“I think one who promotes sponsored content is a Salesman not a writer. Truthfulness, integrity and authenticity are highly demanding for a writer to build his image among his readers.”

Well a more nuanced view is that any form of compensation will influence the content which is produced. Why is there so many “top ten” lists on the internet? Haven’t we become tired of headlines which start with “seven things you should…” The truth is that writing for a general audience is very different than writing for a niche audience.

If you hate top 10 lists but find that you have to create these types of posts to pay the bills then you are a salesman. Your selling your soul to Medium with the hopes of getting thousands of likes and monetizing your content.

How is this different than writing for a niche audience and taking compensation from a single interested party? Its different in lots of ways but here are just a few:

  1. People like to eat psychological junk food. If we write junk food and justify it by saying “well this is the only thing that will allow me to get thousands of views on medium,” then we are not helping anyone and most importantly we betray ourselves.
  2. It takes far more of our time and energy to write for niche audiences and yet we receive far less compensation. If we could simply create a more transparent process of compensating people who write for niche audiences then there would be a greater diversity of content on Medium that wasn’t junk food.

So the problem is nuanced. People don’t like nuance, they like clear rules of right and wrong.

SPONSORED CONTENT = BAD

MEDIUM COMPENSATING WRITERS FOR POPULAR CONTENT = GOOD

Unfortunately the world is far more complex than this. We need to compensate writers to produce content that is healthy for the few people who choose to incorporate healthy content into their reading diet.

Instead of subsidizing corn and soybeans we should subsidize farmers who grow brussel sprouts. By bringing down the cost to produce brussel sprouts there should be more brussel sprouts in the market. This abundance of brussel sprouts increases the likelihood that people will decide to try them. In this way some people fall in love with brussel sprouts and become healthier individuals. This is the way we increase the overall health of society.

What you subsidize is what you become. If you want to subsidize junk food then you will become a junk food society. I however reject the thought that all sponsored content is BAD content. There must be a way to sponsor healthy content and thus create a healthier society. Otherwise why even bother writing for ILLUMINATION?

Any thoughts? Dr Mehmet Yildiz, Ann K Frailey, Karen Madej 💛, Desiree Driesenaar

Surely sponsored content has the potential to cause problems but should we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Potentially it could promote a community where there is a richer variety of intellectual content which produces a healthier society.

Written by

Incentives architect for TandaPay

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