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How We Curate: Guidelines and Principles

It’s a noisy internet, and it can be hard to find the right thing to read at the right moment. On Medium alone, there are far more posts every day than any one person can read. Medium’s new collections tools are designed to help readers easily discover not only the hottest stories of the moment — the ones getting the most attention — but also the interesting gems that they might otherwise not encounter.

Over time we want to make our tools for building collections available to anybody, but for now we’re putting them to work ourselves, with a team of curators who are actively searching and sharing the best stories from across our entire network.

We’ve hammered out a set of standards and guidelines for our curation team, and thought it would be useful to put them out for examination. It’s a work in progress, and we’d very much welcome your input. Meanwhile, if you’d like to express your interest in making collections of your own, we’d love to hear from you.

What’s the purpose of curation on Medium?

Our homepage curation aims to present the best of Medium, with an eye toward short-term news cycles, long-horizon quality of writing, and wide diversity in subject matter, viewpoint, and authorship, making it easy to browse the range of stories and ideas that are shared on our platform every day.

Our curators scan Medium and showcase great stories written by the people, publications, and organizations on the platform, making it easier to explore and find diverse viewpoints across a range of ever-changing topics.

What do we showcase and why?

We have a preference for stories, users, and publications that add to the conversation or demonstrate originality. In practice, that means we are particularly focused on curating:

  • Timely stories with original news value, or that tap into the zeitgeist
  • Authentic or compelling stories of high quality
  • Groundbreaking ideas from across all genres
  • Diverse and undiscovered voices with unique perspectives
  • Interesting topics that don’t organically get a lot of traction
  • Innovative or experimental storytelling

Do Medium’s curators give preferential treatment to some writers and publishers?

We will not pick our buddies or people who pay us. Our curation will be driven — as much as is possible in a group of humans with all of our inevitable limitations and frailties — by objective values like timeliness, news value, authenticity, quality, and diversity. We work hard, using data, to try not to play favorites.

Can I suggest a piece to Medium’s curators?

Definitely. Just email us at tips@medium.com with the subject: "Curation Recommendation." (For the sanity of our small team, we gently ask that you email no more than a recommendation or two a week).

What will Medium not include in its recommendations?

In making recommendations, we will adhere to our own platform rules, including our copyright and privacy policies. We’ll also refrain from promoting Medium itself and/or our employees’ own posts, except when it is fundamental to the highlighted topic.

What will Medium do to my post if it’s selected for the homepage?

Nothing. This won’t affect your story’s URL. When we choose a story for a homepage collection, we will not alter or edit it in any way. Your voice remains your voice. If you want it removed, you can email us at yourfriends@medium.com and we’ll take it out.

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