Losing 13,000 Subscribers

I used to run an account on Medium that got sort of popular, eventually reaching 13,000 subscribers. It got to a point where every time I opened Medium I’d need to clean out my notifications because there would be a new stack of new subscribers and claps. One day I canceled the account, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But it felt great.

“I want ten followers”

What if when you joined Medium with zero subscribers you had a way to get ten people following you after your first post? These would be kind people interested in being exposed to brand new authors on the platform, not a whole lot different from people going to open mic nights to spot new talent.

“I want to strengthen my followers”

Let’s say I have 100 followers, but my posts are only getting one or two claps. That can feel like I’m disappointing 99% of my audience, but what’s more likely is 99% of my audience has gone inactive. No worries, it happens!

“I don’t know what to do with my 13,000 followers”

This is a more specialised use case. I could do the “strengthen” trick and knock this number down to 2000 followers. But even that might be overwhelming. Sometimes knowing that people are reading your words can cause a bit of writer’s block.

An assumptions audit

It’s easy to assume everything is supposed to be the way it was originally designed. Of course video games have a score … but do they need one? Of course Medium has followers, like all social media … but do we need them? And even if we do, do they all have to be counted the same, like a video game? All software is designed from a set of assumptions, but assumptions can change. It’s really fun seeing where those challenges take you.

I love building things.

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