loading...
Cover image for Why I’m moving away from Medium

Why I’m moving away from Medium

deepu105 profile image Deepu K Sasidharan Updated on ・3 min read

Originally published at deepu.tech.

After much deliberation, I have decided to move my blogs away from Medium. I was considering setting up my own blog with Hugo but then decided to go with Dev.to. Below are the reasons why I decided to leave Medium and why I chose Dev.to.

All considerations were purely from a technical writing perspective as I was using Medium for publishing technical content.

The love-hate relationship with Medium

I loved Medium when I started writing here, reasons being;

  • A simple minimal & clean UI — It still is one of the best

  • Ease of authoring and publishing

  • Community and visibility

  • Publications

  • Ease of customization

But there were also things I didn’t like much which slowly become quite annoying

  • The weird commenting mechanism(Every comment is a post, and they literally mess up your stories listing page)

  • Medium had a weird WYSIWYG editor interface which is great for normal content creation but not so great for technical content creation. It had some markdown like shortcuts, but it could never match the ease of using proper markdown editors.

  • Export only in HTML (Duh!!)

But these annoyances were not the main reason I decided to switch platforms. Below are the main reasons why I decided Medium isn’t a good fit for me.

Medium has been aggressively pushing for content to be put behind a paywall and they have made it clear that content not opting in will not get any push inside the platform. This means the community and visibility part is applicable only if you opt-in for the paywall. I understand why Medium does and I think its a great monetary source for established authors but it doesn’t work for mere mortals like me.

As a result of the above, the traffic you get from Medium itself is very low compared to external sources. See one of my stories below for an example. For newer stories, it is even lower.

So writing in Medium seems to have no benefit over other platforms as I could get similar views from external sources and might get better writing experience elsewhere.

Update
So after a week of moving to the Dev community below are my stats and its incredible, I have ~50k views, ~1k reactions and ~300 followers and one of my post was featured in top 7 of the week and all this in just 1 week. I didn't get anything remotely close to this from Medium in a year.

Enter Dev.to

When I was trying to find a different platform, some of the most important aspects I considered were below

  • Community: A community without paywall and a community were your blogs get visibility and get traffic.

  • Ease of authoring: Authoring experience was important, hence at minimum Markdown support was a must. This way I can author posts in my favorite IDE(VsCode in this case) and doesn’t have to be restricted with the platform's capability. Also, this ensures that I can easily move my posts to another platform in the future if needed.

Dev.to satisfied these needs and provided a nice and clean UI and descent publishing experience on top.

Conclusion

I think Medium is still perfect for normal blogging and for content creators who have subscribers willing to pay even if they put articles behind a paywall. But for technical content creators who do not want their content behind a paywall, there are better platforms. I might still crosspost between Dev.to and Medium from time to time but Dev.to will be my primary blogging platform.

Originally published in Medium on June 13, 2019

Cover image credit: Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash

Posted on by:

deepu105 profile

Deepu K Sasidharan

@deepu105

JHipster co-lead, Polyglot dev, Cloud Native Advocate, Developer Advocate @Adyen, Author, Speaker, Software craftsman. Loves simple & beautiful code. bit.ly/JHIPSTER-BOOKS

Discussion

pic
Editor guide
 

The reasons you are joining Dev.to seem to be the same reasons people joined Medium back then. History repeats itself, there will always be a well-meaning, community-oriented platform interested in your (free) contents. Then watch what happens when they start growing and become popular. It's 2019, if you are a developer there is no reason not to own your contents and set up your own blog -- it literally takes minutes. You can always cross-post if that's your thing (but again, watch what happened with Medium vs. FreeCodeCamp recently).

 

I know. As I explained in the post that is one reason I choose Dev, as I can write using markdown(I do write everything on my own private Git repo). So if I have to move then I can easily do so using any markdown supported blogging platform (Hugo or some Jekyl based platform). Its just that I like the community aspect I get here which will be difficult if I host my own. But you do make a valid point about cross posting here from my own blog. I'll give it a thought.

