I greatly appreciate Medium offering a place for thoughtful writing and discussion without ads. Does anyone actually enjoy reading ads on the web? Particularly the ones that pop up in front of whatever you actually came to the page to read? I know I don’t, and “just use ad blockers” is not really a solution. Coming here is a breath of fresh air compared to 99% of web sites.

However, I’m not sure that “open paywall” is an intuitive or accurate description of what you’ve created here. When I joined the partner program and started creating members-only stories this month, some of my readers, who were used to me publishing openly on my Wordpress blog, were very confused. They didn’t understand why you needed to sign up for an account just to read the content, and until I attempted to read my locked story from a web browser where I was not logged into Medium, I didn’t realize you needed an account even if you hadn’t yet read three members-only stories. I was used to paywalled sites that use cookies to determine how many free stories you have left for the month, but I understand that restriction is quite easy to get around.

Regardless, I’m intrigued by this initiative, as since I first joined Medium in 2015 I was wondering how you were planning to fund the site’s operation without resorting to ads. That’s what the “just use ad blockers” crowd often willfully ignores: Hosting a web site costs money. And writers deserve to be paid for their work. While I don’t expect to make a living from my writing — on Medium or elsewhere — I’m looking forward to seeing my first paycheck from the partner program.

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