First let me start by saying that as a writer, I don’t know yet how the new model is affecting my earnings.
My main reason for publishing on Medium was to spread the word on having conscious relationships and sex. Which is the reason I joined the Partner Program wagon quite late, in June 2019, more than two years after I started writing on Medium.
As most of my stories are not even behind the paywall, there’s not enough statistical data for me to draw any conclusions.
So as a writer, I have no clue if I like the new model better than the old one.
As a reader, though, I love the new model.
Not having to clap for stories has made my reading experience more relaxed.
Before Medium introduced the paywall, we didn’t use to clap for stories. We used to recommend stories.
Only one click.
It was an organic process. I read a story. If I wanted more people to read it, I’d recommend it. And I could also recommend my own stories.
Once the claps replaced recommending, it took me a little while to develop a system to decide how many claps to give a story.
And since I knew my claps are forming part of the author’s income, I felt obliged to clap even if I didn’t like the piece all that much.
So I came up with a personal strategy:
If I read an entire story from start to finish, I gave it 5 claps. That was my minimum.
If I liked it, I gave it more.
Applauding 50 times was reserved for those stories that knocked me off my feet.
Then there were many shades of in-between which I managed intuitively.
Some stories, though, confronted my clapping etiquette.
Every now and then I came across a story that presented a huge dilemma for me, as far as clapping goes.
Personal stories that were hauntingly painful.
Stories about personal traumas and ordeals that drew me into their horrifying events.
Stories told so well that they left me tormented as I felt the pain of the author.
Such stories would leave me emotionally drained.
And I never wanted to applaud these stories.
It seems to me completely wrong to cheer and give someone a standing ovation while feeling like I want to throw up.
On one hand, I wanted to give the author the biggest reward they deserve for writing a story so well that it paralyzed me.
On the other hand, I felt physically sick to my stomach. It was difficult for me to bring myself to cheer for a story like that. As if I am giving a standing ovation while I want to collapse into oblivion. Almost inconceivable.
I still love to clap and applause for good stories.
It comes naturally and I will keep doing that for stories that I like.
However, not having to clap makes it easier for me.
Now I know that the author will be remunerated for their story based on my reading time, I can go ahead and allow my emotions to run their course. I don’t feel guilty for not applauding a story that brought me to my knees.
And my humble contribution to the story’s earning is by reading it slowly enough for my feelings to bubble up and subside.