You are spot on with your views on Illumination. Here is something else I feel will affect them in the long run. Their policy on clapping for each other. I spoke to an author who left them, who said he was told to clap and follow other members. Don’t know how true that is.
I have a reasonable size Facebook group. We do daily feeds to post content. I ask people to reciprocate and will remove those that are in it for themselves.
Recently we have had a high influx of Illumination readers. They mainly fall into two categories, post and don’t support any other writer or post and only read posts from their illumination friends.
What has happened now is other writers have worked this out and ignore their posts. I personally am not approving any writers that just write for them anymore. Enough is enough.
So now not only do articles for them last eight hours on the front page, but other writers are avoiding reading their stuff because of their behaviour.
A brilliant article I have gained some ideas for my publications as well as knowing I’m not the only one who sees the problem with new ’hot’ publication on Medium.