Why won’t Medium let me?


There, I said it.

I don’t want to just “like” or “recommend” articles. I want to tell the author that I value the product of their work so much that I want to pay them for it.

The same reason why I contribute to WNYC (my local NPR station) and the same reason I pay for my music (on iTunes and Spotify) is the same reason I want to pay for the content I read: it gives me something I value and I want to make sure it is sustainable. I want to be a small part of what allows the creator to create and what allows future creators to thrive.

This is why I so enthusiastically support platforms like CentUp and Flattr and why I pay for the New York Times, New Yorker, NSFWCorp, The Baffler, Longreads, The Dish and more.

Is that a “noble” problem? Perhaps! I get that not everyone can pay for all the stuff they consume online. But am I the only one who feels this way? I doubt it. Just look at the amount of money that public radio collects every year, or the amount of interest in Andrew Sullivan’s new site.

Before Medium launched, I thought that giving writers the tools to accept payments and the readers the ability to pay for content they like would be a great feature of a new platform. This hasn't happened and perhaps the acquisition of Matter is a sign that this may change in the future. I sure hope so.


Alex Kristofcak likes people getting paid for their work and can be found on Twitter at @akristofcak.