Yes, finally I’ve found the time to buy a VPS and host a Jekyll blog with a nice comment system and to move my old blog from Medium.
…but why? Medium is so handy and simple, why I’ve spent one week of work to move few pixels of text?
Because I want that my content is my content and not my content on the “Medium’s hands”, plus Medium is not what was in the beginning.
There’re lots of reasons of this that I’ll try to explain in this post.
Your content and privacy
Medium doesn’t give you your content and your reader, instead it stored them for you, but you’re not the owner of these information. I mean, if you want to go away from Medium because of some reasons, you are absolutely not sure that you can easily migrate your posts from Medium to everywhere (in fact I have written again some posts here), and also you don’t know if your followers will follow you to another place, why they should do it if they’re paying for Medium premium? It’s easier to remain on Medium and follow all the people they want from inside Medium. For that, the best way is to start from the beginning to write on your website and avoid Medium.
And on Medium you have to agree and be subjected to the Medium TOS, who collects a lot of information on you, also the activity done outside Medium:
We obtain information from third-party sources. For example, we may collect information about you from social networks, accounting services providers and data analytics providers. Additionally, if you create or log into your Medium account through a third-party platform (such as Apple, Facebook, Google, or Twitter), we will have access to certain information from that platform, such as your name, lists of friends or followers, birthday, and profile picture, in accordance with the authorization procedures determined by such platform
This sound a bit invasive for me, and for the readers, why an external platform should get my data, make moneys, serve ads and give nothing to me? You can argue that Medium gives you a platform where to write, correct but this platform doesn’t give you your content, I can’t easily download my posts, the images I’ve uploaded and the comments, in order to have a backup of them to export somewhere I want.
The other publications on Medium
And I have to add that Medium platform is bad for write, the editor is too much simple that became very complicate to use, for example there’re lots of shortcuts to insert Markdown syntax, but they’re not the standard Markdown shortcuts, are not well documented and I forget them every 2/3 months. So I can only write text, then highlight it, and what for a stupid pop-up appears, and then I have also few options.
The Medium publications (something like small editors inside Medium) can ask you to add your post to their feed (well, maybe I’m explaining not so good), but then they make visualizations and audience and you have nothing back. Your content will be published on other feeds for free to you and to give visibility to others and Medium? At least I expect… I don’t know, one week of free reading on Medium? or something back.
The Medium Newsletter is going worse over time (in the last 7/8 months it has degraded constantly), I’m receiving the daily newsletter with only clickbait titles and I also have to pay (Medium “premium”) to read it, title like:
- Why would a tech company spend billions on a game studio?
- My Top 5 Productivity Apps!
- How to Build a Slack App with Low-Code (and get $20K)
- 10 macOS Tips to Save Time
- 19 Apps That Are Guaranteed to Improve Your Productivity
…and so on. Those titles are very stupid, you must subscribe to read them and if you want to know an argument about the title, just search on the web and you can find a lot of articles written by experts (journalists). I prefer to pay a magazine/newspaper/blog/substack rather than a big platform with a lot of low-quality contents where I have to search for useful contents, and the newsletter is almost useless.
The page/blog layout gives you very few options to customize it. That’ my opinion, at least compared to a personal site created with Jekyll and hosted on your own VPS. On Medium I would have more control over my style and layout. I don’t like anymore the default layout with a lot of empty space, enormous font and all the blogs looks the same.
You have to use the Medium website to write, and this mean a browser, that is not the safer place where write, I prefer to write on another app that can save, backup, export and give you more flexibility (PS: there’re some apps that can export your content to Medium).
You don’t have access to detailed stats of how the users interact with the site, you can have only little info (that by the way is not bad, not super, it’s sufficient).
In the end, I don’t want to say that Medium is terrible or devilish, just that I think it is better to spend some time to create your own blog, obviously if you have the knowledge. If you want to pay to have the full access to readings, well, I would say no! You can read anyway all you want using “various ways”, Medium is already making money from your free account, and the articles on the blog now are that good as years ago. So it’s not worth it. Instead, buy a subscription to a newspaper or magazine that have a lot more interesting contents and written by journalists or people that you know and trust.