Thank you Casimiro Designer for the feedback. We all write because we enjoy it. However, we could write in our notebooks, journals or on a Google doc for that matter. But we write here so that others can see our work and interact with us — just like you did with this article. The interaction with an audience and being published in the public is what Medium offers us. So what I am really asking is if we are here for building an audience — are we really? Because, when I leave Medium, I will not have a way to communicate with you or many others I found on here. The audience — the biggest marketing asset of an author’s publishing life — stays on the platform. I am raising the question that should we continue to accept this as a norm on platforms that claim to cater to our love of writing.
Already many platforms claim that “data” is ours, but real data — the valuable stuff — are still not ours! I envision future platforms where user-generated content (UGC) rights will include rights to receive the audience list only if the audience allow such sharing.
But as an author, you and I both should be able to ask our audience directly if they would like to remain connected with us beyond a platform. This is where building an email list is critical. I used to have a list of about 15K readers from my past technical writing in the physical world of books through large publishers. I was too young to value such a list, so I let it die. I wish I had maintained the list and nurtured it to grow to 100K readers. My books reached millions worldwide in most major languages, so the 100K list wouldn’t have been a pipe dream. Imagine sending a monthly list of links to my writing along with my favorite author friends writing to a list of readers of my own. This would allow me to maintain control over my public writing goals — reaching an audience that cares about my writing. And the monetization — which we should not ignore as everyone has to pay bills and take a vacation once in a while — is so possible and organic that it is the ultimate asset for a writer. Sorry for such a large response but I care deeply about this issue. I see many authors here that are simply giving away their control over to platforms.
I think it's high time we voice our opinions about this and push for changes here or elsewhere.
PS: I wanted to invite you to an interview with Authors & Peeps. If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.