3月23日の朝、Ev Williamsからメールが届いていました(当然、一斉送信メールですが)。内容は以下のとおり。

Hi 汎兮堂,
Today, we’re beginning a limited release of our new membership program for readers. As one of our most loyal readers, I want to invite you first to become a member of Medium, before we open it up to the rest of the world.
To give you a sneak peek of where we’re heading, I’ve written up thoughts on our vision for membership.
【Read my post】
This membership program is the next step in our effort to change the way content is created, shared, and rewarded on the internet. It’s time to rethink the media ecosystem. And to develop a meaningful alternative to the status quo of half truths and hot takes, we need your help.
To become a founding member, you can learn more and upgrade here. (If you’re visiting from your phone, make sure to update your app first.) We’re only inviting a small set of readers right now, and we’ll be adding exclusive content and features for members on a weekly basis — so this is just the beginning.
Thank you for being a part of the Medium community. With every story you read, recommend, and highlight, you’re helping us build a better place on the internet.
- Ev
要は「メンバーシッププログラム」というのを始めることにしたけど、まだ一般には公開してなくて、ヘビーユーザーのあなたを特別に招待しますから、メンバーになってください、ということらしい。しかし、「Mediumメンバー」というのが具体的にどういうものかはこのメールではよくわかりません。そこでまず、メール文中で触れられているEvの投稿記事“Upgrade your Medium”を読んでみました。記事は以下のように始まります。
Upgrade your MediumJoin us in changing what stories get toldMediumをアップグレードしよう我々の仲間になって何が語られるべきかを変革しようI’d like you to be among the first to become a Medium member, a new subscription program we’re launching today to a limited number of people. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling it out to everyone, but for now, this post is unlisted, and we’re only inviting those who meet certain criteria to sign up.

  • メンバーシッププログラムとパートナーシッププログラムを開始する
  • メンバーは月5ドルを支払うことで、メンバー限定の記事や機能を読んだり利用したりできる
  • パートナーは専門知識を持つライターの応募者からMediumが選んで契約する。メンバーから集めた資金がパートナーに支払われる。
  • このシステムによって、注目を集める能力ではなく読者にとっての価値をもたらす能力に報酬が支払われるようになる。
  • メンバーシッププログラムもパートナーシッププログラムも最初は小規模から開始し、徐々に拡大していく。

We started Medium in 2012 to create a better place to find and share important ideas that deserve to be heard.
Since then, over seven million stories have been published on Medium, influencing hundreds of millions of readers. But today, the precariousness of our media ecosystem has never been more obvious — nor has our need for depth, truth-seeking, and understanding.
It’s time for thoughtfulness to prevail. That means transforming not just the experience around reading and writing, but also the economic model that determines which stories are told, clicked on, and compensated. Together, we can change how things are done.
We invite you to join us as a paid member and to help support an ad-free platform that delivers the right type of content: the type that can only be created when independent writers and publishers are rewarded based on value rather than clicks. Medium will remain free and open for anyone who wants to share ideas with the world. And now, as a reader, you can upgrade to become a member and experience a new layer of Medium:
Exclusive stories from top writersAs a founding member, your contributions will be used to directly pay writers and publishers. That means new content that wouldn’t otherwise be on Medium — or wouldn’t exist at all. You’ll have access to exclusive stories from leading experts, including your favorite Medium writers, on topics that matter not just today, but tomorrow too.
Early access to a new Medium experienceYou’ll get the first look at our newest reading features, starting with a new homepage that makes it easier than ever to discover great stories. And that’s just the beginning. You’ll always get early access to our latest improvements as a member, and we want to hear from you about how it can be better.
Personal, offline reading listMembers exclusively unlock an upgraded reading list you can access anytime, anywhere. Easily add and remove stories from your queue, save them to your archive, and read them at your own convenience — no wifi necessary.
Medium Partner ProgramWith the launch of our new subscription, Medium Membership, our goal is to fundamentally change the negative feedback cycles of publishing on the internet that we’re all so familiar with. By rewarding creators based on the value they deliver to readers — knowledge, insight, perspectives — rather than to advertisers — eyeballs, clicks, attention — we can make space for substance to thrive.
Writers across the world will continue to be able to publish on Medium for free, but we know there’s a great deal of content that never gets written or published for lack of it making economic sense to do so. We want those stories — well-researched explainers, insightful perspectives, and useful knowledge with a longer shelf life — to exist on Medium, and we think our paying readers will want to read them too.
We’ll be directly investing our member subscription revenue into quality content and amping up that investment over time, based on what our members are reading and recommending. We’ll invest not by creating content ourselves, but by partnering with independent writers and publishers who have collective expertise across thousands of topics. If you’re a writer, publisher, or expert who wants to just do great work and get paid for it — without having to worry about how viral it’s going to go — we invite you to join us.
In the Medium Partner Program, you’ll get streamlined access to submit stories or ideas for consideration. We’ll also seek your thoughts on how the program should work, as we learn together.
Apply to be a partner.パートナーへの応募If you’re interested in applying to be part of the program, please complete the form below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can if you’re a fit for this initial program.
We’re planning to accept a limited set of contributors to start, and we’re particularly looking for those with expertise in key topic areas (US politics, science, technology, personal development, business and start-ups).
Over time, we plan to open up new revenue opportunities for as many creators as possible.
パートナーになるには、上記のページのフォームから応募し、Mediumによってふさわしいクリエーターと認められる必要があるということです。特に、米国政治・科学・テクノロジー・能力開発・ビジネス・起業などの分野の専門知識があるライターを探しているということですが、Medium Japanが活動終了した今、Medium本社に日本語が理解できるスタッフがいるとも思えず、日本語で執筆しているライターをどうやって審査するのでしょうか。たぶん無理でしょう。となると、パートナーになれる可能性があるのは、上記の分野についての記事を英語で執筆している方に事実上限られるのではないかと思います。私などは全くお呼びではないでしょう。


すると、すぐに手続き完了、晴れて私はMediumの「founding member」となりました。

メンバーになったので、早速、メンバー限定記事を読んでみたいところです。Medium Staffによる“Medium members, welcome to your new homepage”という記事にアクセスしたところ、ページの一番上に“Story for members only”と表示されており、この記事はメンバー限定記事だとわかります。



今のところ、メンバーと非メンバーの実質的な違いは、上の“Medium members, welcome to your new homepage”という記事が読めるかどうかぐらいしかないように思いますが、今後気付いたことがあれば、折りを見て紹介できればと思っています。