Medium is pursuing a different idea of what online publishing could be like. Joshua Benton made some great observations about the implicit messages of Medium and similar sites:
“Medium wants you to read something because of what it’s about. And because of the implicit promise that Medium = quality.”
“What each of these sites argues, implicitly, is that the web norms that we’ve evolved over the past decade err toward crassness and ugliness.”
I feel like these sites aim high and mean well, but unconsciously create pockets of elitism about content. They don’t try to improve quality; they create new places “only for quality” that start invite-only.
Is “lead by example” a good enough answer to solve online publishing’s monetization problem?