SubStack has been hailed as this great platform where you can finally get your writing seen. How do they accomplish this amazing feat in the modern attention economy? Email.
That’s right. Email, the same type your mom used in the office in 1990. The savior of all things writing and journalism is banking on email. Does this not sound ridiculous to anybody else?
What they’ve done is buy the credibility of already professional writers to lure in everyone else just like the rest of the morally bankrupt vulture capital startups. “We’re disruptors, we’re disrupting news by sending it to your email!”
O Bless Us SubStack You Art Thy Own Savior
Nothing was stopping all of your favorite journalists from going independent and setting up their own payment gateways. So why did they do it? Big fat stacks of advance cash. Oh baby that cash spends soooooo good.
So what’s in it for you, the humble unknown writer? Jack shit. Oh surely the people who go there for celebrity journalists will want to read my nuanced take on things.
[GAME SHOW BUZZER SOUND]
WRONG! Survey says they only give a shit about clout, cash and not users.
So who can save journalism? You.
Stop clicking on clickbait unless it’s funny like this website. Stop leaving Twitter comment on flame bait. This shit has existed since modems made an audible noise and people still haven’t learned the trick. The sad part is the NY Times is now using the same tactics that used to sell stories about Elvis sightings.
Ethics, I hardly know her
We should all mourn the loss of ethical journalism but not put all of our eggs into one “censorship free” platform. SubStack never admitted to it but they were caught censoring articles about NFTs, crypto, etc.
How do we know? We got censored for calling them bullshit! Their automated system didn’t care about the context and their support team never answered. Deleted the account.
SubStack is not the future. SubStack is something that would have been right at home in 2010 when people still trusted tech to do anything other than bastardize the trust you’ve given them. When we throw every ideal out the window it’s hard to trust a word you said.
All I am asking for is for the next wave of startups to have a social consciousness that wants to help real artists make money. The current rush towards nepotism based IP redistribution makes it hard to find the real people.
I get it, you want to make money but I don’t want to give money to “the man”. I want to hear new and compelling voices and none of these platforms get that. Why must we always aim for the lowest common denominator? Are we not better than that? What happened to being the best when it comes to speech censorship?
Maybe if more companies showed more appreciation for the actual art involved and created work beyond churning numbers then maybe we could do away with platforms such as this. Platforms like this are nothing more than bullshit farms that produce nothing of value. Except in exchange the serfs get to toil while the big names reap all the rewards.
Listen up, stupids
So here’s some unsolicited advice. Look for works of passion over charisma or data. Subscription fees won’t save journalism otherwise the newspapers would be doing fine! It’s great these journalists found something that works for them but the platform should stop lying that it’s for you and me to do well on.
It’s not. The professional guilds hiding behind these content platforms are a closed circle and they only have the illusion of openness so they can get away with picking the winners. Once you think too much about how people get rewarded then you see no way around it because there is a vast difference between meritocracy and nepotism. The media world wants to turn itself into the WWE. To do so they’ve essentially embraced the divide and real journalists are left holding the bag for media companies who are PR companies for big conglomerations of industrial interests.
In order to escape the threat of regulation (real regulation) we need innovation and real competition. Not more insider tactics and marketing gimmicks disguised as ethics.
Make it count, or shut the hell up already jeez
Next time you get sucked into paying for Substack subscribe to someone who is actually a journalist and not just a reporter rephrasing the official narrative for their particular flavor of boring. Go fuck yourself with your 10 million dollar checkbook.
SubStack should stop lying to writers and big writers should stop lying about why they’re on the platform. It’s not to save journalism, it’s not about ethics, it’s about the greenbacks baby!
Now close this window before I get mad.