David, here’s a very simple explanation. First, there’s the email from Ms. O’Conner, explaining how Medium has set aside $5 million dollars for Partner payments. Very exciting. Then she explains that it will also allow Medium to “commission” work from journalists (guess where they’re coming from?) Like you, I’ve produced well over a hundred articles for The Partner Program, earning approximately…jeepers, only $450. That can’t be right, can it? Well, yes it can, David, and supposedly “Top Writers” like us should understand how this model works. Medium set up the Partner Program to encourage writers like us to give them “our best work.” Fine and dandy. With all this “best work,” and us expecting remuneration for more “best work,” Medium got all kinds of “best work.” What Medium really wanted was to tell big publications, like The New York Times, “Hey, instead of trying to make it on social media—which we understand and you don’t—why not let us be your social media site?” When Ms. O’Conner talks about commissioning work, that’s the money she wants to pay to current (former?) New York Times staff journalists. Now, imagine if Medium tells the same thing to The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, etc. Suddenly Medium becomes the “go to” online platform for publications barely able to keep their heads above water in print. Medium becomes the savior, Ms. O’Conner becomes a legitimate Editor In Chief and we, my friend, should be thankful—yes, thankful—for being a part of all this. Like every social media site of this ilk, David, we’re the “build” until these sites attract either money—or the promise of money. Medium isn’t a charity. They’re “scratching our backs” by giving us a forum, and we’re making Medium legitimate. Did you notice that Ms. O’Conner also mentioned hiring a lot of editors? This isn’t to “sharpen our work,” David. It’s to search out articles that best fit with what “big publications” want to see in terms of stewardship. Fair play, as they say in Ireland. And before you say, “Isn’t there a social media site that really, truly wants our work?” They’ll crop up, David, but they’ll also be looking to monetize, and as much as we’re competent writers, we’re still a dime a dozen. I wouldn’t doubt half The New York Times editorial staff is out of work. Anyway, the snooters will snoot. When the going gets weird, the weird turn monetary.

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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