Thank you so very much for this article. I was very appreciative when I came across in in my google feed for I have been searching for some answers to the medium distribution mystery. I had a couple articles that I self published "chosen for further distribution" and a few others chosen after having been submitted to publications.
Where does this fit in the levels you outlined?
Especially referring to those that were self-published. And the interesting thing is that the articles that I self-published and were 'further distributed" got more than 10x then number of views and reads than those that went through a publication.
I love data, I enjoying playing with data and manipulating it looking for patterns and I am not finding any and this is driving me to climb a wall. And the interesting thing is that I only noticed this "chosen for further distribution" thing when my self-published story began getting more views that the actual number of followers I had. I got curious and have been down the rabbit hole since :(