Why Medium Will Fail
Do I think Medium is about to go out of business? Well that depends on a lot of things, but before I answer that question I want to point out I didn’t put this article behind the paywall because I’m strictly here to make money. Nor is this just another article by an angry writer who just saw his readership plummet. As a matter of fact: my readership here is growing daily and like every writer here should be, I’m quite happy to pay Medium $5.oo a month to host my rants, raves, stories, and poetry.
Secondly, if people don’t share this article then the chances that Medium will go out of business will no doubt grow worse instead of better. In the course of this article you’ll understand why.
While I’m relatively new to Medium, I’ve been writing online since 1999. Again, and again, and again I’ve struggled while dozens of writers’ sites and advertisers have gone belly up, many of them owing me money I’ll never be paid. I’ve watched as venture capitalists and programmers spent millions upon millions of dollars to fund writers’ sites that never made it. Anybody remember WrittenByMe.com from 1999? I think they were the first. That goes back so long ago there isn’t even a Wikipedia entry to preserve their memory. And yes, I wrote there.
Why are online publishers and venture capitalists so intent on a repeat of the Dot Com burst?
I had 85,000 daily readers when I was the sole writer and owner of BloggingPoet.com (Now owned by someone else) until the crash of 2008 wiped out my means to earn a living as a full-time writer.
I’ve taken all the quotes below from Medium’s About Page and will comment on them separately while showing readers (and hopefully Medium stockholders and the Board of Directors) the problems Medium is facing, and the means by which Medium and Medium writers might go about to turn things around, profit, pay returns, attract new investors, and pay Medium writers their worth. Quotes from Medium are in bold.
“The best ideas can change who we are. Medium is where those ideas take shape, take off, and spark powerful conversations.”
Really? Most articles written here are barely read at all. Medium knows it, we writers know it, and now the readers know it. Publish numbers if you can prove me wrong.
“ We’re an open platform where over 100 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking.”
Prove it! Honestly, any publication that has over 100 million readers should be showing a profit and gaining investors. According to an August 29, 2020 article by J J Prior:
The article I linked to was published in a Medium Publication called Feedium, a Medium cheerleader owned by J.J. Prior. To date, I’ve never seen a cheerleader win a football game. According to Shan Wang, writer of the February 22, 2018 article, After years of testing, The Wall Street Journal has built a paywall that bends to the individual reader, the Wall Street Journal only has 1,389,000 digital subscribers.
I believe Medium’s readership could be much larger than even the Wall Street Journal — a publication with a very well-to-do demographic — if not for the paywall which stifles everything Medium claims to believe.
“Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface.”
New ideas can’t come to the surface if they’re not being read.
“Our purpose is to spread these ideas and deepen understanding of the world.”
But are these ideas being spread as far as they should be spread?
For example: take my friend, Gwen Frisbie-Fulton, author at Down Home North Carolina, YES Magazine, and many other places, who also writes here at Medium, is an activist and ardent supporter of progressive actions involving race, class, poverty, gender, equity, children, and egalitarian organizing. Anyone and everyone who is anything in Greensboro, North Carolina knows who Gwen is. Our Mayor and City Council know her, most of our senators and representatives in Raleigh, and Washington, DC know her as well. Gwen worked for one of, if not the largest food bank in North Carolina. I don’t know if Gwen’s articles are behind the paywall or not but shouldn’t everyone have access to them? And shouldn’t she be getting well paid for her articles? You’ll have to ask Gwen how well she is paid as I have no way to know.
“We’re creating a new model for digital publishing. One that supports nuance, complexity, and vital storytelling without giving in to the incentives of advertising.”
And ten years later it has yet to make a profit. Has anyone ever mentioned the popular “definition of insanity”?
“It’s an environment that’s open to everyone but promotes substance and authenticity.”
Not if you can’t afford to pay $5.oo a month for full access.
“And it’s where deeper connections forged between readers and writers can lead to discovery and growth.”
How has that been working out when for years the majority of readers at Medium were bots?
“Together with millions of collaborators, we’re building a trusted and vibrant ecosystem fueled by important ideas and the people who think about them.”
Mr Williams, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “Tear down that wall” and start serving PREMIUM advertisements from reputable companies who aren’t afraid to face a little criticism.
Charge every writer the $5.oo a month the bots will disappear, and the bounce rate will fall from the 65.4% it is today.
And don’t even get me started on the algorithm.
About The Author
There once was a poet who was very broke,
so he wrote poems online to fill up his poke.
But he’s not complaining, no, everything’s fine,
he just needs some coffee…
Well, you get it, please send me a tip via Ko-Fi as I am no longer putting my work behind the Medium paywall and now rely on readers like you to support my work here at Wackemall.com. You know, until Medium changes or something better comes along.