An Unappreciated Feature of Medium

I Use it, and You Should, Too

Robyn Sinead Sheppard


Clipart picture of a bell
Clipart picture of a green bell

I’m talking about the little bell at the top of the page. Sometimes it’s an outline, and sometimes it’s green. If it’s green, it means there’s a message for you. And sometimes the message is that somebody new started following you.

Why is this important to me? It’s not only because it means I have a new follower; it means so much more than that.

One thing it means is that someone found what I have to say to be important. Enough so that they want to follow me to see what else I have to say. That’s all I know about them unless I take the trouble to look at their Medium profile — which is something I rarely do. No, not at this stage in our budding relationship, at least.

It also means that there was something I wrote that sparked a response in them. We have that much in common, and if we have that much in common, what else might we share?

And so I follow them back. It’s only polite; after all. They took the time to read what I had to say, so reading what they have to say is the least I can do. It’s also why I spend the better part of an hour reading on Medium before I even think about writing anything.

Finally, I measure my own success on Medium not by how many followers I have but by how many people I follow. I like reading different viewpoints, even ones with which I don’t agree. You can’t learn anything new by always preaching to the choir. You have to get out of your comfort zone and experience the world not as you would like it to be, but how it is.

Are You a New Writer on Medium?

Want to grow your audience? Then follow me. I guarantee I will follow you back. I might decide later that I don’t like what you have to say, but at least I’ll give you a fair chance first.

I promise.



Robyn Sinead Sheppard

A happily retired technical writer, I write in order to understand what I'm thinking. I'm walking wounded from the Sexual Revolution.