Suppose a Medium reader were to stumble across my writing, and be curious to read more. She clicks on my name and sees this list of posts:

Which of these are substantial? Which is a single-sentence comment that appears at the side of another piece? Which has been read dozens of times?Which took me months of research?

The pictures and reading time estimates are helpful — but only to a point. “School as bricolage” matters to me and other readers quite a bit, but you wouldn’t realize that from this list. “The whim economy is killing us” is a 35-tweet tweetstorm, but it seems insignificant from the 1 minute estimate.

As Greg McVerry points out in the post that prompted me to write this, “We need to differentiate between responses and comments.” As it is, many of us purposely don’t respond to each other because the responses will hide the more important stories in our public history!

I know the Medium team thinks a lot about this question — it feels like only yesterday that they promoted comments to story status and automatically linked them to the source story, to encourage a sense of continuity to discussions. That experiment has been a success — witness McVerry’s response to my response to Dave Winer — but the user experience innovation is far from finished!

Independent programmer, chatterbox. http://techno-social.com

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