Why Substack Sucks

Imagine if Facebook paid Ben Shapiro. That’s Substack Pro

Substack’s Vapid Philosophy

With Substack Pro, we pay a writer an upfront sum to cover their first year on the platform. The idea is that the payment can be more attractive to a writer than a salary, so they don’t have to stay in a job (or take one) that’s less interesting to them than being independent... The only thing we ask for in return is a commitment to a minimum publishing frequency so we know they’re giving it an honest shot.
We see these deals as business decisions, not editorial ones. We don’t commission or edit stories. We don’t hire writers, or manage them.Substack Blog

TERF Island

Glenn Greenwald started his Substack by inveighing against trans rights and/or ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio, is currently using it to direct harassment at a female New York Times reporter, and has repeatedly used his platform to whitewash alleged rapists and domestic abusers. Freddie de Boer is an anti-“identity politics” crusader who became so infamous for harassing colleagues, particularly women, that he briefly promised to retire from the Internet to avoid causing any more harm; he’s currently using his “generous financial offer” from Substack to argue against “censoring” Nazis while pursuing a personal vendetta against the cis writer Sarah Jones. Matt Yglesias, who publicly cites polite pushback from a trans femme colleague as the Problem With Media Today — exposing the woman he named to massive harassment from Fox News and online TERFs alike — reportedly got a $250,000 advance from Substack. It’s become the preferred platform for men who can’t work in diverse environments without getting calls from HR.Jude Ellison Sady Doyle, on Substack lol
When considering a Pro deal, the main thing we take into account is the writer’s likelihood of success with the Substack model. We look at the writer’s audience size, how engaged their following is on social media, and the respect they engender among their readers and peers. As an indicator of a publication’s market opportunity, we look at what they cover and assess how well that subject is covered elsewhere. We consider their track record and look for evidence of an ability to publish multiple pieces a week for an extended period of time. We do not approach this process from the perspective of a publisher, looking to gather a particular type of content under our brand, but with the eye of an investor, looking to stimulate a new generation of profitable media businesses. We want to help writers flourish.Substack Blog

A Pretty Classic Business Model

Indi Samarajiva is a writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sign up for my newsletter at www.indi.ca, and you can reach me at indi@indi.ca.

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