While I agree with augustkhalilibrahim that “we” are the product on this free platform, I don’t understand why Medium doesn’t focus on making money from its users rather than trying to sell us to someone else.
LiveJournal offers paid subscriptions. Paying for an account opens up features not available to free accounts. I used to “gift” LiveJournal accounts to people.
The weird thing is, LiveJournal has been sold three or four times and still pretty much exists relatively unchanged since 2002. One wonders what might have happened if Brad Fitzpatrick hadn’t sold it and instead developed it as a non-ad supported social network.
There are all these stupid little phone games that make bank through in-app purchases.
What if a site like Medium allowed micro-payments and took a cut? We could “tip” writers, and Medium would make money on the processing fee. What if it cost $15 a year to have an “anonymous” account?
What if there was an account level on Medium that gave you access to a really good library of images that you could use? Perhaps Medium could strike a deal with a service like Getty that allowed its images to be used on Medium by Medium users. I would pay $15 a year to be able to use Getty on my blog posts.
In that same vein, wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay someone, through Medium, to make header art for you? I know people that make money on message boards delivering “custom art”. Why not here?
What if copy editors could charge on Medium?
What if there was an independent fact-checking organization that would vet an article and then allow it to display a “Vetted by XXXX” bug on the article? Would news bloggers pay for that? Instead of Bill Simmons coming to Medium, what if Medium helped the next Bill Simmons emerge?
What if you could pay to have a threaded discussion on your blog posts? What if each writer could have the power to create and manage a truly threaded discussion? Could a Medium writer create a civilized Reddit? Might the caustically funny Gawker commenters have found a home here? Nick Denton’s Kinja failed because the Gawker staff writers were too focused on their own writing and didn’t have the time or inclination to find and promote the good things on Kinja. Medium’s curators have already proven they can mine the content of their own platform.
Why don’t photo blogs work on Medium? How much would the photo bloggers pay for a set of tools that let them do what they want to do?
Sorry for the word salad. It’s just that I think the product Medium has is the product, and people will pay money to have the tools to create art. I pay $30 FUCKING DOLLARS A MONTH FOR AN ADOBE ACCOUNT and I use it a couple of times a month. I’m on Medium EVERY DAY. It is the most important site I use, and I subscribe to both the New Yorker and The New York Times.
I understand that writing about this to you, nderground, is kind of stupid. I’m on your site and it is where I am going when Medium augers and becomes what I expect it will become. I think you have told me in the past that people will not pay for a social media site and offered plenty of examples of failed attempts.
I just think Medium looks past the economic potential of its USERS. I’m not a kid. When I played Team Fortress 2 on Steam it took me about four hours before I was willing to chunk down $40 so that I could put a fireman’s helmet and wear pink overalls on my character.
I care much more about writing and blogging than I do about video games. So far, I’ve been using Medium daily for almost a year and a half and I haven’t paid a dime. How stupid is that?