The Medium Model | Medium 的模式是什么

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本文写于 Apr 5, 2018

In “The rationalization of publishing,” I argued that subscriptions for publishing on a wide scale are inevitable — and that’s a good thing. Now I will describe Medium’s unique approach to this opportunity.

在《出版的合理化》一文中,我认为大范围的订阅出版是不可避免的 —— 这也是一件好事。现在我将介绍一下Medium在这个机会上的独特做法。

First, in case you’re not aware, Medium has a subscription offering called Medium Membership. We launched it just over a year ago. Here’s what growth has looked like since then:

首先,如果你还不知道,Medium有一个名为Medium Membership的订阅产品。我们在一年多前推出了它。以下是自那时以来的增长情况。

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After a strong start (when people were really just subscribing because they believed in and wanted to support Medium’s mission — 🙏), and a mediocre middle (when we were figuring it out), we’re now seeing not only more subscribers, but higher-percentage gains every month this year (accelerating growth).

在经历了强劲的开始(当时人们真的只是因为相信并希望支持Medium的使命而订阅--🙏)和平庸的中间(当我们还在摸索的时候)之后,我们现在看到的不仅是更多的用户,而且今年以来每个月都有更高的百分比增长(加速增长)。

The factors driving this took us a while to figure out and then get into motion, but they’re gratifyingly simple. In fact, there are just two major 🔑s:

驱动这一切的因素我们花了好一阵子才弄清楚,然后进入了运动状态,但令人欣慰的是,它们很简单。事实上,主要的因素只有两个🔑。

  1. Put great stories behind the metered paywall. 把优质的故事放在计量收费墙背后。
  2. Help people find the great stories they care about. 帮助人们找到他们关心的优质故事。

In these ways, Medium is not unlike other digital media subscription businesses like the Washington Post or The New Yorker — or even Spotify and Netflix. We sell content on a subscription basis. Like most paywalled sites, we give some stories away for free (currently, it’s three per month). But unlike most paywalled publications, we rely solely on subscriptions (no advertising), and we have a mix of original and non-original content. Medium is also an open platform, which makes it different than most premium subscription products — except for Spotify and other music services, which anyone can upload to and get paid (if they know what they’re doing).

在这些方面,Medium与《华盛顿邮报》或《纽约客》等其他数字媒体订阅业务 —— 甚至Spotify和Netflix也不例外。我们以订阅的方式出售内容。和大多数付费网站一样,我们会免费赠送一些故事(目前是每月三篇)。但与大多数付费围城的出版物不同,我们完全依靠订阅(没有广告),而且我们的内容混合了原创和非原创内容。Medium也是一个开放的平台,这使得它与大多数付费订阅产品不同--除了Spotify和其他音乐服务,任何人都可以上传到这个平台并获得报酬(如果他们知道自己在做什么)。

Let me break down the various aspects of of the Medium model. Most of them are not, on their own, unique to Medium. But in combination, they create a powerful formula:

让我来分解一下Medium模式的各方面。它们中的大多数,就其本身而言,并不是Medium所独有的。但结合起来,它们创造了一个强大的公式。

我们付出很多只为一小点

We offer a lot for a little.

As I wrote over here, I believe bundles are a large part of the future of content monetization. That doesn’t mean there won’t be lots of individuals subscriptions and patronage and other models that work — all of which help serve the cause. (It also doesn’t mean writers and publishers won’t be paid well.)

正如我在这里写过的,我相信捆绑套餐式内容是未来内容货币化的很大一部分。这并不意味着不会有大量的个人订阅和光顾等模式发挥作用 —— 所有这些都有助于服务于这个事业。(这也不意味着作家和出版商不会获得高薪。=)

Medium is one of the largest bundles of original content of its type, so it’s a great value for readers. And it’s definitely the easiest way to get paid directly for writing, so we’re seeing rapid growth in people who may not have written on Medium before.

Medium是同类型的原创内容中最大的捆绑式内容之一,所以对于读者来说,它的价值是非常大的。而且它绝对是最容易直接获得写作报酬的方式,所以我们看到之前可能没有在Medium上写过文章的人迅速增长。

对于各种观点和故事,我们来者不拒

We welcome ideas and stories from everywhere.

I sometimes describe Medium as a system for moving ideas between brains. You could describe most of the internet that way, but at Medium we specialize in ideas that require a little space and thought — or, as we also like to say, smart thinking on things that matter. This has always been the point. And if that’s the point, why would you limit your source brains to those who work for you — or even those you know?

