Is paying for quality content really a 20th century legacy concept though? We’ve seen the alternative, where content is “free”, and the only incentive for writers seems to be speed and eyeballs, and using any misleading trick in the book to get it.
This is bascially a straw man. What I said is that a paywall, which is what is being implemented here, is the 20th Century legacy concept. I also demonstrated how it creates a conflict between the paid and unpaid sections of Medium. I did not say that paying for quality content is a 20th Century legacy concept (though I’m open to arguments that suggest that it is). There are tons of new ways to pay for quality content that don’t involve a paywall, some of which I already mentioned.
Regarding the incentive for writers, that’s quite irrelevant. Maybe some writers prefer speed and eyeballs to money. That’s their prerogative. I’m not trying to judge why people write.
Paying for quality content is not wrong or outdated in absolute terms, but I’d definitely agree it is very hard to implement.
20th Century methods, such as those employed by virtually every Old Media outlet, certainly aren’t the optimal implementation anymore. We can see that with how so many Old Media outfits have been rendered obsolete and closed up shop, or have been bought by billionaires and now just serve as propaganda arms for their multinational interests.