The publications are leaving because the business proposition was changed. The move was made to keep this as an original writing site rather than replications of other publications. At least that is how I understood the decision. It also took a lot of money with it resulting in the loss of staff and content curation that I was lamenting the other day. And we are seeing the results in less depth of content and professional quality reporting and writing. That’s the downside. I’m still hopeful but worried about the change of direction.
I still don’t think you can compare what Medium has become with joining the millions of other bloggers on Wordpress. Medium is pretty amazing if you write as you actually get followers (mostly not fake, I think) and are part of something bigger than whatever you are. With that said, the last I looked routing your domain to Medium is a one time charge of $50. That’s not unreasonable, again, given the intangibles and the platform here that is much better than the standard web self service CMS.
If you mostly just read, the loss of the publications is rougher. I guess we all have to step up the quality but that is hard without getting some remuneration for the time. The real loss in publications is the time invested in research and actual journalism. The membership fee was supposed to start paying us folks who write stuff to do more but that doesn’t seem to be working very well although I got a free month, I think, and professional audio reading added to one of my articles. I’m appreciative. I’ve spent years writing an occasional column for the Honolulu Star Advertiser for nothing. Well, one time a guy came up to me at a reception and said he read my column. That felt good until the bar tab came.
So Medium is still an open question, I think. But I’m sure enjoying myself and communicating with many nice and some very interesting people whether they agree with me or not. That’s worth a lot . . .