Linux Hot Take (Disagreements Must Be Constructive)
Specifically, a medium replacement must check these boxes:
- Low/no maintenance
- built in audience
- Easy interface
- Able to monetize
- Ethical (no tracking, no ads)
- Censorship resistant
- Usable by non-technical readers and writers
- Built on Open Standards
- Own your data, Own your distribution
Some of these things are at odds. Free + able to monetize + ethical for example, that's a hard line to walk.
But I think that the tools exist that can give us all of these things.
Each of the good things can be achieved without Medium using various existing tools! I know a few of them appear to be really difficult or impossible (and which few might vary depending on what tools you already use.
IMO, there are also a few things that medium doesn't provide which we also need to provide (which also seem impossible!)
Okay, coming back to this.
Medium provides several things that make life easier for people publishing on the platform:
- built in readers/promotion (allegedly)
- Easy interface
- No software to maintain
- Free for writers
- potential to make money
- Other things that I have forgotten since I started writing this several hours ago)
These things come at a cost, as mentioned previously. I won't rehash that.
Syndicating to medium is, as far as I can tell, actively harmful.
Think about it:
A post on your own website gets shared online and what happens? Some newsletter subscribers, some rss subscribers, some social media followers. AND people associating your name, your design, your layout, your presentation with that content.
What happens when they see the same post on medium? Some of the above (although, honestly, IME, less) BUT people associate MEDIUM with that content. They subscribed to you on MEDIUM. They respond to you on MEDIUM.
When I say they are parasitic, I mean that they can't exist without the labor of writers, to whom they deliver negative value.
They say "come write for us, we'll pay you"
And then you realize that, in order for them to pay you, they're going to 1) stick what you wrote behind a paywall artificially limiting the size of your audience, 2) silo your audience away from your distribution channels in to Their distribution channels, ensuring a steady stream of revenue for them, not you.
I dislike the website medium, because they represent the lost promises of the web, and all that can be gained by siloing content.
I used to mirror my best blogposts over there. The medium posts for some of those still get hundreds of views a week. Sometimes my views on a single blogpost on medium will outstrip hits to my actual website in total over the same period.
That's fine, that's a testament to the need for curation. I'm all for curators and aggregators.
But Medium is parasitic.
Owner of Gattai Digital & Gattai Social
Ordained Dudeist Priest
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