I'm a problogger which sounds pretentious (I know!) but I've made my living for the better part of a decade now my channeling my passion, thoughts, research and rapier wit through hyper text language to the world. I've got a pretty good handle on the state of blogging on the internet. Don't buy the bullshit; blogging isn't dead and we can make it great again.
In this article, I'll make some feature recommendations, if you want to see Minds' light bulb of free speech brilliantly illuminate the dimming landscape of the world wide web where the lamps of freedom are being extinguished one by one PLEASE upvote, share and comment on this!
Which is certainly worthy of emulating, Medium is excellently designed. What sucks about Medium is obvious the moment you visit their frontpage - they have a far left wing editorial bias. Hatred of conservatives (and even white people) gets promoted right to the top of their frontpage, which you'll most certainly be excluded from if you lean right or libertarian.
I'm a prolific Medium writer with over a thousand followers there and my articles are read in full about 10,000 times monthly.
You might ask...
Jonathan why are you contributing to this big tech, silicon valley wretched hive of scum and villainy?
Well, a lot of my content is normie friendly, I mostly write about mindset, biohacking and applied neuroscience. There's value interfacing with the non-red pilled denizens of the web.
What sucks about Medium is what you would expect. If you make too good of an argument or get a little too mouthy in the comments you get hit with a hate speech violation. I was a featured writer in the Health and Science sections for a while and then demoted to a mere unbadged user mysteriously despite my consistent reader base and hundreds of well researched articles . I expect them to kick me off any day but in all fairness it's not as bad as say Facebook or Youtube.
Bloggers need traffic analytics for our articles. It gives use crucial signals about what to write about and what people are interested in. Currently I have no idea how people are reading my Minds blogs. What Medium does is worth emulating but honestly even just a hit counter would be better than nothing.
As a blogger there's a tremendously motivating visceral pleasure in seeing one of your articles going viral. Without some traffic analytics we're deprived of that here on Minds. We already have hit counters on status updates and view counts on videos, why not have them on blogs?
Medium has a great app. Reading blogs on a website with a web browser sucks; it's highly non-optimal for reading comprehension, people prefer to do their online reading on their smart phones and tablets, not staring at their laptops. Medium knows this and that's why they designed a minimalist, low distraction app. What makes their app great is the bookmarking feature, the nightmode feature and the notification function that gets more of your subscribers reading your stuff.
Personally I turn off social media notifications on all my smartphone apps BUT we know that they really do work to drive engagement with the apps. Why not give people the subscribe or bell notification feature that Youtube has?
Minds developers @jack, @john, @ottman, @nick, @quitejane, @thefutureisnow, please give the Medium app a download, try not to vomit when you see their frontpage featured articles and do some reading (maybe of my stuff) on this well designed platform.
There's a lot of value in a Minds app exclusively for blogs, the main app has all these enticing social media features that are going to pull you away from what you're reading. The frontpage of the Minds Blogs app could just display the top ranked Minds blogs or people's subscriptions. A shortcoming of the Medium app is the inability to bookmark where you are in an article, I love reading long, thoughtful articles and this is challenging if I can't bookmark my place. I could see a Minds Blogs app becoming a free speech alternative to Kindle. I could imagine authors releasing their books as a long Minds blog (or series of blogs), then the authors could get paid in crypto by their readers. Talk about disrupting the online book publishing industry!
The Minds.com app is quite good BUT the blogs section of it is clearly an afterthought, it just links over to the mobile web browser version of the article.
I don't think it's mandatory that a Minds Blogs app have a writing function as Medium's does. Most writers prefer to write on their computer. Even a commenting function is probably not as important to a Minds app. People love to read (I'd wager Minds users do more so than average) just give them a good app to read on.
I'd love to see separate Minds apps for blogs, videos and maybe even photos. That's what big tech does and it works. You have the Facebook social networking app, the Facebook messenger app, the Facebook pages app and Instagram for photos. Why try to cram all of Minds features into a single app?
The Minds blogging platform is pretty good (and certainly has improved since I joined) but the experience for readers and writers could be easily improved with some relatively small tweaks.
I like the boost function on articles. I'd also like to see a Wire button right on articles, so we can send and receive micropayments for articles.
I appreciate the uniform font across blogs. If people want to go crazy with fonts they should just do so on their own blogs!
Why can't I do a bullet pointed or numbered list?
* Bullet pointing...
* like this with astericks...
* looks awful!
Why doesn't copy pasting work in the Minds blogging text editor? If I copy/paste a section it loses all styling. In every other text editor the styling (H2, H3, underlining, links, etc) doesn't get removed when you copy/paste.
I love the wide open white spaces. Open space is what bloggers and readers need. Let's keep those sidebars open!
Another feature of Medium worth duplicating is little subline that says 10 Minute Read giving readers a helpful estimate of how lengthy a read something is. What I would actually appreciate is the option to include or not include this on some articles. Sometimes I want to advertise how thorough an article is on a topic and sometimes not.
What about a word count feature?
Readers need the option to bookmark or save an article for later reading, Add a little bookmark button and a saved articles section in the user account dashboard or in blogs section
Medium has this page breaks styling option with three dots that would be nice.
Readers love to highlight passages that they want to save. This is a feature that Medium and Kindle nail. Actually me and my copy editor use this feature on Medium. I publish my work there, my copy editor reads it and highlights my grammar or spelling errors so I can correct them.
It would be great to see a link preview feature like Minds has
Or a footnoting function like Quora has
Let's make commenting great again! One thing that I love about Minds is that I can upload a video comment in response to a status update! This is a seriously cool feature that makes comments a lot more interesting. Currently it doesn't really work though on the mobile versions of the blogs. I have to login again on the mobile website and then upload through the web browser. It's pretty clunky and isn't going to be widely adopted.
The main design flaw is the tiny font size of the comments and comment box. I fall into the large proportion of the population that has bad vision and I hate squinting at the tiny font of the comment. Just make the comments the same font size as the blog or slightly smaller.
So I can embed Youtube or vimeo videos no problem but if I try to embed a Minds video... Nada.
This is another place where we should just copy what Medium does; you add a video URL and it gives you four sizing options. And for gods sake let's get a Watch Later button on Minds videos already!
The banner images across the top are great. Love that! But the imagery options are pretty weak on Minds. There seems to be just a single option to upload a photo that defaults to 924px wide. Let's get the option to offset images. This is another place that Medium should be emulated.
Medium also gives the options to create simple photo gallery
But the Minds developers have created an excellent social networking website thus far. I think with a relatively little more effort the features detailed above could be realized. I've purchased Minds tokens to support the project, I hope you all do the same.
When article 13 ravages the normie social media platforms we're hopefully going to see a huge influx of users, creators and writers looking for a place to express themselves sans draconian upload filter. Let's create a world class blogging platform for them!