy them too, you may have found a fellow reader whose interests are in line with your own.

You can then create

  • A “favorite readers” folder in bookmarks; or
  • A “favorite readers” note; or
  • A “favorite readers” document

so that you can come back from time to time to see what other hidden gems readers like you have discovered and clapped on Medium.

In summary…

You can get more out of Medium by

  • Using the /latest hack to make sure you see all the stories in your favorite publications or tags
  • Building a portfolio of favorite writers’ profile pages so that you can check out their latest work anytime you want
  • Building a portfolio of readers who clapped for stories you liked, which you can then use to discover more stories you may like

Happy reading! You can sign up for my mailing list if you’d like to read more from me (or, of course, you can bookmark my profile as described above). My previous post on discovering great writing on Medium:

Written by

Beliefs | Intuition | Dreams | Journaling | Connector | Inspirer | Former College Teacher | https://www.buymeacoffee.com/paulryburn Twitter: @paulryburn

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