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A Method for Murdering Medium: Can Vocal Take on the Mighty Medium?

The future of Vocal and Vocal’s Creators hang in the balance as the war between online-writing-and-web-publishing platforms rages on. Will Vocal and its Creators survive? Here lies some thoughts that I've put on paper for the eyes of the Executives of CreatD and Vocal Creators alike.

By Prashanth ChandrasegaramPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 15 min read

Before we start, a disclaimer:

No literal murders have taken place in writing this.

Also, though I'd prefer my main content to be poetry, which makes this absolutely out of place, I felt inspired to put this business discussion together for my readers and subscribers.

So, through this write-up, I hope that I may give you something fresh and something funny if not something fascinating and something furthering your fascinations for business.

(...And, for those who not only noticed my use of 'F-words'--i.e., fresh, funny, fascinating, furthering, fascinations--but also noticed that I dropped the ball (but not the F-bomb) on finding an F-word for "business", you would totally get a gold-star sticker (if I had gold-star stickers to give). That said--believe me--as a person who loves his poetry and his alliteration, if I could throw in "finance field" in the place of the word "business", I totally would. But, for the sake of readability, I've opted to be totally clear over being totally fancy.)

So, to be (totally) clear:

We're talking about business--the fresh, funny, fascinating kind!

That said, why should my thoughts matter to you?

Well, though your eyes and your time do matter to me, I wouldn't want to make you feel obliged to say that my thoughts do matter to you. And, this is especially true if you were to do so just to pacify me or please me. So, I will leave that conclusion for you (and only you) to determine. That said, in an attempt to garner your favour and faith in me, I do want you to know that I am working on a business designation. So, that, in itself, puts me in an interesting position to try to expound an interesting view on the number necromancy of the business-number world to you. So, I do hope that my thoughts and my words will have some merit to you from that vantage point. Also, having had the opportunity to feel-out the (very) expensive business-school experience, I'd be happy to share an inkling of the perspective I've gained through my (very expensive) journey with you. (Please note my emphasis on the word 'expensive', keeping in mind that I am a very cheap person. And, even if I didn't tell you about my clinical condition of 'cheapness-itis', you'd probably realize it eventually as you continued to read through this). Anyways, since then, I have previously dabbled and continue to dabble in the arcanes and mundanes of numbers and the mathematical wizardry that these business numbers are subject to. And, it is this world of mathematical wizardry, the real and visible world of business, built upon the real but invisible world of numbers, that I want to invite you to peer at from the safety of the window I've made for you here in writing you this. But, for those of us who are allergic to numbers and for those of us who only care for numbers as they pertain to counting sheep, do not be alarmed! I can guarantee you that there are none of those put-you-to-sleep sort of numbers here. However, I do caution you this: The only numbers that you may see here are the obituary dates of those that were murdered in times past. But, what do I mean by 'murder'? Well, let me be frank with you: business is not without murder. And, here, I will give you prime examples of that as you continue to peer with me I into the world of business through this window that I've prepared for you (spoiler alert: said prime examples of said murders are at the end of this write-up).

Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s get started, shall we?

Here’s my first thought: This is about Vocal versus Medium. This is also about Vocal's future, a future that hangs our tender and innocent budding careers as Vocal Creators in the balance. Now, if a stapled, black-and-white printout of this discussion on Vocal’s future ever did reach the shiny mahogany desk within the office of a CreatD executive, that would be super swell. But, let’s be realistic: My audience likely does not include any of the CreatD Execs at all--though it does include you, our Vocal Creators community! (Even better, right?!)

So, in writing this, I want to make this as palatable to the lay reader as I can (but give you some good insight at the same time). So, rather than rambling on about noggin-numbing numbers as I point the bright, monochromatic-red dot of my super-duper laser pointer toward a seemingly unending stream of slides and boring bar charts from a PowerPoint presentation that's being projected onto a screen in a bland, white-walled conference room (while wired on an unending stream of piping hot, office-brewed coffee), I will try to make this interesting. That said, speaking of unending streams, I hope this introduction doesn’t feel like an unending stream of words as I try to set you up to understand some insights on Vocal’s future (and your future too if you’re a Vocal creator).

Now, with that out of the way, we’re going to take off shortly! So, (please) get your coffee—office-brewed is preferred since free tastes better—and buckle up.

Okay, got your (free) coffee? Great! Let’s go!

Learning from the Best: Using Meta Platforms Inc. as the Template

We can learn about success by studying other’s success. That’s simple enough. So, we’ll start from there. But, before we do, let’s lay some groundwork: CreatD is the parent company of Vocal. And, just as we can succeed by studying others’ successes, CreatD (i.e., Vocal’s parent) can do that too.

