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Our story 

The MuddyUm adventure continues

We’ve been creating laughs since 1720

 

There was a time I did all the editing myself. I promised to publish within 24 hours. We ran some of the first independently funded paid contests for writers on Medium.com.  We were the first to recommend writers stop using the same stock photos over and over. We were also among the first to start teaching writers to focus on becoming a top writer, and we wrote posts about why that mattered. All those profiles that say “5X Top Writer”? Yeah, we invented that.

 

We were quietly teaching Medium skills before it was popular to do so. Now the 1000x top writer moniker is de rigueur.

 

Today, we have an editorial team of 16. On our laughter roster, we have over 1000 funny writers and comic illustrators from around the world. We have about 9000 followers on Medium, and steadily growing each day.

We have what I consider some of the finest writers and editors on Medium. We are the Mudditors — the editors of MuddyUm.

susanwitharmando.jpeg

 Susan Brearley & poet/playwright Armando Batista

There are some things we do that make our publication unique. So unique in fact, that other editors, writers, and publications emulate us. We’re flattered. Co-Editor Toni Crowe reminds me that it’s not pie. This thing that society teaches us, that tells us there is a limited source of something, and you should hoard it, creeps slowly into our psyches if we aren’t ever vigilant. Things like money, skills, talent, and laughter. She reminds me that when we shine a light brightly, others will want to come along, stand next to you and shine a light too, making the original light even brighter. Just the way Fresnel intended.

 

So, YAY us. We are the premier place for funny on Medium, and delighted to be your comedy guardians.

 

Thank YOU for being on this journey with me, and with our editorial team. Thank you for helping to bring more laughter into the world.

What do we do that’s so special?

We edit well

Our volunteer editors are all brilliant writers with wickedly delicious senses of humor, and passionate about our mission to bring more laughter into the world. We want all our writers’ work to shine.

 

We publish fast

Gone are the days when you need to wait for weeks, or months, for someone to engage with you. Our goal is 24 hours, but of course, if you as a writer are busy and can’t engage with your editorial team, we’ll go do our other life duties until you can get back to us.

 

We have a weekly Mudditors meeting

Many Mudditors call this meeting the highlight of their week.

Anu Anniah measures its success by the level of pain in her face at the end of the meeting. Those laughter muscles get a serious workout on Mondays!

We maintain a strong editorial culture

 

Bhavna Narula said it best in her Medium post--Why MuddyUm is the Best When it Comes to Editorial Standards?

We are global

Having been born in and lived in North America most of my life, I say on good authority that we North Americans tend to be overly North American centric. The truth about MuddyUm is that our editors and writers come from every continent. What makes people laugh on one continent may not resonate on another. For that reason, we rely on editors to keep us straight and only punching up, never down. We take speedy action if we miscalculate. And we’ve got eyes on the entrance queue pretty much 24/7.

 

We attract new readers to Medium

This is one of our proudest accomplishments. I field emails daily from accomplished humor writers who are brand new to Medium, and discovered Medium because of our reach and range in the humor writing space. This is something any organizational leader aspires to, and something that all Medium CEO’s should consider as future versions of Medium are crafted.

 

We have a MuddyBot

It’s a piece of AI that our techno-comic Mudditor, Andrew Rodwin is perfecting, and it does a lot of the heavy lifting, and light joking, to assist our live human editors.

 

We have a college internship program

We just completed the second year of our college internship program. As part of the 501(c)3 non-profit institute I founded, our revenue generating activities support this active and meaningful program.  Several youthful, energetic and enthusiastic college students became Mudditors for a few months and continue to write comedy for the publication. They successfully created the momentum we needed to continue our technology, social media, and writing programs for interns.

 

Kudos and thanks to Andrew Rodwin for his dedication and focus in instituting this program which will serve young writers for years to come.

Tech Stuff

Speaking of Andrew, he does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to stats analysis for the team. Thanks Andrew! But he’s not the only one who has tech savvy, and everyone who does have these skills pitches in when it comes to spreadsheets and tracking and project management. It’s a total team effort that has us demystifying the used-to-be mostly mysterious Medium. Now Medium is only partially mysterious.

We’ve loosened our punctuation guidelines

While we still frown on excessive parenthetical and ellipses use, we have found that in some situations it’s important to the writers’ piece to leave them in. And we do still jump for joy when we see em-dashes!

 

We have an organized social media team

We choose pieces DAILY and promote them on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube. Our followers in these spaces are growing, providing new outlets and support for our active MuddyUm writers. We sift through all the daily submissions for the best pieces to push out into the social media world. We have a team who weekly takes turn identifying funny and favorite daily pieces from all we published that day, and posting to our media channels.

 

We have a newsletter team

We have been publishing a weekly newsletter with no interruptions for over a year! That’s some amazing dedication from this devoted team, which includes and has included:

 

Rachael Ann Sand, Anu Anniah, Lucia Siochi, Gary Chapin, Carol Lennox and Toni Crowe.

 

We host never-ending humor prompts

They are featured as a tab on our home page for easy access. Any editor or writer can start a humor prompt that is evergreen in this space

 

We are the exclusive host for Granny Mary!

She’s old and she’s dead. She may be the only dead person writing on Medium. Rumor has it that she is related to Gary Chapin.

We have a Bootyque where you can get the coolest swag

Don’t believe me. Just ask Sarah Paris.  Her MuddyUm hoodie photos are classics.

 

We give selected feature writers their own omnibus page

Featured writers and editors receive their own navigational tab and page on our front page. Their MuddyUm feature pages are evergreen — available forever. Or until Medium implodes. This honor goes to our most prolific and funniest writers. The two featured writers are chosen in our weekly Mudditors meeting by the collective.

 

We run a live Comedy Camp and Writers’ Retreat

We are editors who believe we all can learn to be funnier. Our editing is designed to improve the writers’ comedic voice — never to replace it.

 

Our editors host editorial writing retreats

These are hosted in the beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley, New York.

 

We host an exclusive private Facebook page for our writers — the MuddyUm Outlaws—as well as a private Slack channel for writers and editors to collaborate

We publish humor anthologies

Our first, destined to become a classic, is entitled, “Wouldn’t You Rather Be Laughing?” Everyone will want a copy. You’ll want it because — who wouldn’t want to boast they had the first edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul? Or purchased Amazon stock in that first year? Yeah, you’ll want this. And this is just the beginning. We have plans for many more publications. There will be opportunities for all our writers to contribute, so watch for future calls for submissions

 

We have BHAG

We admit to having Big Hairy Audacious Goals. We own that every day. We set out on a piratical takeover plan to positively infect every corner of Medium. We certainly have succeeded so far in influencing many of the writers, editors, and publications here. Whether our future is closely tied to Medium, or independently off of Medium, our intention is to create the finest humor and comedy publication available on any platform in the multiverse.

 

A final word

MuddyUm is so much more than the daily funny stories and comics that grace our front page. There is a camaraderie here, one that has over the months and years, created strong relationships between us. We consider ourselves family. We think of our writers as an extension of our family, and we’re all here to bring humor back to the world. We are each so grateful for Medium. It is highly unlikely that all of us would have come together in any other way.

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