Um, I do share some of your sentiments, but:

  1. Editors on Medium were extremely helpful for me to understand what people want to read. If you’re coming in with an “I’m the idiot” attitude — which is probably true because editors have tons of data and experience — then you know that what they’re saying is probably true. I prefer bitter truths to sweet lies any day of the week.
  2. I am honestly not sure how editors here on Medium are compensated, and how motivated are they to keep doing what they’re doing. I suspect running a publication alone isn’t a viable full-time career, so I am very grateful for what they’ve built, because…
  3. …it opens up so many doors. Just think about it — you have people who will dedicate a part of their life to read, evaluate, criticise and then recommend your stories across the platform. This is incomparable to the likes-and-shares-driven Linkedin algorithm that will kill your best story if if doesn’t get 10 likes in 10 minutes.

As for compensation transparency, I don’t think platforms like BI can match potential earnings on Medium. I think they’re playing the notoriety card — their currency is giving you a chance to put that “Featured in…” headline on your website or Linkedin profile. If people knew that they only pay, say, $200 per story, the tradeoff would become that much more obvious.

And if you’ve ever had to sell anyone anything via cold pitch, you know that working with editors is pure joy. Not only most people won’t need your product — they will give you half-answers like “maybe next month” and you’ll live in a state of inflated expectations and uncertainty. Editors, once they do find the time, will either tell you ‘no’ or delete your email. In my world, that is very humane.

In quest of understanding how humans work.