我有时会把Medium形容为一个在大脑之间传递思想的系统。你可以这样描述大部分的互联网,但在Medium,我们专注于那些需要一点空间和思考的想法 —— 或者,正如我们喜欢说的那样,"对重要的事情进行聪明的思考"。这一直是我们的重点。如果这就是重点,为什么你要把你的源头头脑限制在那些为你工作的人--甚至是你认识的人身上?

More than 50,000 writers publish on Medium every week: politicians, professors, storytellers, experts in your field, and people you’ve never heard of. The best of these stories contain knowledge and insight that can’t be found anywhere else. We take pride that we offer a level playing field for diverse voices from everywhere to be heard. By curating and organizing these stories, we have the equivalent of a publication with more talent than any other — and it’s growing all the time.

每周都有超过五万名作家在Medium上发表文章,其中包括政治家、教授、讲故事的人、你所在领域的专家以及你从未听说过的人。这些故事中的佼佼者所蕴含的知识和洞察力是其他任何地方都找不到的。我们引以为豪的是,我们为来自世界各地的不同声音提供了一个公平竞争的环境,让人们能够听到不同的声音。通过策划和组织这些故事,我们拥有了相当于一份出版物的人才,而且还在不断增长。

As it relates to the business model, a subset of the stories on Medium are behind our paywall and contribute to our Membership. Our Partner Program is designed for writers and publishers who wish to get paid for their work.

由于与商业模式有关,Medium上的故事有一部分是在我们的付费墙后面,并为我们的会员制贡献了一部分。我们的合作伙伴计划是为希望从作品中获得报酬的作家和出版商设计的。

我们的编辑团队会委托原创故事,并提升素人故事的水平。

Our editorial team commissions original stories and uplevels organic ones.

We have no writers on staff and don’t plan to add any (except for marketing). However, we have a growing editorial team that is commissioning world-class writing by professional journalists and authors. The team is also partnering with some of the world’s most compelling writers on ambitious projects (like this one we just did with Roxane Gay).

我们没有作家, 也不打算增加任何作家(除了市场部)。不过,我们有一个不断壮大的编辑团队,正在委托专业记者和作者撰写世界一流的作品。该团队还与一些世界上最有影响力的作家合作,进行雄心勃勃的项目(比如我们刚刚与Roxane Gay合作的这个项目)。

We’ve also found that many great writers — especially, people who are experts in their field — are writing on Medium already. Since a little editorial guidance — a better headline, some nice art, a copy edit — can help stories reach even more people, we’re now working with folks to take their work from good to great and help it get the audience it deserves. This is a very efficient way to get more professional quality stories.

我们还发现,许多优秀的作家--尤其是在自己领域内的专家--已经在Medium上写作了。由于稍作编辑指导---一个更好的标题、一些漂亮的技巧、一次编辑,就能让更多的人了解到这些故事,所以我们现在正在与他们合作,让他们的作品从优秀到优秀,并帮助他们获得应有的受众。这是一个非常有效的方法,可以让更多的人获得更专业的高质量故事。

我们与平台内外的出版商合作。

We partner with publishers on and off platform.

Our goal is to offer the best selection of insightful stories — not news — you can get anywhere. To do this, we go beyond what our editorial team and individuals on the platform create and partner with other publishers in two ways:

我们的目标是提供最佳的有见地的故事选择--而不是新闻--你在任何地方都能看到的那种。为了做到这一点,我们超越了我们的编辑团队和个人在平台上创造的东西,并以两种方式与其他出版商合作。

First, there are hundreds of small publishers on Medium that do original work. Some of them are in our Partner Program, which means they publish their stories behind our paywall and can get paid. We work with some of those publishers on a contractual basis to do original projects (like this great series on California politics).

首先,Medium上有几百个做原创作品的小出版商。其中一些是我们的合作伙伴计划,这意味着他们在我们的付费墙后面发布他们的故事,并且可以获得报酬。我们和其中的一些出版商合作,以合同的形式来做原创项目(比如这个关于加州政治的伟大系列)。

Second, we license content from major publishers that are not on Medium. By doing this, we give our readers a curated selection of excellent stories that they can read and interact with in our ad-free environment every day.

其次,我们从各大出版商那里授权给不在Medium上的内容。通过这样做,我们每天为读者提供精选的优秀故事,让他们在我们的无广告环境中阅读和互动。

我们用个性化的方式为每个读者提供最好的服务。

We use personalization to deliver the best for each reader.

Finally, a key element of our model — and a differentiator for us — is personalization. We serve a broad set of interests — and we serve many of those interests deeply. We collect data — both explicit data (which we get when readers follow specific topics and writers) and implicit data (which is informed by which stories you read) — in order to suggest stories that we think you will be interested in.

