Oh! You don’t know how Medium works

Don’t worry, let me explain it to you.

Adolfo Ramírez Corona
3 min readApr 4, 2020


There are no “Premium” articles. There are articles behind the metered paywall. Those articles aren’t selected by Medium or any kind of editor. Anyone can publish under the Medium Partner Program (the exceptions are those in a country where Stripe — the payment system — doesn't work).

The money from the members — like you — is distributed to the author’s stories they read. When a member takes a look at a story — a “view” — it doesn’t count. But if the member stays on the page, goes down the page, claps or responds, Medium consider the action as “read”.

Once a story is published under the Medium Partner Program, it is under the law of supply and demand. Or natural selection. If the members view the story, it doesn’t receive money. If the members read the story, it receives money. If the members clap the story, it receives more money. If the members respond to the story — as you have done — it receives more much money from the members who have done it.

Some months ago, Medium only took in consideration the clapping. But this new method has two important advantages.

First, that’s why you don’t find too many trolls on Medium. If they troll — giving negative comments instead of contributing with ideas — they encourage the stories they don’t like. Fair, right?

That’s a method to avoid clickbait too. A member can click on a story because of the title, or read a couple of paragraphs until discovers that s/he doesn’t like it or it’s useless. That action is a “view” so the story doesn’t receive money. However, if the member goes to the end of the story, clap or respond to it — well, who does that with a ridiculous or vulgar story, right? — so, the story receives money.

Let me give you a suggestion I follow. If you don’t like a story, don’t read it, don’t dedicate time to it, don’t clap it, and don’t respond to it. In that way the author doesn’t receive money for the story and has to write better.

By writing a response to my story, you are encouraging me and “seriously” giving me money from your membership. No, not Medium. You — thanks, by the way!.

What Medium and some publications inside Medium do is curate and select stories. It’ very difficult to get a story curated because the quality standards are really high and the author doesn’t have the opportunity to receive feedback. Publications, on the other hand, receive submissions and can reject or ask for corrections and modifications.

But curation or publication doesn’t change if a story is behind the paywall. That depends entirely on the author. And to be a paid story, that depends entirely on the reader.

This story was curated by Medium editors and selected by a publication. A very respectable publication in its topic — UX design. If you think a Medium curator is going to come back to a story that it’s already curated, well, good luck. I think, what you want it’s to complain to the publication for accepting this kind of article. That’s possible, I guess.

I have written this response to your response in order to give you back some of the time and money you give to my story. I hope my explanation helps you.

And thanks again for reading, Eugen. I will try to avoid to write “useless and ridiculous” stories and the “vulgarity of thought and amount of clickbait” that you perceived. I appreciate the feedback from all my readers.


About Medium’s distribution system

About the Medium Partner Program

About Medium’s distribution system



Adolfo Ramírez Corona

Author, psychotherapist, coach—Human behavior, UX, media & audiences—Father, husband, meditator—Courses & coaching: antifragilewriting.com—More adolforismos.com