Michael, you should know Top Writer tags mean very little any more and—as you pointed out—is more about frequency in the topics people write in. That doesn’t mean they produce quality content either. Some of the people on this list can write (and write well), others churn chum to the top so the sharks can feed. Medium’s mission thus becomes diluted by the life hacksters and people who produce articles with vapid sentiments that feed a generation obsessed with taking selfies of their food. Ev has made this abundantly clear when he recently said:
Our most important job is to deliver great stories to readers. And we have great stories. We also have not-great stories. And we don’t always manage to help the best get seen. We’re obsessed with helping the best quality stuff get in front of people — as well as that each person really cares about. And we know we have a ways to go here.
I myself have 14.2K followers and have been named a top writer in Life, Life Lessons, Mental Health, Relationships, Short Stories, Love, Fiction, and…wait for it…poetry. Even though I’ve never written a single poem on Medium. While the Top Writer status feels nice it’s like getting a styrofoam cup for a trophy, and those who obsess about their top writer status probably have other issues underneath the surface dealing with approval and acceptance. Because here’s the simple truth, there are damn fine writers with next-to-no following on Medium and no Top Writer status who’s work puts some on this list—and me included—to shame. This is why I’ve been impressed with Medium’s curation because I’m finding little known authors with great work.
So my point, if you’ve gotten this far, is just this: Showcasing the little known writers who produce quality content does more to benefit Medium’s mission than those who’ve had their star rise through less than reputable means.