I Read This Article on Medium

Medium’s built-in distribution is great, their tooling around publishing is excellent. There’s no complicated setup involved and you can start writing right away. The chances of getting your post promoted in a large publication are real. Medium resurfaces old articles, shares them in newsletters which is great for promotion.

It is quite safe to say that with zero marketing effort an article on Medium has a bigger chance of getting noticed compared to publishing on your own domain.

I like Medium a lot, yet I decided to run this personal blog myself.

Why ditch Medium?

I find myself telling I read this article on Signal v. Noise blog…” or I read this article on MacStories blog…”. Yet whenever I find a memorable article published on Medium, I say I read this article on Medium…”. Articles on Medium are predominantly Medium’s articles, not your articles. The face of the individual author shines through less than Medium does. How many names of self-published authors on Medium could you name? Of course, it all makes sense for Medium as a platform and the tradeoff can be worth it due to the benefit of distribution it offers.

Medium doesn’t feel the right place to write short articles. Articles that describe a quick hack you found during development, storing a snippet of useful information, posts that are just a little too long to fit into a tweet. Medium just feels wrong for that.

Perhaps the decision is influenced by me trying to be a lot more mindful about the content I consume. I rarely go to a generic podcasts website, instead, I open my favourite podcast app (which is Castbox btw!) to listen to Joe Rogan or Indie Hackers. I already know what I want to listen to before opening the app. I want to do the same with the written content I consume and write. Instead of popping up in a platform’s recommended list, I want to write as good content that people remember this domain like I remember authors publishing on their own.

Content written here is mine forever. I’m not paranoid of Medium going bust or placing all articles behind a paywall nor do I deeply care but it’s still nice to know that what I’ve written exists indefinitely in a GitHub repo, which I can publish anywhere, anytime, free or paid.

I find enjoyment in customizing the way the site looks, tinkering with its CMS and site generator and learning about all the modern tools around it. It exposes me more to the backbones of web technologies, and a lot of the knowledge carries over to product ideas.

With that being said, I don’t write Medium off completely — I keep open the possibility of cross-publishing here and on Medium if I so desire.


November 29, 2020