This is not one of those articles, to be clear. Yes, this is about the new earnings calculation on Medium but…
I mean, let’s discuss a bit about what I don’t see much discussed around these days.
I want to start this post by giving you some certainty. If you were poor with the old system, you’ll remain poor. Deal with it. Either you pass to the side of daily inspirational posts or you’ll keep eating bread and nothing. That was the rule before and still is. Nothing changed on that.
Still, the change is important and brings with it a few considerations and an impact.
Let’s start with what seems to be a minor issue: drawings.
Some of the authors I appreciate most have the misfortune to be creative in a visual way, at least on Medium. Like Roy.
I guess that he now has only two ways out: including as much detail as possible in his pictures — so to keep you engaged longer, maybe with a quest challenge for some tiny detail or reducing the font of the balloons — or making you laugh for a longer time on each picture. But not much, or it could be got as a coffee break, and not counted. He has now to invoke the exact quantity of laughing in his posts, to compete with a self-help or a success story, or a Medium success story. Not an easy task.
But let’s talk about the best supporting actor. Or, well, I now should say extra.
What about claps?
From what I remember, I could distribute my subscription on my preferred readings — in the most part — according to my clapping. I had the illusion of some power over contributing to the success of the authors, at least.
Now, anything I read with the same reading speed is rewarded more or less equally.
I’ve nothing against reading time. The contrary. It’s a good metric, if used in combination with other metrics. At least when words are there.
Let’s read the small lines on Calculating earnings in the Partner Program:
“your earnings are calculated based on a mix of factors, not a straight calculation based on word or time count”
Wait. Not just reading time?
But the article is extremely clear when it previously states “We will calculate earnings based on the reading time of Medium members.” And this is also exactly what the letter from Medium told us.
Now, I’m confused. Do claps have still a role in the earnings? Is the clapping feature a legacy, soon to be a deprecated one?
Whatever, reading time is king, now.
But what if I read a baiting article that doesn’t deliver the promise of the title? What if I discover at the last sentence that the whole theory was based on a wrong assumption? What if I discover at the last sentence that I was distracted and, instead of reading that article on data analysis I read the recipe for a Bloody Mary? What if I gave trust to the author but finally decided that I was right in thinking that the post was crap?
Can I unread it?