So, then, let’s turn our attention to a company called Meta Platforms Inc—AKA Meta. As Meta remains the king of its realm, there are many lessons to be considered by CreatD if CreatD craves to usurp Medium for the right to sit on Medium’s throne as well as the right to claim the title of courageous king (or comely queen, depending on your preference) of the online writers’ realm. But, groundwork gleans glory. So, first, let’s lay some more groundwork, discussing the parallels between the social media space (where Meta presides) and the online-writing-and-publishing space. But, before we even get into the weeds of these spaces, let’s continue with more discussion on Meta.

Meta—probably better known to you by its previous name, Facebook Inc—in times past, took, by storm, the internet universe. Now, they are bravely stepping out into the great unknown of virtual reality and augmented reality—so, from the internet universe into the metaverse.

(That said, some housekeeping first: Before we continue, do note that, for familiarities sake, I’ll refer to Meta as Facebook from here on out. Got it? Great! Then, what are you waiting for? Let’s keep going. Keep reading!)

So, Facebook, after smashing earnings quarter after quarter (making its investors richer and richer), like a blue-and-white, facebook-themed rocketship on its way to the Moon, in order to keep its trajectory, attempted to aggressively grow by expanding into different countries that they have not yet tapped into. It was a great idea. Financial analysts were buzzing about it. Investors loved it—and the stock proved that this love was true as the price of Facebook continued to soar. And, so, we could imagine that, as Facebook's price soared, the hearts of investors soared as their bank accounts soared. And, who doesn’t want a soaring stock price? And, what about CreatD? Well, I’m sure CreatD doesn’t want a sinking one!

Now, put yourself in one of the CreatD Executive’s shiny black shoes (or red stilletos, if that’s your thing) and take a seat behind that shiny mahogany desk.

Great, now that you've put yourself in their shoes, we can continue.

And, cue the start of the scene in your mind’s eye--Action! I barge through your executive office door and try to give you my pitch about making CreatD’s stock price soar. So, there you are, sitting at your desk, and here I am, standing 3 feet in front of that glorious mahogeny. But, give me a second--I am out of breath (though I do have some of your delicious and semi-addictive (free!) office-brewed coffee in hand)!


...Okay, one more second.


...Okay, Great!

...Thank you for waiting for me to catch my breath!


I’m good now. So, here's the pitch, boss: if CreatD wants to soar like Facebook—being a company on the stock market like Facebook—they would be keen to take note here of what I have in my hand.

So, then, what's in my hand that we be keen to take note of, you ask?

Please, boss, take a look at what I scribbled down in red sharpie:

Aggressive growth. Awesome features. (Insert jazz hands here!)

Jazz hands aside, aggressive growth and awesome features are important for CreatD’s share price to soar. We’ll talk about the specifics on features in future blurbs. But, for now, let’s stick to growth. (And, by growth, I mean growth in this sense, phrased into this question: How can CreatD grow its audience and active creator base?) So, growth involves increasing the Vocal audience and increasing the active creators on Vocal.

So, then, how does CreatD go about achieving this growth that we mentioned? Well, in order to answer that question, let’s learn from the Internet’s best and brightest as we consider Facebook. Are you ready?

Okay, then. Let’s keep going!

Facebook’s intent for geographic expansion, which we touched on briefly already, is a good move to take note of. That’s how you grow organically (i.e., grow in a not-fake and not-lame way). But, does that mean it’s off to the races for CreatD as we imitate the best to be the best? Does that mean CreatD must set sail far and wide to the ends of the earth in search for more creators?

My (short) answer: No—at least not yet!

So, then, executives, if you are still with me, please, hold your horses! (And, perhaps, hold your breath as well, as I try to entertain you with my continued ramblings--your patience is appreciated. And, with that patience, please give me another second to explain.) Now, if you have the office-brewed coffee coursing through your veins as I do, then I will explain myself in the most idiomatically cliché way I can: CreatD trying to expand both its total active creator base and its Vocal+ creator subscriber base internationally, would be like trying to teach a baby to run before it could crawl. You’re maximum reach--AKA TAM, for the finance geeks out there--is larger, but your ability to maintain your audience and creators (i.e., your market share) won't last forever (i.e., it isn’t 'sustainable').

But, why would I say it isn’t sustainable?

Am I trying to be mean?

No, certainly not!

Do I just not have enough positive vibes today?

Also, no.

Why am I focusing on the problem then?

Well, in order to find a solution, you need to fix the problem. And, in order to fix a problem, you need to know a problem exists.

So, then, what’s the problem with aggressive growth, then?

We’ll get to that below. Let’s keep going!

Hold your Horses, CreatD, the Dead are Resting!

