Medium Curation Guidelines: Mysterium Tremendum


The term, “Mysterium Tremendum,” is Latin for tremendous mystery. I’ve heard it often explained in a religious context. An explanation that God is to man as man is to an ant. His ways are so much greater than man’s that we cannot possibly understand them, much like the ant cannot appreciate man’s reasoning. I’ve come to start thinking of Medium’s curation process as Mysterium Tremendum, not meant to be comprehended, just adhered to.

I’ve read the printed material intended to assist in my understanding;

https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006362473-Medium-s-Curation-Guidelines-everything-writers-need-to-know
https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006362473-Medium-s-Curation-Guidelines-everything-writers-need-to-know
https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006362473-Medium-s-Curation-Guidelines-everything-writers-need-to-know
https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006362473-Medium-s-Curation-Guidelines-everything-writers-need-to-know
https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006362473-Medium-s-Curation-Guidelines-everything-writers-need-to-know

I’m a relatively new member of the Medium Partner Program. I’d have to say my overall experience has been positive. I didn’t know what to expect and have been pleasantly surprised. I’m getting wider readership than I’d been getting on my own blog. One recent post got over 20K views in a day, almost all not eligible for payment, but it was still exciting. Some of the reasons I enjoy writing are as simple as being read and hoping to make a difference. Others have to do with establishing a writing career. Back to Mysterium Tremendum.

In another lifetime I was a salesperson for a major corporation. Each year they’d introduce a new compensation plan; outlining what products and services were emphasized. Once given your objective, it was possible to develop a strategy to maximize income based on selling those items providing a maximum return and focusing on those customers likely to need them. In the Medium Partner Program, there exists a formula I’m sure that translates, views, read ratios, fans, claps, and responses into dollars. What is it? Mysterium Tremendum.

According to Medium, they receive thousands of articles daily for consideration with “over 25 Curators” reviewing them all, some specialists in particular topics. This leaves the possibility that everything in a certain category is reviewed by the same person. Is that the case? I often write about sensitive subjects like politics and race where someone could be rubbed the wrong way? After several consecutive stories weren’t curated, I inquired about a particular story as to why? Is there someone who doesn’t like my point of view or my style? Mysterium Tremendum.

I had some respectful interaction with the Help team to try to get a better understanding of the process. In response to my questions about the Medium Curation process, I mainly got the links to the material shown above. In full disclosure, I did get specific answers to another unrelated question and the person I communicated with was very courteous.

The Medium Partner Program is a marvelous opportunity for writers and has so much potential. One way to achieve it is through greater transparency. Tell the writers exactly how they get paid which will show them Medium’s values and result in a product more consistent with Medium’s wishes. Medium will get what they pay for, which should be what they want. And from time to time, if requested, provide feedback as to why a story isn’t curated. It can’t take too much longer than sending a link to the guidelines.