Medium

From IndieWeb

Medium is an article hosting silo, and as of June 2016, the owner of Superfeedr[1].

Why not

Why not to use Medium, see:

How to

How to migrate away

The best option to migrate away from Medium is currently micro.blog.

Note that micro.blog explicitly has medium to long form blog posting support:

See https://help.micro.blog/2019/medium-import/ for instructions on how to migrate from Medium to micro.blog.

Features

Medium provides the following features:

POSSE

It is possible to automatically (via IFTTT) and manually POSSE articles to Medium.

Automatic POSSE

From: https://medium.com/@saul/creating-medium-stories-via-rss-c2ac93d08288 UPDATE: There is no longer a publish from RSS trigger on IFTT UPDATE: Medium removed access to their publishing API

  • Create and sign into your Medium and IFTTT accounts
  • Make sure you have a valid RSS (or possibly Atom per IFTTT's feed channel which allows it) feed containing accepted markup.
  • Go to the Medium Channel on IFTTT, click Connect.
  • Go to the RSS-to-Medium recipe and click the gray Advanced Settings link underneath the blue Add button.
  • Put your feed URL into field "Paste a Feed URL here".
  • Click Add button

Updates occur every 15 minutes

Manual POSSE

  1. Publish on your own site. Copy the permanent link's URL.
  2. Click on your avatar in the top right corner.
  3. Click on Import story.
  4. Paste in the URL.
  5. Edit the post on Medium if it took in a footer or put content in the wrong place (a header into the Medium title, for example).

Medium will automatically add an “Originally published at” note to the bottom of the post. It will also add a rel="canonical" link to the page pointing to your original post, making it so parsers know to get the post from your website when they are looking for the canonical version.

WordPress Plugin

  • Update the WordPress plugin has been deprecated and will no longer be supported. This maybe related to Medium shutting down their write API.

Unfortunately, we are unable to support the WordPress plug-in any further. As this is an open-source tool, we suggest you file a ticket for the community to review and fix. Additionally, you can always manually import your stories into Medium using our import tool:

https://medium.com/p/import I am sorry for the inconvenience, and if you have any specific questions please let me know.Medium WordPress.org Plugin Support Page

IndieWeb Examples

Jeremy Keith

Jeremy Keith is using Medium's API to automatically post copies of articles to Medium: Syndicating to Medium.

Shane Becker

Shane Becker is manually POSSEing his articles to Medium since at least 2013-08-08 (maybe longer) e.g.:

Kevin Marks

Kevin Marks is manually POSSEing his articles to Medium since 2014-04-21, e.g.:

Eric Meyer

Eric Meyer manually POSSE’d a blogpost to Medium on 2015-07-29:

He described his problems with the process in a follow up post that was first published on Medium and then manually PESOSed back to his own blog, 2015-07-30:

David Mead

David Mead used the WP plugin to POSSE a blogpost to Medium on 2016-01-24:

Other Examples

Examples from more people with independent sites:

Peter Gasston

Peter Gasston started “experimenting with x-posting to Medium” on 2015-08-07:

POSSEing likes

If you post a like of a Medium article, what is the best way to POSSE that like to Medium?

Exporting your data

Official Export

Official documentation. Export format is HTML with microformats

  • go to https://medium.com/me/export
  • click the export button
  • wait for an email
  • click the link to download a .zip file full of HTML documents
  • these have a footer appended linking to the medium url that has the date exported
  • they break embedded tweets and youtube videos,
  • they replace external links with a redirect to a /r/?url= link that obviously doesn't work locally or on a server without you adding code

Medium-to-Markdown

Python script to output a Markdown version of a Medium post: https://github.com/markbiek/Medium-To-Markdown (If you have experience using this, please make notes here.)

API is write-only

Issues

buggy rel-canonical implementation

If you set the rel-canonical for a post on Medium using their API, it both fails to do so correctly, and then resets (via JS?) the rel=canonical link to a medium.com URL, not what you set it to.

Downtime

Nagware

Since at least 2017-08-19 Medium started showing modal popup nagware when viewing an article after you have read some number of articles that month. The dialog tells you how many Medium posts you've read to guilt you into signing up. (current limit is 3)

Nagware modal 2018-05-29

Note the now 3 (used to be 14) articles per month limit since at least 2018-05-29, likely earlier.

Medium Nagware screenshot showing a modal obscuring the article saying you have read 3 articles and must now sign-up

From tweet: https://twitter.com/geddski/status/1001590716265512961 since at least 2018-05-29

"2017: maybe I should just use medium instead of my own custom blog?

2018: whew"

@geddski May 29, 2018

Nagware modal 2017-08-19

Note the 14 articles per month limit since at least 2017-08-19, perhaps earlier.

Criticism

Walled Garden / Content Farm

Promoting App over Web

Lightweight Marketing Articles

More of a criticism of *reading* Medium (e.g. clicking links through to Medium posts)

  • https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13570227:

    The articles on medium.com seem to be lightweight, designed for marketing purposes. All carbs, no protein.

