Top Authors

A leaderboard for Medium Authors

#5 Product of the DaySeptember 06, 2016
Would you recommend this product?
No reviews yet
Thanks for the hunt @erictwillis. Top Authors is a companion site to Top Publications (, that launched about a month ago. In hindsight it seems natural to build this (still not sure why they don't exist on Medium itself, but of well), but the creation of this site was prompted by @larrykim ( who tweeted to ask if it could be done. When the tweet got nearly 60 likes it was clear that people would be interested to know who the Top Authors were. Just as with the Publications, I'm looking for Authors to add to the leaderboard, please feel free to suggest additions. Happy to answer any questions people might have.
Upvote (11)Share
@mubashariqbal @erictwillis @larrykim Really cool to see this naturally evolve out of feedback. The way products should be done πŸ‘
@mubashariqbal this is cool. Maybe it doesn't exist bc having top authors in your face may discourage new writers? Just a thought.
Nice, @mubashariqbal. πŸ‘ How are you adding more authors to track? Any surprises so far?
@rrhoover Thanks Ryan! Mostly from user suggestions and keeping any eye on the Medium homepage, for authors I haven't seen before πŸ˜€ One thing I noticed so far is that there are few highly followed users on Medium (not included in the Leaderboard) that have never actually posted anything. This is due to the way that Medium auto follows people with followers on their Twitter accounts. Anyone highly followed on Twitter will be highly followed on Medium. I was also a little surprised with the lack of diversity in the leaderboard. I didn't plan on having a "Featured" section on the site, but with the lack of diversity I wanted to showcase some people that might not get the attention they deserve.
@mubashariqbal I thought that auto following was limited to medium publications. Not personal accounts. So, all my followers on Twitter follow me on Medium?
@sarthakgh Yes I believe so. This may have changed over time, but for example take a look at the Medium account for Paul Graham: He's never posted anything to Medium (not even a comment) but has over 77K followers, 378K on Twitter.
@mubashariqbal @rrhoover Yea, I was wondering about the diversity myself. A cursory scan shows an overwhelming bias towards folks in the tech industry. The top publications list feels somewhat less dominated by tech, but still predictably focused on interest that would appeal to folks in The Valley. It'll be interesting to see that shift as-and-if Medium goes more mainstream.
@mubashariqbal @rrhoover I love that you added the Featured section for diversity. Really helps with discovery as well.
Whoa. #61! :)
@chrismessina Well deserved!
I wrote a little more about Top Authors here:
@mubashariqbal feels a bit biased. For instance, I wasn't on this list even though I have a strong presence on Medium. So I would look into figuring out an actual algorithm for getting to this type of list -- instead of purely being "Mostly from user suggestions", it would make sense to have it driven by an algo and then filtered (e.g. for users like Paul Graham who've never posted).
@mubashariqbal One of the issues with leaderboards is that viewer/reading numbers aren't a great indicator of other goals Medium and its users have. Rabidly loyal followings are often relatively small. Some writers build up an excellent body of work but are undiscovered or are not especially mainstream, so will never have large readership. And you're unlikely to pick up on the marginalia writers who comment, highlight, and otherwise amplify the communities' conversations; their work is rarely featured but very important. Curating the works and contributors that are hard to track or measure is valuable, but costly. Good luck!
@iam_preethi The site has existed since Friday so there are a lot of things still left to figure out. Unfortunately since Medium's API is very limited, and even more so for things like this my hands are tied somewhat. Suggestion and the admins looking for good authors is currently our best approach. I have added you to the leaderboard though πŸ‘
@evanwolf Thanks for the feedback. I feel like the Publications are doing a good job of surfacing quality content from popular and less well known authors, but still there are those that don't publish much or all their content to publications. Mostly the site came about because people asked and given the work I'd already done with Top Publications, it was pretty easy to build πŸ˜€
Very interesting. Thanks for putting this together @mubashariqbal. I am more excited seeing this than making use of it. I guess personally, I try to look at super successful bloggers and see what things they are doing better that I can get inspired from. Others here mentioned the problem where without writing any post one gets a lot of followers on medium. One way to counter this (which would make such a listing even more useful) is to gather # of posts on medium, months since first post, average recommendations per post.. just to name a few.
@nidhi_v_shandilya Thanks for the suggestions, I'm gonna reach out to the folks at @Medium maybe they can extend their API a bit so I could build the things you've suggested. As it stands now I would have to scrape a lot of this from the website.