An Ode To Medium’s Brilliantly Ridiculous Policies and Standards

Up until this morning, I was a paid Medium member. They tried to take their monthly payment out of a dead account and due to the fact it was set up on a prepaid card, that interaction cost me an imaginary five bucks. The transaction was declined but the prepaid card sat at a negative five dollar balance.

However, I’ve been accepted into the paid Medium partner program and not being a member who pays the $5 a month to Medium does not affect your status in the paid partner program.

Except for in the following significant way.

I’m no longer permitted to read the locked stories I wrote for members only.

Yes, you read that correctly. I am no longer permitted to read the stories I wrote.

Which poses a problem for me, being I am my favorite writer on Medium.

I say it in jest but a lot of truth is always said in such. I don’t clap for my own stories as I was taught at a young age that high fiving yourself is never a good look for anyone.

However. I do obsessively and incessantly read and review my own stories in search of ways to make them better, from an editor’s perspective, if you will.

Not today though, because I’m not permitted to. I’m not allowed to read what I wrote until I pay Medium their five bucks.

I’m okay with it honestly, because I love what Medium is doing, am extremely grateful to them as a platform and fully intend on paying back into membership status when I can.

Writing is my only source of income at the moment and the payments are few and far between. But at the end of the day, it’s five bucks, I’ll manage.

Then came the email from Medium informing me two of my locked stories featured the word ‘Medium’ in the title so they narcissticly assumed they were about them. They politely informed me any articles about Medium were no longer eligible for the members only section from the time they sent the email but all compensation I’ve earned for those stories up until then will still be paid out. Fucking brilliant.

The amount of stories that were written about the new clap system, the new logo, the paid partner program and everything in between — not eligible for payment.

Being as I don’t understand their payment system anymore than I do the principles of advanced calculus, I have no way of knowing just how much money they saved themselves but I know it’s enough for me to respect them from a business standpoint.

As a creative, I think it’s fucking terrible and initially felt like writing an angry open letter or email to the staff.

But I didn’t because I simply respect it too much from a business standpoint as well as Medium as a platform.

Make no mistake about it, Medium is responsible for all of the success I’ve found as a writer, outside of my friends telling me I’m a good writer who should pursue writing.

Then there was this realization I made after posting my first story as a non paid member and it receiving half of the attention as any I’ve ever posted as a paid one.

Being a paid member of Medium entices them to expose your work to more of the masses and why shouldn’t it?

Again, it’s too fucking brilliant for me to be mad about. I respect it from a business and creative standpoint. If your work matters to you, pay them their five dollars a month and notice the difference in results.

And why should we not? Medium has provided us with a wonderful ad free platform, one in which has exposed me to both readers and writers I wouldn’t have the privilege of knowing if it didn’t exist.

So this one’s for you Medium, thank you for all you’ve done and I hope you enjoy the articles I’ve locked myself out of being able to read, until further notice.

EDIT: A few hours after I published this Medium staff left a private note on this post in an effort to help me resolve the issue. When I informed them it was nothing on their part and I simply didn’t have the money to spend at the moment but would be paying back into membership as soon as possible, this was the very next email I received.

Words can not go on to express the gratitude I have, sure it’s only a $15 value but it is so much more to me than that. It is a true sign that Medium actually cares about its readers, writers and members. Both paid and unpaid. It is a sign of good faith on Medium’s part, a small act of kindness that has gone a very far way with me and only serves to drive my initial point home — Medium is fucking brilliant.