Views are a nearly useless statistic, in my opinion. Since they have no value in The Partner Program and little value for the writer either. They are like pageviews on the Web. Someone clicked on my story. Then what? Did they read it? Did they like it? Was it a mistake? Were they searching Google and my story popped up, but it wasn’t what they were looking for? It’s too ambiguous of a stat.
Reads and Fans are the most useful statistic for a writer. Those tell you how many people actually read your whole story. And how many liked it (or you) enough to clap. These stats tell you which stories were popular. It still is not necessarily an indicator of quality, just popularity.
Claps are a crazy stat since people can give anything from 1 to 50. So I consider any number of claps good, as a writer. And I personally hate having to judge writing with claps. I didn’t join Medium to become a writing critic or judge. So I think of claps literally as applause. I do what I feel in the moment, as I would at a concert. As far as the Partner Program, I think you actually get the best bang for the clap when a newbie gives you 1 clap because they probably haven’t clapped for many stories so their claps are more valuable. I clap so much each month, my claps are probably worthless.
I have one (anomaly) story I published in August of 2018 that keeps growing thanks to Google. It currently has 8.8k views, 5.4k reads and 128 Fans. Because 82% of those came from eternal referrals, it has only earned $103 lifetime on Medium.
The Parnter Program remains an enigma.