As usual, I like to start my mornings off reading a ton of great articles posted here each day. Great way to start a day, reading some of the best writers in the business. I don’t usually expect to read a bombshell of an article right out of the gate, but this one resonated, like
Want to Support Your Fellow Medium Writers Better? Highlight & Share.
With Medium’s new Money for Minutes model, highlighting is the new black.
Gwenna Laithland posted an article, and it blew my mind. Stunned, I read it once, and then it impressed me so much I reread it. Once I was able to find all the tiny pieces of my brain and put them back together, the only thing that continued to run through my thoughts was the highlight may now be the new clap.
Not to say we should forgo clapping for highlighting, but think about it folks.
We all know, after reading about the MPP changes, which took place Monday, by the way, now clapping for a writer is, well, pretty much moot when it comes to how a writer gets paid.
However, most of us (hopefully all of us) have decided we’re going to keep clapping to bring attention to the writers we love to read, right?
So what is it that puts the coin in our coffers now?
Reading, of course.
But what’s the best way to provide proof of the actual read aside from depending on a spanking new baby algorithm that decides you speed readers out there didn’t read the post?
You got it, Gwenna nailed it.
Highlighting a writer’s point or idea provides proof positive to the mystical algorithm, someone has indeed read the post. Not only does it provide evidence of the read, but it notifies the writer of the same fact, letting them know, “hey, this little bit right here resonated with me.”
It stands to reason then, when a system changes, and this one did, the way we as readers and writers use the system (A.K.A. tool) should and will change as well.
What was up is now down, left is now right, sideways is, well, still sideways. Not a whole lot we can do when things go sideways.
But now, claps have morphed into highlights.
No, not me folks, the idea.
In the past, we as readers knew what helped a writer make a little bit of chump change. For those we chose to read frequently, we tossed a few or as many drachmas as we deemed appropriate into the writer’s hat. We tossed those coins by clapping.
Now we need to toss the same coins by reading/highlighting.
Shout it out to the community folks. We want you to get a little sumpin’, sumpin’ for this piece you wrote. Here’s a few highlights to send you on your way!
Now, with any system or system change, there’s going to be someone who tries to game it. Someone will come up with the snazzy idea of highlighting the first couple of sentences, stanzas or paragraphs, zipping down to the end of the piece, highlighting a few more, clapping (or not) and then bailing out.
Bada Boom, Bada Bing. Done and done.
Nope, the algorithm even though in its infancy, will catch that straight away and the system won’t count it as a read no matter how much you highlighted.
The point about highlighting is we as readers need to do what most of us writers are asking each of us to do.
Slow your roll and read.
Novel concept eh? Gwenna’s point is that stopping to highlight a point of interest almost guarantees the algorithm will pick it up as a read.
But wait, there’s more. For only pennies a day, you can support these poor, starving, humbled artists. Sorry, I went down the infomercial path for a moment, but there is more, really.
Gwenna went on to say that, of course, clapping, now highlighting, is very important to a writer’s pocketbook, but we can do more.
We can share the writer’s work with others.
You know, do what I’m doing now — sharing the link to her story. Telling all my followers about it, posting on the Gram, the Twit, and the Face. Hitting your network with a “hey folks look at this” message.
A lot of us are doing that already.
I have seen articles I’ve posted here, shared on the Twit by writers I follow and read every day.
Thank you very much.
I’ve even posted some of their work (although I should do a better job of it) on the Twit. Gwenna makes a HUGE point on sharing another writer’s work, and I, for one, am writing today to let you know she’s spot on with this call to action.
Which brings us to a few observations about each of us following writers and reading their work and them following and reading us.
Let’s examine the following statement for a minute.
All Followers follow for a reason.
However, the fundamental issue with this fact is and has always been; these reasons often vary with the Follower. Most (we hope) follow because they like the writer’s tone, message, and voice, or style.
Most followers want to read what the writer is laying down.
Most, I said, because there’s another reason some Followers follow. Yeah, you all know what it is, but I’m just going to spell it out, okay?
These particular Followers don’t give a hoot about the writer’s tone, message, and voice, or style. They’re choosing to follow because a writer has an extensive or semi-large network, and they’re hoping to get a ride on the writer’s reading base in hopes some of them will start reading said Follower.
It’s the price of doing business here, folks.
We all know this, and this may fall on deaf ears, but I’m going to challenge both myself and every other Follower on this system.
Each and every one of us needs to step up to the plate, now more than ever.
If we’re following a writer because we like his/her work, then we by George, better start reading his/her work. And on a regular, almost routine basis.
If a Follower is a writer himself/herself (and most of us are) then the Follower should know how important this is, and how huge it has become due to the recent changes.
Whether or not we Followers like it, the system changes have yanked us out of the shadows and shoved our butts center stage.
Why? Because followers not only write themselves, they read as well.
And now, because of the system changes
Of course, none of us know 100% for sure right now to what degree the changes are going to affect us, but good grief, it’s undoubtedly time we all start using common sense and realize that one plus one plus one is three.
Reading + Highlighting + Sharing = $$$$$
It’s a pretty simple equation. Let’s not try to turn it into something resembling Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Let’s just write and read and share.
It’s what Gwenna talked about in her article, and I firmly believe it’s what will get us all where we want to go eventually.
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