Agreed. We don’t even rise to the level of farmer. We are the content producing creatives (I was intending to write creatures) whose souls are carved up by this social media factory.
The difference with Amazon is you have a far more level playing field, as Amazon doesn’t care what people buy, as long as they buy through Amazon.
Medium’s publications and their algorithm are designed to funnel subscribers to those articles which make Medium and its staff writers the most money.
To your point about Ev Williams eventual goal of taking a 20% commission, I never said it was an unusual or unreasonable business practice.
My point is their lack of transparency in everything they do increases the mystery of the rules, which increases the addictive nature of the social media game of writing.
All they had to do was announce that they were transitioning from VC capital to writer commissions in order to finance operations.
But that honesty would have lost a certain percentage of writers who would react irrationally, and those who would calculate that they wouldn’t make never make enough money for them to put in as much time.
Instead, we have the tiny group of social media warriors who carve up the spoils. a larger group of disciples or cult members who believe the bullshit, and possibly the paid shills for the site who continue to exhort other to write multiple articles everyday about the same tired subjects in the hopes of getting rich.