Why shouldn’t CreatD focus on increasing their active user base by focusing on different geographic locations? After all, that’s the most direct path toward the coveted goal of organic growth. And, growth means more money for CreatD, and more money for CreatD may mean more challenges, prizes, and money for us Vocal creators. Everyone wins, right? So, if that’s the case, why shouldn’t CreatD focus on growth? My answer: The problem lies in the difference between the maturity of Facebook and the maturity of CreatD (within their respective niches).

Let me explain myself. Consider the example Facebook set: Before Facebook set their eyes on growth into foreign geography (say, toward the far east lands of China), their user base and active user counts were fantastic already—thanks to you and I, our Facebook friends, the creepy dude that you blocked yesterday, and all the other random people on Facebook in totality. Pretty fantastic. But, fantastic is relative.

And, if fantastic is relative, then the question to ask is this:

Relative to what?

Well, by relative, I mean: relative to its competitors—i.e., Facebook’s stats were fantastic relative to those of its competitors.

Okay, so Facebook’s fantastic performance is relative—you get that. But, is this relativity relevant to CreatD at all?

My answer is this: Yes—a resounding yes. Why, a resounding yes? I’ll get to it. Stay with me!

But, first, let me start off this answer with a question: Do you remember Hi5, Friendster, Friendfeed, Meerkat, Yik Yak, Multiply, Plurk, Google Buzz/Google Wave, G+, Vine, or MySpace? Probably not. Or, at least probably not all of them if any. And, don’t worry if you haven’t heard of many of them—I haven't either; You and I are in the same boat here.

So, actually, some of these platforms, I’m pretty sure I've never heard of at all. And, if I have, I’m not trying to lie to you by saying I haven't! It’s just that they were so bad and so unpopular that I just forgot about them—or, perhaps, I just blocked them out of my mind, being traumatized when brought to grips with recollected memories of a younger me taking 'gangster'-looking selfies (before the word “selfie” was a word) as I would slightly pout my young teenage baby face for the camera (in an attempt to create that 'mean mugging' facial expression that was so cool in that era) so that I could upload the snap onto one or more of these forgotten platforms. And, if you’re older than me (and, at one point, forgot how to pull up your pants while my peach fuzz and I were taking embaressing selfies), you probably have a nostalgic story or two about MySpace. As for the other forgotten platforms, the recollections are likely non-existent on an account that these platforms were non-existent to us, the mean-mugging, low-riding gangsters of that era.

But, wait a second!

Not to depart from our fond memories of low-riding baggy pants too abruptly, but, if I had not even heard of these companies before, how did I find out about the rest of the fates of these platforms' poor souls as they were forgone and forgotten?

Easy. I googled “dead social media platforms.”

Yes. Dead.

Thus, here, on the Internet, lies the social media corpses of the world wide web. I’ll put up the list of the dead toward the end of this blurb—sort of like an obituary—in honour of the dead.

Murder on the Internet!

That said, why did I even bring up these dead platforms?

It’s because they didn’t just die—they were murdered.

And, wait! Before you call the Internet police, let me tell you, the murder is neither a cold case nor a scoop worthy to try and scoop (no offence, Hi5!). But, still, I’m sure you want to know. Who did it? Who was the murderer?

Well, in trying to find out, you could get up out from behind your fancy, shiny mahogany executive desk, put on your detective hat, and do some detective work on Facebook to find out who murdered these platforms. Ask a shady person or two. Get a hot tip or three. But, then, ask who? You know exactly who: That Facebook friend who has that generic grey-and-white cartoon-stylized silhouette as their display picture. Or, that other Facebook friend who has had that same display picture on their Facebook profile since high school. Yes, them. They probably might know. You could totally ask them to give you a lead.

But, let me save you the time. I’d say you’d not need to look far if you started your detective work as you searched through your Facebook feed.

Now, then, why am I telling you that you won’t need to look far?

Well, its because the murderer is, in fact, Facebook itself! (or, the 'Murderous Meta' if your into alliteration as I am).

So, there was a murderer on the Internet. And, its name is—well, to be correct, its name ‘was’ Facebook (because of that whole name-change-from-Facebook-to-Meta thing, which no one seems to like). And, in typical murderer modus operandi, there was an identity change too--since Facebook, indeed, had its identity metamorphosized into Meta!

(Disclaimer: Please note that I have nothing against Facebook in calling it a murder of the dead platforms hopes and dreams—just trying to make this fun).

Okay, so, there was a murder. We get it.

Facebook murdered all those random social media platforms in cold blood. We get it.

And, now, they’re all floating around in an Internet cache somewhere up above the world-wide-web so high, high above the cloud in cyberspace. We get it.

But, why does this all matter?

I’ll tell you why. Please see below!

Why the Meta Murder Matters.

