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Medium suspended our account and blocked access to all our published stories (mastodon.xyz)
479 points by ColinWright on Mar 25, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 243 comments

Hey everyone, if you're looking for a fantastic blog engine, I want to tell you about Ghost: https://ghost.org

I found Ghost while looking for a new blog engine for my company. My first instinct was to use Medium as well, but I ended up hitting a lot of issues because it was impossible for us to customize it (add custom javascript, charts, disable the lame "highlights", custom domain was not free, etc...).

1. Ghost is open source, developed by a foundation in the open. They make their revenue open, their issue tracker, their code, everything.

2. Ghost is self-hostable, as well as hosted on a paid plan. The paid plan is a little pricy (https://ghost.org/pricing/) but I recommend it if this is for a company blog.

3. Ghost is beautiful out of the box. Here is the default theme: https://blog.ghost.org -- Here is a slightly customized theme: https://articles.hsreplay.net

4. Ghost has an excellent featureset. It's powered by Markdown and has a wonderful markdown editor in its admin/authorship interface. It also supports authors, editors, contributors, drafts, publishing schedules, tags, etc.

Seriously, try it out. I'm not affiliated, just a huge fan. I want to see more people use and support these fantastic open source tools, rather than complain about Medium like there's no alternative.

As many others indicated, static sites are much better unless you need dynamic features. Static sites make deployments much easier, doesn't depend on any OS/runtime, doesn't lock you in to a particular database. You just write markdown and with little to no modification, the same thing could just work on Hugo, or Jekyll.

I use Jekyll; I used Hugo and Pelican in the past. They solve a very specific use case. But if you want to allow guest posting on your blog, a static site will not do. You need something that has drafts, that has a proper editor, that has a UI you can add and invite people to. Ghost solves that.

Netlify CMS solved the problem you described.


In theory, is there any reason why this couldn't support git-based comments as well? Maybe through a PR-style interface?

There's a tool called staticman - it doesn't integrate with Netlify CMS (yet), but it's a great git-based comments solution: https://staticman.net/

It seems that all of those features are Git-features. The missing piece is a "git-aware" markdown editor, as in, an editor that knows about git branches, and can commit/push and be mildy helpful if there's a conflict.

We use butter [1] for that, and we're liking the product so far. The various nontechnical people (ceo, writers) have been fine with it. Butter build and distribute a gem that just drops into rails and displays your posts. You have to style it, but you get the erb files.

They do have some support for local caching, but investigating that is on my todo list.

One big upside of this design is seo: your blog isn't on blog.domain.com, but wherever you want it on your main site.

[1] https://buttercms.com/

You need a headless CMS like Contentful[0]. They have a free developer tier which is great for static sites, especially when you pair it with the super awesome React based static site generator GatsbyJS[1].

[0]: https://www.contentful.com/ [1]: https://www.gatsbyjs.org/docs/gatsby-starters/

would go with Ghost or Hosted Jekyll, `Contentful` is not a good solution for individual/small/medium teams.

I was an early user of Contentful. Before I introduced it, we had non-techies editing YAML or Markdown files and committing them to Git and deploying them using Jenkins (yeah that went about as well as you'd expect).

After countless hours supporting this system I decided to move over a couple of the content pages to Contentful (here's one example: https://issuu.com/m/success/madsounds). I didn't need to support anyone after making that move. As techies we tend to think things like Git are easy, but it's not (that's part of the reason we get paid the big bucks(

Also eventually basically all the company's CMS needs were moved over to Contentful. From my experience it scaled well for both small and medium-sized teams.

I'm not familiar with the service, why isn't a it good for individual/small/medium teams?

Why not?

I want to upvote you more.

Ghost has drafts, and the editor is fine for me (plain text markdown with instant preview). I think(?) it also supports multiple logins with permission management? I feel like adding a user requires an admin (no self sign up that I know of) but other than that, I think it might do what you’re talking about.

I use ghost for my personal site and I love it. (Not that I use multiple authors.)

I think you misread my reply. I'm bringing these things up because Ghost can do them.

Netlify + Jekyll can get this done with some amount of customization. Static, but using Netlify's identity service. This has worked well for me for many clients.

As a fan of Ghost’s design and preferring static sites, I started using Jekyll with the theme Jasper2, which was based on Ghost’s default theme Casper. Super easy to set up and use if you’re comfortable with not having the ghost editor, and with github pages hosting and publishing was a breeze.

Easy to use for non technical users is Publii https://getpublii.com It works like a dynamic CMS but generates static output, comes with GUI and clean, lightweight free themes.

Publii is fishy, they dont have public repos

Fishy? :) Next month should be released the first stable version with rewriten backend (based on Vue) and GitHub repo.

Are there any plans for Linux release?

1. You sound like an advertiser.

2. When I first discovered Ghost (last year) and I heard it's using NodeJS I was expecting a beautiful, responsive, SPA blog engine that is fast. After reviewing it and even trying to use it as a platform for a newspaper I found that (It's just wordpress and it's not using the power of javascript to it's full extent.)

Fast => I could and I did built a faster wordpress site.

SPA => Nope

Customizable => Nope.

For me it's not worth the extra capabilities instead of a static blog.

I found gatsby(1) great for all my use cases and with some extra work[2] is more dynamic that ghost.

1. gatsby - https://github.com/gatsbyjs/gatsby

2. netlify + contentful - https://www.netlifycms.org/ + https://www.contentful.com/

(I would love to see a CMS that embraces SPA/PWA. On the other side I would hate to serve 1mb of JS just to show 4 paragraphs and 1 picture)

> You sound like an advertiser

Great! I'll happily advertise for Ghost. As I said I'm not affiliated but I am a fan. I especially am a fan because I have a huge respect for open source organizations that run their business like they do.

