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Medium Will Now Pay Writers Based On How Many 'Claps' They Get (theverge.com) 135

Medium is getting creative with how they're paying its writers. The San Francisco-based online publishing platform will determine how much an author is paid by how many claps a story receives. Claps are basically Medium's equivalent of a Like, and they recently replaced the "recommend" feature -- a little heart button at the end of each article. The Verge reports: The site wants people to send authors claps to show how much they enjoy reading each article. Now, those claps are actually going to mean something. Medium pays authors by dividing up every individual subscriber's fee between the different articles they've read that month. But rather than doing an even division between articles, Medium will weight payments toward whichever articles a subscriber gives the most claps to. It's not clear exactly how much each individual clap tips the scale, but you can be sure that writers will be asking readers to click that button. It's a pretty strange way to implement payments, since it relies on a really arbitrary metric that individual subscribers might use in really different and inconsistent ways. Time spent on page and whether someone shared an article probably would have been useful metrics by which to tell how much a reader enjoyed a piece, but maybe that makes too much sense for a startup in the middle of its second business model pivot. On the positive side, claps can help Medium surface content that people are enjoying and get it in front of more readers.
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Medium Will Now Pay Writers Based On How Many 'Claps' They Get

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @07:54PM (#55067233)

    Who else bets that the frothing-at-the-mouth angry SJW articles (and their right-wing equivalents, I guess) will always get a ton of claps? (Claps? chlamydias? kek!)

    This is a good way to marginalize reasonable authors that tell the difficult truths, and pander to the lowest common mob drone from your favourite group of idiots.

    • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @08:05PM (#55067279)

      Ironically, they're extremely vocal about video games and movies yet they never buy or watch them...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Ironically, they're extremely vocal about video games and movies yet they never buy or watch them...

        Not ironic in their world. To even see what you are critical of is to normalize or give power to it. Read both here on slashdot as excuses for refusing to read the Google Memo.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Ironically, they're extremely vocal about video games and movies yet they never buy or watch them...

        Isn't it ironic; like meeting the man of your dreams, and his beautiful, beautiful wife?

        No Chris, you fucking moron, that isn't irony.

      • Seems like it would be rather hypocritical of them to support an industry they are complaining about.
        Maybe if someone made a game or movie to their tastes they might be more inclined to purchase.

    • That only matters if you're in the business of difficult truths and avoiding the lowest common denominator. I don't know that's Medium's business, is it? I wouldn't judge Mad Magazine against that criteria.

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      I guess you are new to the Internet? Because the angry vocal shitheads are more likely racist, sexist idiots than the SJW strawmen people like you (=idiots) try to portrait as the standard. Whatever...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    And I for one am excited to see where this takes us.

  • So whoever writes the most drivel that gets the most Facebook postings to drive more people to the site gets all the money each month. A writer could even pay people's subscriptions for a few months, since most of it would come back to them as payment. After building up a small following, they could just keep writing the same drivel and get the same claps, without having to payout the seed money anymore.

    It's like a multi-player computer game I played once, based on a small business model. The person who sun

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

      So whoever writes the most drivel that gets the most Facebook postings to drive more people to the site gets all the money each month. A writer could even pay people's subscriptions for a few months, since most of it would come back to them as payment. After building up a small following, they could just keep writing the same drivel and get the same claps, without having to payout the seed money anymore.

      I'll bet if you think about what you just wrote, you'll start to see why it's stupid.

      I don't want to spoi

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @09:32PM (#55067587) Homepage

      The truth is very often undesirable and boring. So they will be paying more for artful lies. Want a system that works, treat your audience like children. Give them some pocket play money to spend, a set allowance each time period (longer time periods require more careful thought so 24hour vs 48 hour vs 7 days) and that they can spend with whom they wish. Allow them to earn extra play money by buying stuff with real money and they can spend that play money as they wish. Those authors who they choose to spend their play money with, earn real money. Selling stuff seems to work better than advertising stuff, in the current era. Advertising seems to be spending big to gain very little sales because once you are on the internet, you see and interesting item you might be interested in and you, well, immediately use the internet to compare it to competitors and find it is over priced shite with a big advertising product and you don't buy it. The only advertising that works for me, is when I am actually shopping and something is on special and I check it out (compare with competitors) and that special is actually worthwhile, that is it. Trying to squeeze marketing dollars out of that does not leave much space. Spend more on the product and less on advertising and you are more likely to win the sale.

  • ... I am waiting.
  • An anonymous bot service that provides automated "claps" for writers to get paid on articles.
  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @08:15PM (#55067315)

    ... bots.

    • Exactly what I was thinking, where is my botnet when I need it!
      Next headline about Medium is that it's funds are Low and it's going Under.
      • by r0kk3rz ( 825106 )

        What would the bots even do? Medium is weighing where an individual subscribers fees go according to articles that individual subscriber 'clapped'.

        • ... individual subscriber 'clapped' ...

          Clapperbot @ 2017 CaptainDork

        • Dude, I have no clue what Medium even does, kinda inferred it from the blurb. I did try a quick google search on "Medium" but obviously had zero fucking luck with that. But I had work to do and a deadline, so I didn't bust a gut trying to find out more.

          If the only people who can clap have to be paid subscribers, then a simple calculation of how much money you will get by creating multiple accounts for the "bots" and the amount of money you would make getting "claps" would determine whether it was wor
  • ... kinda rare.

  • If this online journal, magazine or news site is paid from ad views, then the fair way to do this is to share a portion of the ad revenue with the authors by views. By instituting a requirement for the viewer to 'clap' the article, they have another opportunity to get paid for an article and ad viewed, but not pay the writers.
  • Thank you, but no.

  • What's the chance the payouts will be determined in a fair, transparent, non-partisan manner?

    What's the chance this is just a way for the VC cabal who own Medium to crowdsource some hysterical anti-worker propaganda?

  • Claps are basically Medium's equivalent of a Like

    It's not like pay-per-click or 'like' or whatever hasn't been tried before. Probably hundreds have tried it.

    Journalism. That's the "problem" in a sense. If you want actual journalism, you need an article that gets 2000 clicks to have the same level of journalistic quality as one that gets 20000000.

    Journalism all needs to be of a minimum level of quality. In a free market economy there will be a fair market price for that minimum level.

    Unless the pay-per-clap

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Yep. But in this new brave world appearance is everything and medium obviously thinks that's great.

  • So all the writers have to do is gather a couple of friends to click that stupid button.
  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @07:15AM (#55068953)

    Ad-revenue driven websites have been in a race to the bottom, happily abandoning any sort of meaningful content in favor of clickbait that generates revenue. Switching the pay for the writers over to a formula derived from the number of clicks they generate is just the next step in that process.

    • It sounds like it may be even worse than that. Someone isn't likely to "clap" unless they agree with an article, so it will be maximum echo chamber as writers tailor content for their readers viewpoints.

  • And I never want to get it again!

  • Did they even *try* to think that through?

    Say goodbye to any topic that is even vaguely controversial.

    Say hello to authors that harshly compete with one another, and potentially even start backstabbing one another.

    The bottom line is that their quality will sink faster than... a very... fast... sinking... thing. *whistles*. (I was gonna say Trumps career but I'm sure everyone else is as sick to death about just reading that name, as I am...)

    Maybe they could have done this as a bonus on top of a basic salary

  • by computational super ( 740265 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @09:34AM (#55069537)
    This will definitely increase the value and in-depth content of the postings. There's nothing internet readers flock to more than a calm, rational, carefully balanced view of all perspectives of a critical issue.
  • I thought they were asking me to give them crap!

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