The monetization model of online publishing — a legacy model that hasn’t changed since the golden age of newspapers — is breeding even more mediocre and questionable content. Because this model puts the advertiser, not the reader, first, we suffer the same atrocities a newspaper editor lamented in 1923 when he bemoaned the way in which the circulation manager had taken over the newspaper and eclipsed the editor. As long as the ad-supported pageview remains the main currency of funding writing online, we’ll continue getting slideshows about kittens, HuffPost-ified sensationalist headlines, one-page articles artificially split into five pages, and other such assaults on the reader. To have intelligent readers, we need intelligent writers, certainly, but also intelligent publishing. I hope to see this ecosystem evolve towards a meritocracy, where content gets published because it is good, and because readers find value in it and are willing to put a price on this value. Reading is voting for writing, and I hope to see our votes count for more than they currently do.
Maria Popova (via nedhepburn)
Oh hey! We had this exact conversation yesterday, over kombucha and Kate Beaton comics.
Not just newspapers, obviously. It’s why I will continue to yearn for the next Ragtime while scorning 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight.