I’ll admit thinking of this as AOL 2.0 creeped me out. No offense but my reaction was, OMG, please, no, it took us years to escape the walled gardens but that’s the first response to the problem of people and communication. Big media has been trying to figure this out since the ’90s when the web was young.
The power of Medium is its extremely sophisticated publishing system and it’s dedication to openness and longer form writing. This is the first I’ve ever seen that could grow to this size with actual discussion of even thinking about payment for content. This is not Huffington or a traditional media company dedicated to development of the traditional audience for extraction of dollars by whatever means. This thing was funded that way but with the commitment to find a new path. And we need a new path as the old one is clearly taking us to hell.
As is consistently the case in the post modern world the answers to all the related information, publishing, economic collapse, and young writers not being able to afford coffee, problems have been around a long while. But they are all technology based because we have reproduced past the stage where mere humans can solve the problems. And these are all so bloody complex that we have to be driven to the wall to actually make then work. These have been talked about for years but, now, we’re up against that wall and some really nasty dudes with guns have shown up and that is a bad time to be the one up against the wall. So what’s the answers?
Starting from the immediate problem, micro-payments. Forcing subscriptions on people is slow death. Someone will always start giving things away for free and then you’re fucked. $20 per month is almost real money. You can get people to pay for what they actually want but they are always antsy paying for things they may not want. But we can get them to agree to pay for what they actually read. How about 5 cents per story read, not just looked at. Hell, even I would pay a couple cents per story to see if I want to read it. At the bottom of the writer pile on Medium you can get a few thousand views per month. Whatever the working market rates they would be good deals for the consumer and we are all consumers as well as writers. So Medium gets a small slice. Growth means real and immediate revenue. The old corporate capitalism is dead. Market economics needs to work at the human level now. The technology is here and we look at it all the time, views, reads, recommends. Make those things currency. Add to that Universal Basic Income taken from the profit of our economy distributed to the people instead of the billionaires and we’re there. That will be the new post capitalist workforce and world. If you’re looked at and read you gain. If you’re not interested in that you’re good and you get coffee money. And we all can do we what we like.
As I said these things have been around awhile but mostly weren’t practical. They are becoming practical now but they are shit awful complicated. And we’ve allowed complete idiots to take over the government so we need to clean out that whole crowd first, like now.