最后,我们的模式的一个关键要素--也是我们的差异化特征--就是个性化。我们服务于广泛的利益群体--我们深入地服务于其中的许多利益群体。我们收集数据--包括显性数据(当读者关注特定的主题和作家时,我们会得到显性数据)和隐性数据(通过您阅读的故事来了解您的故事)--以推荐我们认为您会感兴趣的故事。

Unlike the vast majority of publishers, we never sell your data to third parties or leak your activity through ads.

与绝大多数出版商不同,我们从不向第三方出售您的数据或通过广告泄露您的活动。

Also unlike how most of the internet works, we do not only surface the very latest stuff. People come to Medium to get the smartest thinking on things they care about. If you care about, say, entrepreneurship or relationships, the best thing you could read today was very unlikely to have been published in the last 48 hours. But most of the internet treats anything that isn’t new like bad fruit. This is a huge detriment to readers and writers alike. It encourages people to spend their time on the novel in lieu of the worthwhile, and it discourages creators from investing in things of lasting value.

另外,与大多数互联网的工作方式不同,我们不只提供最新的东西。人们来到Medium是为了获得他们所关心的事情上最聪明的思考。如果你关心的是,比如说创业或人际关系,那么你今天能读到的最好的东西,在过去48小时内发表的可能性很小。但大多数互联网上的人都会把任何不新鲜的东西当做坏果子一样对待。这对读者和作家都是一个巨大的伤害。它鼓励人们把时间花在小说上,而不是花在有价值的东西上,这也让创作者不愿意投资于有持久价值的东西。

We solve this by suggesting stories based on their current relevance, not their publish date. Some topics require more freshness than others, but if you see older stories coming up in your feed, it’s because it’s stood the test of time.

我们根据当前的相关性,而不是发布日期来推荐故事,从而解决这个问题。有些主题比其他主题更需要新鲜感,但如果你在你的feed中看到旧的故事,那是因为它经受住了时间的考验。

A huge benefit of this is it allows Medium and our writers to make bigger investments in stories, because we amortize that investment over months instead of days. And it means we have a continually growing library of stories that subscribers gain access to (making their subscription a better deal every day). This is a big reason our subscriber growth is accelerating — and we’re just scratching the surface.

这样做的一个巨大好处是,它让Medium和我们的作家们可以在故事上做更大的投资,因为我们把投资分几个月而不是几天摊销。这意味着我们拥有一个持续增长的故事库,订阅者可以获得不断增长的故事库(使他们的订阅每天都能获得更好的收益)。这也是我们的订户增长加速的一个重要原因--而我们只是刚刚起步。

That’s how Medium works today. And, again, it’s working well. One thing I didn’t mention is that all aspects of Medium are growing — not just subscriptions. (We don’t use it as a core metric internally, but we often get asked about unique visitors for comparison sake. That’s at 80M for the last 30 days.) With these basic mechanics established, we can continue to grow and invest, which will allow us to do a better and better job serving both readers and writers.

这就是Medium今天的工作方式。而且,同样,它的运作也很好。有一点我没有提到的是,Medium的各方面都在增长,而不仅仅是订阅量。我们内部并没有把它作为核心指标,但为了比较,我们经常会被问到关于独特访客的情况。在过去的30天里,这个数字已经达到了80M)。) 有了这些基本的机制建立,我们就可以继续发展和投入,这将使我们能够更好的、更好的为读者和作者服务。

That said, we have a lot of work to do. Here’s what’s on our short-term list:

话虽如此,我们还有很多工作要做。以下是我们的短期清单上的内容。

提高质量和相关性

Improving quality and relevance

Our most important job is to deliver great stories to readers. And we have great stories. We also have not-great stories. And we don’t always manage to help the best get seen. We’re obsessed with helping the best quality stuff get in front of people — as well as that each person really cares about. And we know we have a ways to go here.

我们最重要的工作就是把优质的故事传递给读者。我们有优质的故事,也有不优质的故事。而我们并不总是能帮助最好的故事被人看到。我们执着于帮助最优质的东西出现在人们面前 —— 以及每个人真正关心的东西。我们知道,我们在这方面还有很长的路要走。

One of the big learnings we’ve had from the last year is that you can measure and algorithmically optimize for engagement — as all ad-driven platforms do. But that’s not the same thing as user value, which is very hard to measure and algorithmically optimize for.

