I think this is an oversimplification. Here’s why… let’s say there’s 2 writers on medium.
— Writer A has 18,000 followers.
— Writer B is new and has 18 followers.
Both publish a piece at the same time.
— Writer A gets 1800 likes. (ie 10% response)
— Writer B gets 1 like (also 10% response)
Which is Medium more likely to feature? Once in a while, it may be Writer B. More often, it’s Writer A.
If we’re going to be honest - a lot of the “how to” articles featured in the Medium newsletter are not great writing. I suspect they’re boosted by the likes of big audiences and then further boosted by Medium recommendation.
So, I’m not entirely sure “peer recommends” is the issue, but that it’s difficult for new writers to get any traction.
Maybe the real question is the criteria required to get that elusive recommendation by Medium?