Thank You, Medium
2020 was my best and worst year on Medium. Like all years, it had its ups and downs, but if both the ups and downs grow ever larger, so will the gap between them — and thus the emotional rollercoaster that is writing on this platform.
In my case, the downs were most extreme in November and December, which, sadly, made it hard to end the year on a high note. But just because the highs happened in June and July does not make them any less important.
I have a philosophy: Complain in private, praise in public. I’ve been an ambassador for Medium for nearly seven years. It’s a job they never gave me, but I’m trying to live up to it, which includes solving whatever problems can be solved behind the scenes rather than venting about them in public. I’m not sure I’ll always maintain this philosophy, but so far, it has served me well.
Today, I’d like to take off the bitching hat I’ve been wearing the last two months, if mostly in conversations with myself, and put on my thanking hat.
2020 has been a great year for Medium, and it’s been a good one for my presence on the platform as well.
The first person I’d like to thank for that is myself because, like every year of the past seven, without me busting my ass every day, none of it would have happened. With that Snoop Dogg moment out of the way, I’d like to say thanks to a few of the many people that power this wonderful platform.
Thank you Kawandeep Virdee, for always having open ears and an open mind whenever someone offers feedback. Being a community manager is tough as nails, and you continue to do it with grace and humility every day.
Thank you Michelle Woo, for staying relentlessly positive no matter what story I present and always looking for angles to make a story work rather than turn it down.
Thank you Laura Carroll, for navigating a sea of opinions and balancing them carefully in your head as you work on Medium’s design and upcoming features. The right path is hard to see when it’s hidden among a thousand voices, and I can tell you care deeply about finding it.
Thank you Jade Blake-Whitney, for explaining some of the many things I fail to understand and for kindly pointing me in the right direction when one of Medium’s many little knobs broke off.
Thank you Coach Tony, for being the voice of reason and inspiration for my philosophy, sometimes with words, often by way of example. “What would Tony do?” has become a staple question.
Thank you Ev Williams, for taking a third swing at the great human connection machine. I usually can’t see your big plan, but I always trust that it’s evolving, and Medium sure seems to be headed for the fences.
Thank you Medium Staff, for, every day, creating something bigger we can all be a part of.
I’d also like to thank a few of the countless magical folks I met through this platform, who’ve enriched my life more than any emoji on Zoom can express.
Thank you Adrian Drew, for being one of the most love- and kindness-overflowing people I’ve ever met.
Thank you Alan Trapulionis, for inspiring an old dog to try and learn some new tricks.
Thank you Amardeep Parmar, for thoughtful discussions right at the edge of optimism and realism.
Thank you Brian Pennie, for consistently reminding me that it’s never too late for anything.
Thank you Danny Forest, for being on a personal growth trajectory I can marvel at and learn from.
Thank you Jessica Wildfire, for being the coolest cucumber in the room. Your well of clever metaphors never seems to run dry, and I always enjoy drinking from it.
Thank you John Mashni, for doing more than is humanly possible while laughing so loudly that I’m just waiting for your microphone to burst.
Thank you Jordan Gross, for relentlessly reinventing yourself in public.
Thank you Luke Rowley, for being the most dependable and honest accomplice I could ask for.
Thank you Marta Brzosko, for betting on yourself and thus thinking bigger by going smaller. I’m certain you won’t regret it.
Thank you Matt Sandrini, for a year of asynchronous keeping-in-touch. No matter how many thoughts we toss into our voice message bubble, I always emerge with entirely new ones when I enter it.
Thank you Megan Holstein, for your off-the-cuff takes on what matters. I have rarely nodded at Slack messages that much.
Thank you Michael Thompson, for being the glue that held it all together, even though I know you hate being sticky. You got us invested in your cause without ever talking about yourself — because what you did was show us the real cause is being invested in each other, and that’s a lesson I’ll never forget.
Thank you Nate Miller, for being the reluctant cheerleader whose pompoms are dripping with sarcasm — I get a kick out of every time you shake them.
Thank you Nick Wignall, for providing some living proof that you can work in silence and let success make the noise.
Thank you Nick Wolny, for single-handedly carrying us through NaNoWriMo.
Thank you Sean Kernan, for making me want to write 10,000 words every time we hang up the phone.
Thank you Shannon Ashley, for continuing to wear your heart, mind, and experiences on your sleeve without throwing them in our face.
Thank you Sinem Günel, for being a breath of fresh air in a field that can feel rusty and set in its ways. We really need it.
Thank you Stephen Moore, for casually shooting the shit with me whenever it most needed to be shot.
Thank you Tim Denning, for reminding me that, in the long run, we will be defined by our kindness and intention more so than by our mistakes.
Thank you Todd Brison, for making it clear for anyone to see that our job is about magic not metrics.
Thank you Tom Kuegler, for keeping the focus on what matters and centering my perspective once more when it was slowly meandering off the horizon.
Thank you Zita Fontaine, for valiantly fighting to pull a topic you care about into the light.
Thank you Zulie Rane, for asking the right questions at the right time, and, most of all, continuing to ask questions no matter how many unsatisfying answers they might have yielded in the past.
Thank you everyone who I have failed to thank, for I lack not the desire to show gratitude but the ability to recall your name this instant. I am aware of your contribution, be it microscopic or grandtastic, and I value your help in making this life of mine a privilege.
Finally, thank you, dear reader, for making it all come to life. Without your eyes whizzing across the screen, this digital empire would be reduced to ashes, and while all empires eventually will be, I do believe your choosing to read matters.
Thank you, 2020. Let’s see what you’ve got, 2021.