Thanks, Aura Wilming , for giving us a peek behind the wall. The main reason I have not paid for membership is because of Medium’s extremely negative attitude towards fiction. It is somewhat encouraging to learn that they will be adding a ‘Lit’ category. But I am hesitant on two counts.
First, I am wary of what the young tech geeks of Medium’s editorial staff will consider literature and therefore of what will appear in that category. In the last month I have only found ONE short story in the category feeds on this side of The Wall and that ONE story was only partially in English with the rest of the story written in html. Is this the only way we will be able to catch the attention of the young tech geek editorial staff? By writing in the only language they know?
Secondly, all of my short fiction is tagged with ‘fiction’ and ‘short story.’ Apparently, I will now have to add the ‘lit’ tag to both new posts and go back and add that tag to all my previous stories in order for them to have a snowball’s chance of appearing in the new ‘lit’ category. That sucks. Not only will that be a lot of work but I will have to make a decision with each post on what tag to drop in order to add the ‘lit’ tag. (And with The Weekly Knob, where I have to add 3 specific tags, leaving me with only two, I can’t use both ‘fiction’ and ‘short story’ for the two tags I have left. I’ll have to drop one of those in order to use the ‘lit’ tag. This will leave my story out of one of those two tags, further diminishing my chances of the story being seen.)
Meanwhile, back on this side of The Wall I am finding that my homepage feed is getting worse. I’ve discovered that posts by several of the people I follow just don’t show up in my feed. (And that includes some of your posts, Aura.) I’ve made adjustments to the tags I follow and some of the people I follow but it seems to make no difference whatsoever. My feed is still inundated with endless repetitive and formulaic self-help articles. And still the only way to find any short fiction is to click on the ‘fiction’ and ‘short story’ tags and go diving. And sometimes my own posts don’t even show up in my feed. Plus the views on my stories have dropped by about 80% since The Wall went up. Things on this side of the wall have not gotten any better and instead have gotten slightly worse. Perhaps that is a way to entice more people to pay to be allowed on the other side of The Wall.
It is not enticing me, though.
One thing that has gotten me excited, though, is how people are starting to use the paypal.me links. This is one of the best results of The Wall going up. I am much more inclined to send the author of a story that I really, really liked a couple of bucks than to pay for a membership that sends my money to authors of self-help articles that I don’t care for. If Medium had been a little smarter they would have incorporated a system like that in which readers can choose who they support rather than having that choice taken away from them and given to an editorial staff that only appreciates an extremely narrow spectrum of writing. Medium really blew it on that.
So meanwhile I will stay on this side of the wall where I can choose where my money goes.