我们从过去一年中得到的一个重要启示是,你可以像所有广告驱动的平台一样,对参与度进行测量和算法优化。但这和用户价值不是一回事,用户价值很难衡量和算法优化。

Another way to say this is we can use machines to figure out what stories will get the most reads, but we still need humans to know if they’re actually good (true, useful, well-written, not just disguised marketing…). We want to promote the good stuff. Therefore, we’re doubling down on human curation. We’re revamping the algorithmic part of our recommendation systems, as well, to give people more of what they want and less of what they don’t.

另一种说法是,我们可以用机器来算出什么样的故事会获得最多的阅读量,但我们还是需要人类来知道这些故事是否真的好(真实、有用、写得好,而不是变相的营销......)。我们要推广好的东西。因此,我们在人类的策展方面加倍努力。我们也在改造我们的推荐系统的算法部分,让人们得到更多他们想要的东西,而不是他们不想要的东西。

简化、更美观的用户体验

A streamlined and more beautiful user experience

It’s been a while since we took a serious look at Medium’s design, from how the site looks and the UI to the app and to the underlying code. We’re going to be doing some major remodeling the next few months. This includes upgrading parts of our technical infrastructure to make the site speedier (and, for the nerds: faster to develop on).

我们已经有一段时间没有认真审视过Medium的设计了,从网站的外观、UI到App和底层代码,都有一段时间了。在接下来的几个月里,我们将进行一些重大改造。这包括升级我们的部分技术基础设施,使网站的速度更快(对于书呆子们来说:开发速度更快)。

This shouldn’t concern you unless you don’t like things that are faster and work better. Or unless you’re a badass engineer or designer who’d like to help us with it.

这应该与你无关,除非你不喜欢速度更快、效果更好的东西。或者,除非你是个很厉害的工程师或设计师,愿意帮我们解决这个问题。

开出更大的支票

Writing bigger checks

As our subscription base grows, so does our budget for content. We will continue to invest in the ways we do now: through the Partner Program, by commissioning stories, and via publisher partnerships. But in each case, we are going to be looking to do bigger, better, and more ambitious stuff.

随着我们的订阅量的增长,我们的内容预算也在增加。我们将继续以现在的方式进行投资:通过合作伙伴计划、委托故事,以及与出版商合作。但在每一种情况下,我们都会寻求做更大、更好、更有野心的事情。

再远一点的是什么......

What’s a little further out…

As long as I’m painting the picture, I’ll mention two other goals on the horizon. These aren’t nailed down, but we’re excited to get to them:

只要我在画图,我就会提到地平线上的另外两个目标。这两个目标还没有被钉死,但我们很兴奋地去实现它们。

📝 Collaboration tools: From the early days of Medium, we’ve talked about the idea that people can create better things together than they can alone. And we’ve enabled that to some extent, but we want to do much more. Especially as the stories being published are the work of more than one person. The end-to-end editing process could be vastly improved.

协作工具。 从Medium成立之初,我们就谈到了这样一个想法:人们可以一起创造出比他们独自一人更好的东西。我们已经在一定程度上实现了这一点,但我们还想做更多的事情。尤其是现在发布的故事都是不止一个人的作品。端到端的编辑过程可以得到极大的改善。

🎧 Audio: We see audio as a highly complementary format for sharing the types of stories Medium is great at. We started adding audio narrations to some of our best stories last year. This has remained a minor feature, but it is increasing in popularity, and there’s a lot of product and content work we’d like to do to make it better and grow what we have to offer.

音频。 我们认为音频是一种高度互补的形式,可以分享Medium最擅长的故事类型。我们从去年开始在一些优秀的故事中加入了音频解说。这仍然是一个次要的功能,但它的受欢迎程度越来越高,我们还有很多产品和内容方面的工作要做,以使其更好,并使我们所提供的内容不断增长。

It’s been a heck of a 12 months for Medium, full of growth and learning. I’m lucky I get to work with a team committed to doing things right and doing the right things. We’re very excited about the future.

If you’re a writer or publisher who’d like to partner with us, please be in touch. If you’re an engineer, designer, or editor who’d like to work with us, please also be in touch.

For members of our community, I’m sure this post has brought up some questions. Feel free to respond below, and we’ll try to answer anything that comes up.

对于Medium来说,这12个月来是个很不错的日子,充满了成长和学习。我很幸运,能和一个致力于做正确的事情、做正确的事情的团队一起工作。我们对未来的发展充满了期待。 如果你是一名作家或出版商,希望与我们合作,请与我们联系。如果你是工程师、设计师或编辑,希望与我们合作,也请与我们联系。 对于我们社区的成员来说,我相信这篇帖子已经提出了一些问题。请随时在下面回复,我们会尽力回答您的问题。