Answer: Because, Facebook got so big and so good, no one needed the other platforms to connect with each other. Makes sense, right? So, it was redundant from a user standpoint. Further, Facebook had great features too--they even had a poke! Remember that? And, this is the parallel I want to draw between Facebook and Vocal.

So, like being at a party with an entertaining and hospitable host, you want to stay. And, with Facebook as the entertaining and hospitable host, we all stayed. And, the aftermath of all that was that we are here, years later, reminiscing about all the dead platforms that Facebook took outside of the house and down into its cellar to murder while we were too occupied having the time of our lives chatting it up in Facebook’s white-and-blue living room. So, aside from murdering the other platforms in the cellar, Facebook has been pretty entertaining and hospitable to us. And, as dark as that sounds, bringing its competitors into the cellar (metaphorically!) is what Vocal must be willing to do.

So, that’s that! You did great to make it this far! We got through that discussion of dead platforms, growth, and features as the groundwork. You even listened unflinchingly as I explained to you the greusome details of what transpired in Facebook's cellar during that party we were both at.

Now, let’s bring this all together with another question or two: What can we learn from what we’ve just discussed—why does the murder of those now-dead platforms matter?

The answer is simple: Because, we don’t want Vocal, through CreatD, to end up dead in Medium’s cellar. Rather, we want CreatD to be like Facebook—the victor of the platform wars. After all, if CreatD, the parent of Vocal (remember?), does good, Vocal creators do good.

So, now, someone reading this might be thinking, “Wait, there’s platform wars here too?”

Well, though I can’t be sure, as the self-proclaimed, ad-hoc historian of the histories of the online-writing-and-publishing platforms of the Internet, which I awarded myself after 1 or 2 Google searches, I’ll be declaring that, yes, there is a war. And, this platform war has already begun. Medium’s fighting and Vocal’s fighting. Each platform is fighting for active accounts—just like Facebook and the now-deceased opponents of the social media platform wars were.

And, for now, it looks like an uphill battle for CreatD—and perhaps, then, its an uphill battle for all of us who are strapped in for the ride. But, don’t be discouraged! There’s hope—there’s hope to win the platform war.

So, How Does One Win the Platform Wars?

Well, I’ve wasted enough of your time with all of this set up and I think my office-brewed coffee is running dry, so I’ll just give it to you:

Awesome features—first!

Aggressive growth—after!

Wait a second: I said that already—I know! But, do note this: Order matters! First features, then growth—not the other way around!

And, here’s an analogy to bring this all together: Build a good foundation before you grow your skyscraper. So, when you build high enough, it does not crumble or topple over.

That’s what Facebook did. CreatD can learn from that.

Why Should You Care, My Fellow Vocal Creator?

Answer? As explained previously, its symbiosis:

It's because our success contributes toward Vocal’s success;

It’s because Vocal’s success can contribute toward our success.

So, there you have it!

If this blurb picks up traction, I’ll see you next time for an explanation of my thoughts and musings as to what CreatD could consider to become the next Facebook of the online-writing-and-publishing market, taking down the Mighty Medium in the process—and, in doing so, bring us all along for the glorious ride upward.

Thank you for reading! You're a trooper!

The Obituary. (As Promised!)

Here lies the bodies of those who did not survive the Murdering Meta Massacre:

Hi5 (2004 – present; medically deceased, hospitalized and on life support)

(RIP gangster high school selfies)

Friendster (2002 – 2018)

Their original logo. RIP.

This was their revamped logo before reverting back to the original style. RIP x 2.

Friendfeed (2007 – 2015)

This logo looks oddly familiar... RIP.

Google Buzz/Google Wave (2009 – 2011; had a heart attack as Google Wave, resurrected as Google Buzz, then died a slow and painful death)

Hey, you can't win all the time, Google. RIP.

Remember me? Nope, neither do I. RIP.

G+ (2011 – 2019)


Meerkat (2015 – 2016)

So young! RIP.

Multiply (2003 – 2013)

Multiply was multiplied by 0. RIP.

MySpace (2003 – present; medically deceased, surviving as a vegetable on life support and nostalgia)

Hope there was enough space in the coffin, mySpace. RIP.

Plurk (2008 – present; medically deceased, also on life support)

Plurk went kurplunk. RIP.

Vine (2013 – 2016; resurrected as “vine camera”)


Yik Yak (2013 -2017)

Yik Yak or Yik Yikes? RIP.


About the Creator

Prashanth Chandrasegaram

Dreaming of escape to a tropical, teardrop-shaped island, a place of my parents' tearful escape, a place once called home.🌴

Red-blooded Tamil. 🇱🇰

Born and raised on Canadian soil. 🇨🇦

HBSc (Neuroscience). 🧠

Working on a CPA. 🧮

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