I’ m no longer your customer
In 2018 I signed up for Medium membership. Since then, I received extra (one or two) weekly emails on what to read. There’s really a lot happening on Medium and despite some interesting stories I still wasted a lot of time to reach the right pool of curated stories. In the end, I appreciated more of “from your network” and “related stories” than the curated stories from the editors. Many of them are written by authors who don’t need to get promoted anyway.
On the bright side, I could access stories with asterisk (*) sign that were previously inaccessible to me before my membership. I found awesome authors (who never made to the weekly curated stories) yet have a lot of followers and offer really different perspectives. They just don’t voice one perspective in an article — typical of the curated authors — but they combine multiple intertwined perspectives, find the holes among public discussions, and offer a synthesis, an out-of-the-box perspective.
I really wished those awesome authors to have more readers. Beyond the feminists who rant about mansplaining. Beyond the atheists who rant about religious extremism. Beyond the health journalists who claim to have written an important book. Beyond the self-help writers who list productivity tips.
My relationship with Medium was on its peak when I decided to put my stories behind paywall (Medium Partner Program — MPP). It’s not because I wanted to get paid, but it’s because I wanted some stories to be accessible only to serious readers on Medium. I proposed that idea to Medium, and they said they considered it.
I couldn’t reject the payment, because that’s how the system works. I registered using Stripe express (just because I wanted to see how it went), and in the subsequent weeks I accumulated around 10 dollars. I thought of the hassle of reporting that small amount to American tax office, so I decided to stop it. Also, because I had to leave the country.
It turned out the Stripe express membership didn’t have an actual account with Stripe and I couldn’t delete my account. After stopping the MPP, Medium forwarded me to Stripe to take care of my account, but Stripe said that the express membership could only be accessed from MPP dashboard. Of course I couldn’t access it anymore because I have stopped the MPP.
I finally left the country and closed my bank account, which still remains registered in my MPP. My bank has asked me to remove all debit card association from online system, but I coudn’t do it for Medium. It’s trapped, in limbo forever.
So I decided not to continue my Medium membership last year. Thankfully I could still remove the debit card number from the membership menu (not the MPP).
These days I write increasingly less and less, while preparing a public blog. Medium has taken some features off non-members a.k.a. non-paying users, such as the spelling checker.
Medium may have been successful in providing a platform with easy uniform readability like a newspaper and without the annoying flashy advertisement. However, the curation and the membership systems need a lot of improvement. I want to get what I pay for.
Goodbye Medium, although I have missed the inspiring writers I used to read. Your last feature of “friend’s link” has helped me follow certain writers on another platform.