Read.cash is a clone of Medium, and I post things I write there, too. But if you were to take a look at the articles I write there and here, you'll notice a big difference. Here, I'm writing exclusively about Bitcoin Cash. On Medium, I write a bunch of random topics.
Like many, if not nearly all, content creators, I go where the heat is. The reality is that on Read.cash, contributors are rewarded for writing about Bitcoin Cash. On Medium, Bitcoin Cash is a topic with barely any traction at all.
To make sure this wasn't just a perception, I got in touch with one of the owners of Read.cash for some hard numbers, and was provided with some interesting stats.
(Note, I reached out to the owners of this site just before the global plague hit, so these stats are a few months out of date, but I don't believe it's to a degree that changes my central premise.)
There are over 5000 individual articles on Read.cash, of which about 3000 are placed into categories. Of those categorized articles, a third of them are about Bitcoin Cash.
The average tip amount across Bitcoin Cash related articles is $32.17. Compare that to a mere $0.89 USD for all other topics. The numbers are skewed a bit by the fact that there are some individuals who give extremely generous tips exclusively for Bitcoin Cash articles. But even if you strip out any tip above a hundred bucks, the Bitcoin Cash average tip is still far higher than other categories, at around 8 dollars.
If you're interested, the category on Read.cash after Bitcoin Cash with the highest returns is the "Charity" section, with an average tip of about four dollars. I suspect that's probably because of overlap in terms of charity projects that are funded with Bitcoin Cash.
The lowest tipped category on Read.cash is "Food and Recipes", with an average tip of sixteen cents. And about 40% of articles across all sections get no upvotes at all.
It's not just about tips and upvotes. Bitcoin Cash related articles get an average of around 160 views per article, everything else gets about 60.
Kind of interesting to see the stats, but what does this teach us about how Bitcoin Cash is promoted? Note, I'm assuming that you, like me, want to see Bitcoin Cash become a de facto world currency, something used in every day life like any major fiat currency. If that's not your goal, if you just want to see Bitcoin Cash only used among Bitcoin Cash enthusiasts, then we can agree go our different paths.
Anyway, imagine if you went to Medium, and the top trending topics were all about how convenient the US dollar is, or how the Federal Reserve could be improved, or blog posts about new stores around the world now accepting US dollars. You'd probably assume it was a site for economists. Even if there were article about some other topic you were interested in, like, say, dating advice, it would feel like dating advice from economists, and no one wants that.
Too much of Bitcoin Cash marketing is built around the concept of explaining BCH to people. As if understanding it will make people desire it. I don't think that's true. I think people come over to using a system of exchange because of what they perceive it gives them access to. People are interested in what is behind the door, not in how the key works.
So how does this get solved? I don't think there's anything wrong with, for example, crypto enthusiasts wanting to read about Bitcoin Cash on a site where they can support writers with BCH, like this very site, Read.cash.
But, I do think it's detrimental for the ultimate goal many of us proclaim to have, which is to make BCH a world currency, if we leave the algorithms unattended so that BCH driven sites become hotbeds of BCH discussion. That will alienate people who are trying to find their fix of whatever topic they want to find. And keep in mind, those other people, the ones who don't care about BCH or how it works any more or less than they care about how the US dollar works, those are the vast, vast majority of people in the world, and always will be.
The irony is, that to a certain degree, the best way to get people to adopt BCH is to not talk so much about Bitcoin Cash. I think for example, that on this site, the best thing would be to sequester BCH topics in such a way that it does not appear to be the primary focus of this site. I don't think the volume of BCH discussion needs to be regulated in any way, just that it shouldn't be always at the top, above other topics, which it will be if the algorithms aren't finessed.
I know engineer types generally think there's a beauty and rationale in pure algorithms, free from human meddling. However, algorithms are just as prone to vicious cycles as they are to virtuous ones, and I don't feel any internal conflict about getting in there and trying to get results that suit the market I'm trying to reach.
The problem with unattended algorithms, in this case, is that a site like this is initially mainly of interest to BCH enthusiasts. They vote BCH topics up, which give those topics prominence. Which attracts more people enthusiastic about BCH. Who then support BCH content, and off the cycle goes, at the expense of attracting people who want to read other topcs. If the goal is to expand BCH beyond enthusiasts, which I think it should be, then this model is an obstacle.
It's not just a problem with the sites that provide content and their methods, it's also the content consumers. If you're a person who wants BCH to succeed, you may think you're helping by tipping that article which talks about BCH. But consider how every BCH spent contributing to some non-crypto topic makes BCH have value beyond internal naval gazing. I'm not saying you should stop reading or supporting BCH related topics. I'm just saying, if you really want BCH to grow, consider that your contribution has more mileage outside existing BCH enthusiasts when you tip or support non-BCH content.
It's a weird irony, but Bitcoin adoption can be hampered by too much discussion about BCH. It's like talking about how movie tickets work instead of showing movie trailers. If you had the right movie, you wouldn't have to explain or push the idea of movie tickets, people would be rushing to out to get them.