Pony request: identifying links to Medium May 30, 2018 8:43 PM   Subscribe

I know this isn't something mods can do, but thought I would put in a request here for people posting links to restricted-access content on Medium to identify their links (eg SLMedium or similar).

For those unaware, Medium now has a section of content which is available for paid members. Non-members can still access 3 articles in this area per month without paying, but anything more than that and you have to pay US$5/month.

I am not against supporting quality writing online, and have done so on other occasions. However, living in a non-US country as I do, having an ongoing monthly payment in a foreign currency makes a "nominal" fee cost easily twice as much. I wouldn't mind at all making a one-off payment to get access to, for example, the entire set of the Unruly Bodies articles, but that's not how they've set it up. So I'm trying to hoard my 3 free articles per month so I can gradually read all of those ones, and I've inadvertently spent two of my free articles on other things by clicking links I didn't know were going to restricted Medium content. I know, first-world problems.

I figure there will be other people in my situation, and those who can't afford $5/month, and those who have objections to paywalls. What do others think?
posted by Athanassiel to Etiquette/Policy at 8:43 PM (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Aw crap, I just posted one of those. I didn't realize Medium was Monetizing™️. I'll note that in future.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:37 PM on May 30, 2018

(I agree with the pony, just want clarification)

Does incognito mode work for paywalled Medium articles? Or have they gone the route of Boston Globe to detect/block incognito mode users?
posted by lesser weasel at 11:02 PM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

You can save the articles to read later and avoid the payroll but I agree with this pony too.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:52 AM on May 31, 2018

Incognito still works, for now.
posted by halation at 6:15 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Medium was Monetizing™️

It's only doing it for some stuff. a lot of content on Medium is still free. I'm not sure if there is a programmatic way to identify which is which from the URLs? I agree it's a weird setup where just clicking a link turns into a "Gotcha, now you only have two more!" situation I would often rather not be in, but I'm not sure there's a graceful site-based solution except maybe just treating those links like paywall links.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:09 AM on May 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I think probably best bet is we keep an eye out on how this plays out in practice and try and use soft feedback as a community on the sticking points; how much impact the current scheme has on posts' readability, and whether Medium shifts how that works in practice if there's blowback, are both the sort of ??? things I'd like to have a better feel for. It's a good thing to be aware of when constructing posts, for sure.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:54 AM on May 31, 2018

I've just gotten into the habit of notating in [MetaFilter] What/where that article is being linked to. I've seen some other people do this and I always appreciate it. It takes a few extra keystrokes, but I think it's helpful for the community. It's corny but basically... be the change you want to see.
posted by Fizz at 8:47 AM on May 31, 2018 [8 favorites]

I've seen this before but keep forgetting to ask: What is a "pony request"? I've poked around some but can't seem to find a definition. Please, someone, add to my erudition.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:43 AM on June 2, 2018

The MetaFilter Wiki is where I go for stuff like this. A pony is a request for something to be added to the Meta site. (As in, "Dear Santa, please bring me a pony...")
posted by rakaidan at 9:08 AM on June 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

Yeah, it's an ooooooold one, first clear citation I think is this form 2001.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:37 AM on June 2, 2018

Bit of a non-answer but in RL UK contexts the word "pony" is also the short form of Cockney "pony and trap" i.e. crap. I occasionally permit myself a slight smile at "pony requests" (I am a very serious man).
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:19 PM on June 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Should probably say that I heartily endorse this particular pony and the logic behind it too.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:22 PM on June 2, 2018

I agree it's a weird setup where just clicking a link turns into a "Gotcha, now you only have two more!" situation I would often rather not be in

This is becoming annoyingly common and I don't imagine there is any programmatic way of dealing with it. For what it's worth, private browsing mode generally evades this sort of paywall and I don't imagine that it can amount to unauthorised access.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:58 AM on June 4, 2018

"Pony" possibly inspired by this Calvin & Hobbes strip.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:59 AM on June 5, 2018

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