My Co-Founders Took Away Everything I’d Created. Here’s What I Learned
Kathryn Minshew

Every now and then a piece comes along just at the right time, when you need it most. Thanks.

My problem is not as dramatic as yours, but recently I’m thinking differently about the “sharing” economy and your story helped me crystalize a plan.

I’ve never been stupid enough to entrust my “thought children” to sites that were clearly monetizing my work, like FB. So I’d settled on Qu0ra as a place to hang out between gigs or to relax, to keep the writing flowing and the researcher nimble (I’ve squirreled away 5,500+ reference notes in Evernote. I can pull together the outlines of an article with quotes and references in no time at all — I ghostwrite for corporations, mostly).

Anyway, I’ve always liked Quora, a sort of a Facebook for Thinking People, until I found myself sitting out a 30 day suspension this month. The details aren’t important, but the fact that I can’t get the attention of management is deeply disturbing. They don’t care.

I’ve done it again, fallen in love with an organization that can’t love me back. More importantly, there is now a very tall garden wall between me and what I thought I owned on Quora, my thought children.

Not only were those pieces professionally informed and researched, but I gave away billable units polishing those turds until they gleamed. It’s actually embarrassing (or a point of pride, I can’t decide) to compute my edits to post ratio from the stats Quora provides.

So it is good read your piece on picking up and moving on with the thing they could take from you. Although I’m in better shape than you when it comes to not having dumped a lot of cash into the project.

You’ve also helped me decide on a course of action. Once I’ve served my sentence and admitted back into polite company, I’m going to find all of my “thought children” on Quora and bring them home to live on my site. I’ll leave a link on Quora to the piece on my site, and maybe a few lines of the text as a teaser.

I’d noticed other writers doing that here on Medium, and I found it a bit off-putting. But I’m beginning to see the wisdom. Eventually the\ funders will — rightfully — find a way to monetize the work on Quora and probably on here on Medium as well.

If your work is worth anything, it’s worth preserving and using on your own terms.


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