 
 

Medium has huge downside for the readers: the paywall! Forcing users to log in just to read contents - is wrong.

Good to see you here! :)

 

Hey, not to say you're right or wrong but can you explain why log in to read contents on it is wrong ? Cause for me it's worths with the content that Medium provide.

Thank you

 

It's not "wrong," but it's not the norm, either. Most users search for something and then expect to be able to just read it without taking more action. If the site needs money they pay for it with ads.

If I have to log in or pay to read something then it needs to be really important or valuable, but I can't know that before I read it. So I just close the tab and move onto something else.

Every once in a while I'll question whether I should pay to get past a paywall. I guess some people do. It's a business model, and they must be making money. That's not wrong at all. It's just not how I or many people want to read on the internet.

Maybe I'll pay if it becomes like broadcast television vs. a streaming service - you have to pay in order to get the really good stuff. But that distinction doesn't exist yet, and I don't want to encourage it by voting for it with my wallet.

Oh okay, thanks for your answer, for me though Medium really open my mind about pretty much everything from design and coding ( I'm a UI/UX Designer and just starting to learn how to code ) cause they have so many good, informative article from amazing talented people around the globe so it's kinda like where I update my knowledges :D cause I don't really find any site as good as Medium.

Thanks again :D

 

In my opinion, a couple of things are wrong with Medium.
You know, I'm one of those people who think knowledge is free and information wants to be free. This means that information guarded by someone demanding payment, or at least logging in, will be found elsewhere.
As a user, I see no information that belongs exclusively to Medium. This means, that for each article there is, I can find at least one alternative in other sources, it's just my information bubble preventing me from (google, this is at you!)
Good authors deserve payment of some other form of gratification, and I see nothing wrong with paying the author, by seeing ads, or by funding on Patreon. What I don't like is being tracked by the platform. Despite that, nagging the user in a way Medium is - is wrong. You know, I gave it some thinking, and I think that I'll rather be paying Medium user as an author, than as a reader. This is hilarious ;)
For the moment - when there is a piece of content that I want to read - I switch to 'incognito' mode or just clear the cookies. Everyone loses.

 

I second those saying to own your own content. Syndicate it if you like, but don't trust others to have your best interests in mind. Dev.to is not here to help you, they're here to run a business and will screw you over like any other business will.

 

I'm aware of that and that's why I'll be ready to move (Much easily) when the time comes but until then I think I'll be fine here

 

Good stuff.

Publish on your own site, then syndicate to dev.to please. 👍

 

I'm giving that a thought. I do have a Hugo set-up running. May be I'll do that

 

Please do, no offence to dev.to but in 5 years, they may 'medium' things (implement anti user once they have scale).

I will sub your RSS direct for sure.

 

Thanks to a lot of people who pushed me to setup my own blog as well. here its is

GitHub logo deepu105 / deepu105.github.io

My personal website and blog

deepu105.github.io

My personal website and Blog at deepu.tech




live on deepu.js.org/

I wrote up a blog about the setup here

 

Great post and welcome to Dev.to Community !

 

I can already say that I did make the right decision to switch away from medium to here. May be I'll set-up my own blog and cross post here, but still the level of interaction and audience I'm getting here so fast is exactly why I wanted to come here. Thanks everyone

 

Medium is getting worse by the day, recently I even stopped opening their summary emails because virtually every link I clicked seemed to be behind their annoying 'paywall' message. Yes I know you can technically circumvent that, but that doesn't feel "right" and I have no inclination to do that. Instead I'm now simply moving their emails straight to the trash and maybe soon I'll just unsubscribe. They're grossly overshooting their intended goals with the subscription/paywall model, it's a disaster.

 

I am pretty sure we are lots :)

 

Dev to is such an amazing and engaged community! It's so motivating to see your content be seen by others without the paywall!

Congrats on your massive success!