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As much as I love Medium, I wouldn't go as far as Kenneth and get rid of my own domain. And while the great folks at Medium I'm sure appreciate that, I do not believe that's their intention and imho, the author's arguments are unfair.
There's nothing wrong with using Medium as a supplement to your existing blog and followers. It's a great place to expand one's audience and write something that may not be relevant on your own domain.
I've had the inverse reaction! "I felt dead inside" is when I'm writing on my own site/blog/whatever (and I've had a few), and the experience is poor, something always breaks, I lose my work, I get bitrot everywhere and I end up *not writing*. Whatever works for you, but for me I've found an audience I've never had before and I've found that if I try to write elsewhere it's just not *the same*. There's a little joy in being so minimal, and as we all know, through constraint comes creativity. Perhaps not focussing on the stats and inbound links all the time means you write in a different way..
Agree, I can't see Medium ever becoming my permanent domain, nor does that feel like what they are aiming for.
Medium seems like a great platform from the perspective of a constant reader but from a writing standpoint I just don't see the appeal at all.
I strongly support the author's viewpoint. Just because something looks simple and beautiful doesn't mean it's going to function well. The time they spent developing the typography and layout could've been spent developing features for those they want to onboard and write there.
Medium isn't a blogging platform, it's a guest blogging platform. Easy to publish, little or no control.
Exactly. Trade off control and analytics insights, but for a good shot at (significantly) increased reach. It's up to you to bring them back to your platform.
I felt Medium was stuck between trying to be a great collaborative publishing platform (multiplayer) and a great individual CMS (singleplayer).
I'm looking forward to seeing more collaboration on the platform. Notes (ie, inline comments) and draft sharing was the first step in this direction. They recently added the ability to suggest an article. Excited to see what's next.
I'd like to see them build elements of Help Me Write to encourage people to share their stories/knowledge and help kill writers block.
Agreed... I just don't like to see collaboration tools at the detriment of standard single player tools. For example, clicking a set on a person's profile page shows me posts by everyone in that set, not just my own posts in that set.
I haven't really tried Medium except superficially, but the challenge for people who are serious about blogging (like myself) is that you really want to have a direct relationship with your audience. I tend to think of collecting the email as the central and most important way to do that, and the other platforms where I engage are simply to drive traffic to my email subscription form. So whether it's Twitter, Quora, Medium, or Linkedin, I just think of those as top-of-funnel for the "real thing" which is my email newsletter.
Agreed - I'm taking a similar approach. To your point, one of the benefits of Medium (and other platforms) is simply distribution to a different audience. I presume a much higher % of visitors to your blog are already subscribed to your email list than visitors on Medium.
Of course, there's also SEO to take into account but cross-posting off your own domain ~1 day later may help mitigate that.*
Disclaimer: I haven't kept up-to-date with SEO in a long time so someone please correct me if I'm mistaken.
Well I like the articles on Medium, and I like their layout , look and feel etc. am I going to blog on it ? I don't know .. There should be a strong reason behind that. Also I always felt that the traffic was low out there but then it could be the slow " Pull" effect which takes time but builds up a group of loyal followers who return back for good content.
Bottom line I am not surprised at Andrew's decision
My question then would be, if you were a filmmaker for example, would you put your films up on itunes without also putting them up on your own website?
(ps - I'm not entirely unbiased here and we will be making an investment related to this)
Exactly. Curious to hear your investment announcement.
As I think about this more it's too simplistic to say all creators should have their own direct relationship with people. Some actually don't want to. Some just want their shit to be read, watched, heard. Medium can deliver an audience to those -and in fact it encourages cross posting, suggesting they have a nuanced, evolved view of the world. (in this respect SETT is also interesting)
People who publish content have very very different goals- I think the killer app for Medium is that if you're an extremely infrequent writer, but push out great content, then a service like that can get you in front of a lot of people instantly.
On the other hand, if you want to reserve the right to ultimately build up an asset over time, then it's better to build on a platform that will stand the test of time. These days, I think of my blog as something I want to maintain for decades, even though I've only been writing for 6. Given that, it's hard to imagine what will be around 10 or 20 years from now, which is why I revert to email and .com domains :) But maybe even that will change.
interesting perspective thinking about coding versus writing modes, and also how medium allows writer to focus on writing but in turn loses other rich format content. Wander how medium will ever innovate and incorporate rich contents.
I feel like (collectively) we've chased the latest, shiny, beautiful thing without realizing what we are giving up in exchange. :This is a perfect reason why we should get back to keeping our content on our own sites.
As a reader, I'm a fan of Medium. However, I can't understand why a writer would want to give up the platform they own in favor of something else controlled by another. I know some writers use it as a syndication tool, but I'm also not sure if that's really effective. I like the idea of using it as a guest posting platform, as one previous commenter mentioned. I would be interested to see if it's an effective tactic for driving traffic back to an author's main site.
Film disintermediation is tricky. In theory filmmakers want the full revenue from their work and resent the brokers. In practice, getting on iTunes is an accomplishment. And all the way up the intermediary ladder...sales agents, distributors, theaters, producers, agents, studios...they should all be resented for standing in between the artist and audience. In practice they are often revered.
I might be alone in echoing this sentiment, but, while it would be great for Medium to convert the hardcore users (i.e. Kenneth Reitz and others that maintain their own blog), I believe their main focus is to cannibalize the subpar easy-to-publish platforms that less active writers use. They've done a great job creating a very user friendly and easy platform, which has enticed more dedicated publishers, but, as has been mentioned, Medium just isn't set up to handle the "hard-core" publishers (analytics, embedding, etc.).
While Ev mentions "Professional Journalists" in his "Welcome to Medium" post, I think the most important sentence to look at is "It’s simple, beautiful, collaborative, and it helps you find the right audience for whatever you have to say." I agree with @Elisha Tan in it being a guest-blogging platform for the serious users, but, in the end, the frequency of guest-blogging tends to align with the frequency that less active writers publish new stories.
That's a long-winded way of me saying I don't think Medium is trying to get people to migrate their individual blogs over, but share their opinions when they want to push it to a different audience. They've just done a tremendous job building a very user friendly platform, that people want them to host their sites.
For me Medium is a lot of different thesis about content laid out in one product... With plenty of time to figure out what works best for the vision.
Medium is a magazine and should be treated by writers as such. It's a great place to publish work in order to grow your audience, in that they do the marketing work for you - but it shouldn't be the only place to publish ones portfolio of writing. That should remain ones blog. Under ownership of URL.
I think the simplistic UI of Medium as a writing platform is certainly one of their strengths and one of the main draws of using the product, but I don't necessarily think that I'd go so far as to remove my blogging presence elsewhere to replace it with my Medium feed.
The analogy I see closest to Medium is a targeted news column. Medium brings the audience to you and makes it easy for discovery and feedback. Comparatively, on your own blog, you'd have to build your own presence and validate your content before you could get the kind of viewership you would normally get on Medium. On my first post, I hit thousands of views and many comments in the first few days - something I can't really claim I've ever done on my regular blog platform. So now I'll use Medium to feed that audience to my personal page.
And just like a newspaper, you can garner a serious following, but you never own the total publication. I would always thinks it's more secure and safer to host all of your own blog posts so that you're not at the mercy of the market (a la Posterous users), but it's definitely a solid writing and reading platform and does that quite well.