CW: poorly thought out ideas. maybe.
I kind of sloppily (too quickly) read a thing by an Important Medium Person (so sorry; am horrible with names) a bit ago involving downsizing their employees and…creating a Medium that is…closer to what they originally wanted, I think? See, I’m not sure what that even means. It had something to do with helping writers make money, maybe. (YAY THANK YOU YES PLS)
Then I read a lot of responses to it, which, because I didn’t really understand what the first article was about, made sense to me only in that I was on their end of the ish (the writer end) and so it was easier for me to see where they were coming from and why they would want the things they wrote that they wanted in their responses.
In these responses, a lot of people (writers) mentioned that they would be ok with paying. And here is where I get all kinds of twisted, possibly because of miscomprehension, but maybe no; maybe because of actually understood content. I think these writers were saying that they would be ok with paying Medium to write.
I…I got that wrong, right? It’s more than that, right?
I think Medium should have people pay to read.
Not a lot. Like 10 cents per piece. 50 cents to give it a recommend. Maybe Medium gets a cut of that amount; sure.
But I also think that people who weigh in, who write either responses/comments or stand alone pieces that make Medium the readworthy site that it is, should have an exemption cap. Like if you write more than (arbitrary number) fifteen pieces a month (maybe every stand alone piece is worth two comment/response pieces? Maybe in order for pieces to count they have to be a certain number of characters? Like an emoticon comment does not count? I have no idea), your next month is either free reading or free recommending or both (there are clearly a zillion variations of this set up, none of which I’ve thought through at all. I can’t even draw an apple, folks).
It would enable writers to earn money and keep reading other writers that have helped their skill and with whom they have forged relationships, without causing these same writers (many of whom are very broke HI) to leave the site due to not being able to afford $10 a month (or whatever), every month, forever. It would force trolls to either comment enough to get themselves blocked with the quickness (blocking needs to always be free, y’all. Eff charging someone who is trying to protect themselves from verbal assault) or to actually pay money to the writer they then plan on trolling.
Maybe there’s an option each writer has to set their own fees for each piece.
Maybe there’s a way to work this so it isn’t writers paying for publicity on a site that already benefits from having so many writers on it. That’s one step worse than doing it for free. It feels like being asked to play a gig for free, because exposure, only this time, it’s ‘hey if you give me your lunch, I’ll let you serenade me.’
And I get that some people are writing on here for fun, or maybe feel the social network they’ve cultivated here should be funded, and would happily/easily pay money every month to continue doing so. But a lot of us (most of us?) are on here to get better at writing. To read good things. If writing is the work, and reading is the reward, we should balance it accordingly. For me, anyway, the community that reached out to me and welcomed me here was (well some key players in that group left and that is heartbreaking, but aside from that) one that I maybe wouldn’t have gotten to meet if it was a pay-to-play site. There’s a large sacrifice involved in charging people for a social network and a blog, and not all of us can easily bleed that limb.
Anyways, I probably got it all wrong and no one was saying we all need to pay. Hahahaha just kidding move along nothing to see here.