I didn't think it was all that important either -- but I had one story chosen for distribution and went from ~200-300 views per day up to 6k in a day. They all came on the day Medium distributed, but then it tapered off and eventually went back to normal. Such a weird system, I don't know how they managed to get it in front of so many more people or why that article was chosen among others.... it's mysterious
Undoubtedly that helped me get the couple of badges I got last month and it definitely helped the earnings (of that story only)... but imo it makes it even more confusing to write your next article. You're trying to figure out what the algo & curators liked about your first one...
if you're curious I wrote about it here
I think aspiring for distribution is the wrong goal. Writers should just write.
But I do wish medium was more transparent about how they chose articles -- kinda feels like they're just going off vibes