For the last couple of weeks, I explored Medium as a blogging platform and was amazed by what the platform offers. However, it’s always prudent to consider the other side of the coin. This blogpost is exploring the downside of hosting your blog on Medium.
As mentioned previously, Medium wants to be the YouTube of all written content. Therefore, the downsides of Medium are similar to the downside of having your content on YouTube. I accept that many creatives have found success on YouTube and there are many writers who make a decent living from Medium. With that said, if today, someone wants to publish video content, YouTube will be their first pick as that's where the viewers are. The same is not necessarily true for Medium. Thankfully, no one entity has a monopoly on written content. Certainly, not the way YouTube has for videos.
Any large platform has a content moderation policy to ensure their platform remains a safe place for its users. Medium is no different. Medium Rules are easy to understand and will take approximately nine minutes of your time. At my first glance, the rules seemed reasonable. I have no intention of publishing material that is in breach of these rules. However, I also do not want someone else policing what I can or cannot post on my blog. My blog is hosted on Digital Ocean and powered by Ghost, neither is monitoring my content to enforce their rules.
If Medium finds that you broke their rules:
We strive to be fair, but we reserve the right to suspend accounts or remove content, without notice, for any reason, particularly to protect our services, infrastructure, users, or community. If you attempt to evade suspension by creating new accounts or posts, we will suspend your new accounts and posts.
The likelihood of Medium blocking me is extremely low because my content, in its current form, complies with their rules. However, like YouTube, it’s reasonable to expect that Medium has built automation that enforce these rules. As we all know, automation is not always right and can mistakenly flag my account, thus shutting my readers and me from my content, without notifying me. Obviously, there is an appeal process:
If you believe your content or account has been restricted or disabled in error, or believe there is relevant context we were not aware of in reaching our determination, you can write to us at [email protected] We will consider all good faith efforts to appeal.
Keep in mind, while this process is ongoing, your blog remains inaccessible to anyone. I stress one more time, the likelihood of this happening is extremely low.
The primary reason for me, as mentioned earlier, is my blog does not feel like it's mine. Actually, it feels like it belongs to Medium, even though Medium content policy tells me otherwise. Ironic isn’t it.
When a reader visits my Medium blog on a mobile device, this is what they see:
- the top of the page has the Medium logo and a “Get started” link to open a Medium account.
- the bottom of the page has links to the Medium app, a larger Medium logo with links to Medium’s “About”, “Help” and “Legal” pages.
- “More From Medium”: Medium is showing articles from other writers. This does not sit well with me. I have no control over what is recommended here. I do not follow these publications or writers. If my blog is my metaphoric home then in my home, there SHOULD NOT be a door that takes you to someone else’s home. This is exactly how YouTube behaves.
- The search feature on Medium shows search results outside your blog (with no option to restrict search to within the blog) and the search option only appears if the reader is logged in (therefore requiring a Medium account)
- You cannot set your website link for your blogpost. Example: for the “Why Medium is interesting in 2021” blogpost, Medium’s URL is https://merecivilian.medium.com/why-medium-is-interesting-in-2021-8bfe19a51d04 compared to https://merecivilian.com/why-medium/. The point being, Ghost (including other platforms), allow the writer to set the URL at the writer’s discretion. Medium does not.
After conducting in-depth research on Medium’s suitability for my blog, I have decided Medium is not for me. I will continue to cross post my blogpost on the Medium platform. Honestly, Medium has a lot going for it and I particularly was keen to transfer. However, the devil is always in the detail. This is the importance of considering a service/product for your use case. What works for others, may not necessarily work for you.
A conversation is a food and drink for the soul. If this article has sparked some ideas, or you want to discuss it, please email me at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @MereCivilian. Please share this article with people whom you think may also find it useful ✌️.