So you’re assuming that the authors wouldn’t be freely sharing their stories? Are you assuming that Medium would buy their stories?
In this story I listed these three books that I had read for free…

Here’s what Medium says about their subscription model:

“Payments (to authors) are calculated by dividing up each member’s monthly fee (subscription) based on their engagement with the member-exclusive stories they read”.

I took this to mean, if you read a story, that is ‘engagement’.

In other words, my subscription is divided up among all the authors I read who write stories for the subscription service.

To not pay an author who is expecting to get paid for every read, would be a ‘free ride’ (given other people are doing what is expected and paying to support him). Though how you would do this is not clear!

However, if authors agreed to submit their stories to the subscription section with the understanding that people could read them and not pay anything, then of course there is no free rider.

This is very different to your approach which seeks to place a value on the ideas based on the money paid to promote them.

And if you say that is not what you mean, then you will need to stop making statements like this:

“Whichever name receives the most money will be the most useful”.

Essentially, you are saying that people who spend up big are the most wise.

And your evidence for this is?

You are conflating two things:

  1. what you know as important to you, and
  2. what you think is important to the community

The two are not the same.

You can know the answer to the first (though even then people spend unwisely)

As for the second, it is pure opinion.

The whole point of the market is that it sums what each person says is important to them. In doing so, it ‘invisibly’ identifies what is important to us all… without any of us having to put a value on what we think is important to the community.

The whole idea of paying out the ‘consumer surplus’ in order to give a ‘better signal’ is counter productive. Since it is not what you think is the value, but what everyone (including all consumers and producers) think is valuable based on the market price.

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