A while ago, I decided to dump my ideas in a tumblr blog so I can take a look at my past ideas and also to feel more productive compared to just thinking them. Enjoying how that worked out, I decided to find a place to move and keep going with my “portfolio” of ideas.
At that point, I had an account but I had completely forgot about Medium. While googling, I ran into Martijn van den Broeck’s article, Why you should build your first Design Portfolio in Medium. While it was a different discipline, I was also looking for something that would cost me the least amount of time and is simpler to use than wordpress, but something tidier than the mess that is tumblr. So I checked Medium and decided to give it a go. Since then, I’ve really enjoyed the ride. I’ve recently even started using publications as sort of an umbrella.
One thing that unfortunately I’ve been disappointed in Medium is the Stats. Let me elaborate.
Here is how the stats page look like today:
You see views/reads/fans daily. If you click on an article, you see stats filtered for that article. Like Medium, it’s tidy and simple. However, it’s lacking.
I’d love to make a list of things I like, but tidy and simple are pretty much the only things since there isn’t much to talk about! One thing I need to add is the Read ratio. However, even the stats page don’t tell much about how this is decided. Is it the time spent? Is it about scrolling the page? I found this question on Quora that claims it’s about scrolling; however, Post stats page currently just says it’s “an estimate.”
Similarly, I’m curious if view has any conditions. Is it triggered the moment an article appears on screen? Are reads included inside? So many questions!
Something I looked for initially was the unique views and reads. To be precise: Either that, or the total amounts. Because I’m not sure if the numbers are unique or total and I couldn’t find anything about that. Publication Stats has a visitor number, which seems to be unique. But even there there is no mention about reads. A small addition to this would be the bounce rates within your articles: Do people move between your articles or do they read one and move on?
Maybe the most important thing I’d like added would be the reverse of the article function: Click on a day and the numbers below would be filtered for that day, ie I can see which article was popular in a given day. Currently, the only way for this seems to be checking it for each article separately and comparing the results.
Following on the daily stats, it’d also be interesting to see weekly, quarterly or yearly results. To my knowledge this is also not possible with the exception of 90 day option in Publication Stats.
Another expected data is the source of your visitors. This comes in two flavors: The country of origin and the source of reaching you. Did they come from another article? Did they google you? Do people visit you from a certain country? [Edit: I noticed that you can check sources per article, but at least I can’t see a way of checking it for a period of time]
Last but not least, I’d love to see some retention numbers. During the selected period of time, how many of my readers are new? Are the readers coming back? How soon do they?
All that said, I want to say that Medium is a very fine platform and I still enjoy using it. The Internet is full of dislikes and hate nowadays, so I want to make it clear that mine is simply a friendly critique to make this platform even better.