Wow at last someone who has explained the medium stats to me.
I love your ambition of 1000 followers I would settle for 100 at the moment. Good luck with your goal.
I spend a variable amount of time on medium. I tend to bookmark articles throughout the day I like the sound of. Then when I am sitting beside my little girls cot as she goes to bed I read the articles. The length of time is dependent on how quickly she goes to sleep.
I am definitely going to try and help new users gain a following no matter how small. If everyone did this on medium the network would grow incredibly.