Good exchange on Medium economics here, but we keep forgetting the significant social media differentiator, namely, that we can have valuable and insightful conversations like this one.
Social exchange is ultimately worth something, which can benefit everyone — the writer, the publisher and the reader; this should influence how the new Medium value stream gets setup.
The ability for social interaction was always there with blogging, but decentralized, with benefits generally at no cost to the reader. Medium introduces critical mass and a front door. But our innovative urges stay hijacked by price point constraints hovering around free.
Let’s suspend the economic debate just a bit, to first address the other lurking roadblock, which is quality. I’m seeing quite a few marginal posts with high read and recommend counts. That tells me the system is subject to self-promotion, or that somehow the system can be gamed. Few will want to buy-in if that’s going on. Over at Stack Exchange votes up and down are anonymous, with public comments, a balance which seems to work for them. Perhaps the magic lies in a paywall, micro payments/credits and anonymous vote up/down for quality.
There’s a solution in here, struggling to find the light of day .. I’m sure of it.