Medium Needs Better Stats, Stat!

I’ve run into a new problem, and they’ve never fixed the old ones

I glanced at my Medium stats the other day and had a welcome surprise. Instead of the 300 to 500 views I have been averaging in recent weeks, since 24 October I have received 1500 to 3500 views, which is three to ten times more.

So, obviously, I’d like to know what’s going on. What are all these folks looking at? I’d like to write more of it. Except there is no way to find out.

Hovering over the bars in the chart only yields the count. Clicking on one does nothing. My recommendation is that Medium should provide details for a day’s views when you click the bar, with a list or pie chart of the largest contributions to the view count.

What are all these folks looking at? I’d like to write more of it. Except there is no way to find out.

Another option is to search through the stats on individual posts, show at the bottom of the screenshot. If I’m all of a sudden getting a lot more views, you’d imagine it would be something I’ve written recently. But no, it turns out that recent posts range from a dozen views to a few hundred.

So it must be something I’ve written in the past that’s getting some new interest, as when some influencer stumbles across an older post and promotes it on Twitter or another channel. How to find it, though?

In principle, I should be able to sort on the view counts of all my posts, and the big hits would be at the top, and I could figure out what’s going on. But every time I try that I get the Medium message ‘Could not load story stats’. I’ve reported this in the past, but it’s never been fixed.

This problem might be the result of importing a bunch of materials from my Tumblr blog a few years ago, so I have 9750 published stories on Medium.

I considered that the surge was for something I have published in Work Futures, where the number of stories is small enough to be sortable. But the recent numbers there are averaging between 80 to 120 views a day. That doesn’t explain the spike. No other publication of mine has had a big recent spike, so that makes me think it’s not something in a publication of mine.

Might be helpful if Medium provided traffic source information for each day, something like what it does for posts. Here’s the traffic source section of the details page for The Future Is Minimum Office, Not Zero Office which was ‘selected for further distribution’ by Medium:

Views by Traffic Source

Note that in the case of Twitter and Linkedin I can click through and see the tweets and posts that link to the story. But in the case of a daily traffic source, that might be again a list of tweets or posts ordered by the view counts. Add that to the wish list, Medium!

I’ve written pieces for other groups’ publications, but when you aren’t an editor you can’t access the stats.

Another useful add on would be to show the percentage change for views as an additional column in the stats tables for stories. Of course, in my case, I wouldn’t be able to sort on that either: too many stories.

Sigh.

I will pass along the ideas in this post to Medium, and maybe something will come of it. And if you have any ideas, let me know.

Written by

Work ecologist. Founder, Work Futures. The ecology of work and the anthropology of the future.

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