    Lately it seems they are very much marketing pieces

    • more criticisms there that could be extracted and quoted like bad TOR UX, 'they do signal "low-quality"' / "not enough real world depth of experience behind them", iOS app crashes "using an iphone 4s with ios8 and medium crashes"

Other

  • 2019-02-17 https://twitter.com/html5test/status/1097090786833899522
    • "One more reason to avoid Medium as a writer and reader.

      If you publish on Medium you are choosing to put your content in a walled garden and out of your own control, and out of reach of readers.

      Medium is not the open web and not a replacement for your own blog or site." @html5test February 17, 2019
  • 2019-04-13 Medium tedium

    Medium hasn’t invented anything, they’ve just tried to commoditize long-form blogging and put a sheen on it. There are so many better ways to share your thoughts to the world.


Articles


See Also


  • https://twitter.com/JohnONolan/status/1040330746601324544
    • "Medium realllly don’t want people to jump ship these days.

      Want to export your publication? Yeah no. That’s not even a thing.

      You can download your personal archive - but Chrome will then block it cause the zip is malformed in some way.

      Here, have some more popups." @JohnONolan September 13, 2018
  • DzmhW0ZXcAEs3NJ.jpg
  • https://tilde.zone/@kirch/103720877933063754
    • "If you put your programming article up behind the paywall on Medium.com instead of on your own blog, you are not a true hacker, and will not hear the horns of freedom when you die, and the blinkenlights of Das Komputermaschine will not shine above your grave." @kirch February 25, 2020
  • https://twitter.com/ryanbigg/status/1392325748204064768
    • "What fresh bullshit is this, @medium?" @ryanbigg May 12, 2021
  • Criticism: https://twitter.com/kickinson/status/1416082423612313610
    • "don’t host your publication on medium" @kickinson July 16, 2021
  • Criticism: https://twitter.com/adactio/status/1458403323283914763
  • Possible sign of impending site-death: https://twitter.com/tchambers/status/1547017293791633408
  • Poll: Is there a negative stigma toward articles written in Medium? "Poll: Is there a negative stigma toward articles written in Medium?"
  • Scribe: an alternative frontend to Medium. Example.
  • 2023-01-12 Medium embraces Mastodon — In which Medium launches a Mastodon instance rather than say, "just" supporting federation/ActivityPub directly on existing Medium profiles, which would have enabled such things like comments on Medium articles from across the web.
  • Criticism of separate Mastodon instance: bifurcating users's "Medium" identities across two accounts like that is not very user friendly, and adds the cognitive load of "which medium-ish thing/account should I post my medium-ish thoughts today?"
  • ^ more criticism: feels a bit more knee-jerk FOMO-based launch than something well thought out with their existing service(s), community, etc. E.g. they could have instead deployed their own instance of Bridgy Fed.
  • Criticisms: thread: https://mstdn.social/@kissane/109677504157457030
  • criticism from Medium's current CEO https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=34747015
    • "I'm Medium's current CEO as of last July. I actually pay a lot of attention to this sentiment on Hacker News. For example, I've bookmarked and often share this recent HN poll where 88% of people here think there's a negative stigma to a medium article.
      https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33223222
      It's sad and entirely our fault. We didn't fail but we did lose our way. Here's how I see it:
      1. Lost our way on recommendations. When I showed up the company was convinced that engagement equals quality. That's not true and it gets even more pronounced if you pay people to game your recommendation system. I think we were boosting articles that made people think we were a site for clickbait. The canonical example for HN is "Why NodeJS is dead" by a new programmer with zero experience or context. Readers noticed this, but worse, so did authors. And so we lost the incentive for a lot of the best and most interesting authors to bother because they were getting swamped by content-mill type authors. As of December, about 30% of our recommendations are generated by a new system that is picking much higher quality articles that have been vetted for substance over clickbait. This is getting a lot better, rapidly.
      2. Got lost thinking about the creator economy, when we should have kept thinking about doers. Distribution was our winning value proposition (on top of simple free tools). We were built to find and boost individual articles and that meant that anyone with something great to say had a chance to get their story boosted, often by a lot. This is my original background in publishing: working at O'Reilly helping them publish programming books that were written by programmers. For a lot of topics, personal experience trumps everything. Not to knock creators, but by definition full time content creation gets in the way of having personal experiences that are worth writing about. We are partly through fixing this and #1.
      Those are the two most obvious ones. But then there's a longer list. We competed with our platform publishers by starting our own in house publications. Those are shut down now. We started but didn't finish a number of redesigns and so the tools didn't get better for a couple of years. We're past that now and are putting out table stakes features again and some innovations too.
      What I told our investors was that there was a huge pile of shit to dig out of, but that it would be worthwhile eventually. And I still believe both that there is a lot more to do and also that it'll be worthwhile." @tonystubblebine February 10, 2023
  • https://sindresorhus.com/blog/new-blog Banned for only posting links.