Let’s Not Ruin Medium

I have been a daily active user of Medium for the past 2.5 years. I want Medium to win really badly. I want words to have power and I want creators of value to be compensated for creating value. This is an important cause to me – empowering people with a platform to share ideas is incredibly impactful and critical to the future development of humanity. We need an accessible place to publish thoughts…

But I do no want lazy, spammy ads to win the space. I want Medium to win because I believe in content and I think, in the long run, the best content will win out.

The problem, as stated by their CEO and Founder Ev Williams, is that…

“It’s not that there aren’t journalists, publishers, and thinkers doing great work and putting it out there. But the realities of the attention economy are very tough for those who create things designed for anything but the widest possible (i.e., lowest-common-denominator) audience. For ad-driven sites, the revenue per reader has been dropping for years (while the experience worsens and privacy disintegrates), leaving little room for research, fact checking, or polish… let alone nuance or complexity. The system demands quantity. It demands speed. And it demands little else — except our clicks. In summary, the system is broken. The free ride is an illusion. It was never free, and it is going nowhere but down.”

This is not an easy problem to work on. In fact, I see it as one of the hardest things to be working on right now…fixing the incentive model of the internet!

But at what cost to user experience are we willing to invest in compensating creators. And what types of creators is Medium looking to really compensate? Journalists or people with random ideas?