Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Mar 24, 2021


[warning: boring inside baseball post]

From The HypothesisHere's Why Substack's Scam Worked So Well. It summarizes a common Twitter argument that Substack is doing something sinister by offering some writers big advances. The sinister thing differs depending on who's making the argument - in this case, it's making people think they could organically make lots of money on Substack (because they see other writers doing the same) when really the big money comes from Substack paying a pre-selected group money directly. Other people have said it's Substack exercising editorial policy to attract a certain type of person to their site, usually coupled with the theory that the people they choose are problematic.

I'm one of the writers Substack paid, which gives me some extra information on how this went down. Here's a stylized interpretation of the email conversation that got it started:

SUBSTACK: You should join our new blogging thing!

ME: No.

SUBSTACK: It's really good!