Why Would a Reader Highlight and Comment About and Praise Your Work

But Refuse to Clap?

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Photo by Joséphine Menge on Unsplash

How often does a reader praise and highlight your work — but fail to clap?

A fellow Medium writer just messaged me to ask why that this keeps happening to her, figuring that due to my wisdom as an elder (I turn 65 next week! ) and my vast experience on this platform (I’ve been here for several months!) I’d know the answer.

Heaps of positive response from a reader — without a single clap — can happen for five reasons that I’m aware of (and probably several that I’m not.)

A reader can be so busy Highlighting and Commenting about and sending you private notes praising your work that they actually forget to clap for it.

What kind of an idiot would do this?

Me! I’ve done this.

I once lavished praise on another writer’s Medium Masterpiece, after which he sent me a private note asking if I was being sarcastic.

“Why on earth would you think that?” I wrote back.

“Uhh — because you didn’t clap?”


I was positive that I’d clapped for his post — but apparently I was so damn busy highlighting and praising it that I forgot to.

Sometimes after I clap for Medium posts on my iphone, my phone erases all the claps.

I love your post, so I punch the little clap icon, augmenting your Clap Total by 50 claps.

A few seconds later? Those claps vanish.

So? I try again. Clap clap clap clappity- clap.

For one brief shining moment — you’ve got 50 claps from me!

Then — poof! — they’re gone.

I have no idea why this happens or how to fix it.

Medium Glitches Happen.

Sometimes Medium just won’t let me clap. When I hit the clap icon, nothing happens.

I can smack at it all I want. Nada.

Swearing and shouting at it doesn’t help either.

Like any other Medium Glitch, if you wait around long enough Medium will fix it.

Some newbies are under the impression that they have a total of 50 claps a day to dispense, instead of a total of 50 claps to give to each post.

(I guarantee that at least one new-to-Medium reader just had their mind blown by that sentence. To which I say: Welcome, Medium Newbie! You have many more fun surprises to look forward to.)

I’ve been told that there are loving and supportive Moms who get a Medium account for the sole purpose of reading the work of and financially supporting an adult child who is a Medium writer, and will only clap for their spawn, so as to transfer as much wealth to them each month as possible.

They may read and enjoy your work and they may tell you so, but if they didn’t give birth to you? They’re not going to clap.

(I have no idea if this is true or just a rumor, but I am a Mom, so it makes sense to me.)

Apparently, there are readers who just don’t clap, for unfathomable reasons of their own. Maybe because they’re just meanies. Or they just want to mess with you.

Maybe because they’re holding out for a writer who is as good as Shakespeare, and you’re not.

Perhaps a few of them are reading this and will choose to share their reasoning with us.

Or not.


Which is to say? Keep wondering. But keep writing.

When it comes right down to it life — especially life on Medium — is full of mystery.

And that’s okay.

(Katherine Taylor: THANKS FOR ASKING! I hope this helps.)

(If you enjoyed this post by Roz Warren, you might enjoy this one too.)

Written by

Writing Coach/Medium Sherpa Roz Warren(https://muckrack.com/roz-warren) (roSwarren@gmail.com) writes for everyone from the New York Times to the Funny Times.

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