You're right, I can't comment anything bad on the business model, great respect for being open source and I thank them for they work, just not a fit for someone who was looking for a better Wordpress alternative. Maybe it's just too young. WP is 15 yo already :)) ! Wish you both the very best!

> SPA => Nope

This seems like a positive aspect for a blog? Most blogs are pretty far removed from being “applications”.

Would that be a negative aspect?

Why wouldn't you try to bring the best possible experience to your reader?

> Why wouldn't you try to bring the best possible experience to your reader?

A blog is (usually) a collection of documents. For this use-case, using standard hypertext (standard HTML documents delivered over standard HTTP to every standards-compliant browser) does bring the best possible experience to your readers.

Delivering a single HTML document stuffed with some hand-crafted Javascript code trying to re-invent hypertext will not bring a better experience to your readers (especially not any readers who disable JavaScript), unless your blog is something more specific/unusual than a collection of documents and actually fits something other than hypertext better.

I'll flip it back on you. Why does a single page app make the best possible experience? I and many others don't browse with JavaScript, how does a broken site help us?

Static sites are fast and don't require untrusted code running in my browser.

chomp: For starters we could make you and many others (0.1%-1%?) just accept it and enable javascript so we help stop the global warming, don't you care about the earth? :))

And its quite possible to make a SPA that renders on the server and serves you an html but then maybe we can show just half the information so we don't send too much info to your browser.

obviously enabling javascript contributes to global warming because of increase resource usage, not that I mind.

Not mentioned above but "interesting":

- requires exactly mysql, nodejs, nginx and at least 1GB RAM.

- the only supported setup is Ubuntu 16.04

- has some sort of ghost-cli application used for management.

At least for me: not enough fingers for "thumbs down".

I'd love to have them support Postgres (they dropped support because of not enough developers working on it), but giving it the thumbs down for those reasons seems silly. You either self-host in which case you stuff that on its own docker instance and forget about it, or you use their hosted plan in which case why do you care what software/db engine they run?

One lightweight solution I've found great for blogs is Pelican with m.css, it's really nice and could be served even from a toaster.

Pelican? Is that a cms?

It's a static site generator: https://blog.getpelican.com

Combined with git and some webhook to regenerate on change, I think it's better than most CMSs. It's fast, nice-looking (assuming you use a theme, like m.css), secure, doesn't take much storage, really simple, nearly bug-free etc.

I went through a bunch (including Ghost). Good product, but I eventually ended up using a static site with Netlify.

For the static site I used Middleman. It is one of the older generators, but if you're familiar with a Rails environment you can do everything you'll ever need.

Not for everyone, but super simple, extremely fast, and completely customizable. Netlify has also taken away all the pain. Simple build and deploy. Superfast DNS and CDN. LetsEncrypt out of the box. Worth a look.

That said, the missing piece from Medium isn't the editor/hosting -- it's is the syndication.

Because I stumbled the last days over it and found it really a pleasure to workin with; the medium editor is completely usable in your own projects.


While I loved Ghost when it was launched, I've replaced my site with Hugo instead. Hugo + Netlify is free as in beer, and is a much better deal IMO. [1]

[1]: https://gohugo.io/hosting-and-deployment/hosting-on-netlify/

> The paid plan is a little pricy

It's literally the only problem with Ghost. Wonderful product but boy... how many people are going to pay $29/month or $228/year to host their personal blog? Yeah, there's some serious added value: managed upgrades, managed backups, DDoS protection, CDN setup, etc., and that's wonderful, but still... if you're basically just writing as a hobby, it's too much. I really hope they look into offering some kind of $5-10 hobbyist plan for low-traffic blogs.

FWIW I don't think Ghost should be used on its paid plan for personal blogs. You can host it on a droplet or AWS free tier pretty easily, otherwise you can use Github pages.

I hope Ghost will at some point have a "static site generation" mode though.

You can use a droplet or AWS free tier, you'll just go offline in the "just in case" situation that your site gets hugged to death. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather not plan for failure in the event of success.

Part of the value added in SaaS like Ghost(Pro) is that the infrastructure needed to deal with traffic spikes is built-in. There really ought to be a pricing model along the lines of "I really don't expect this site to get much traffic at all, so sell me a cheap plan for day-to-day expected usage, but just in case something I write happens to go viral, I pre-approve a charge of $100 (or whatever) to deal with the traffic spike, and in case there's new sustained traffic then I'll of course upgrade to a more expensive plan which covers a higher expected rate of day-to-day traffic."

Edit: let's put it another way: if you're publishing something to the Internet, it's because you want other people to read it. You therefore want other people to actually be able to read it in the rare but foreseeable circumstance that it becomes popular. If you didn't care about that, and you were really just writing for yourself, you'd just keep an offline journal.

> You can use a droplet or AWS free tier, you'll just go offline in the "just in case" situation that your site gets hugged to death

Cloudflare in front with aggressive caching? What you're generating essentially is a static site, so it's safe to do that. If your S3 static site gets hugged to death, you won't go offline but you will pay an unexpectedly larger bill, so you should be setting up Cloudflare in front either way.

But that's no longer (non-technical) user friendly. Ghost is on the other end where they host it for you and if you get reddit or hn hugged it's still going to take your site offline, you just won't pay for it, but you get a pretty heavy charge for the convenience. None of these solutions would work for me.

I'll add my recommendation here too. You can get going with it over at digital ocean with one of their single click images, whatever you call them, and run it fine for $5-$10 per month. I recommend $10, but I believe it'll still install and run fine for low traffic sites on the cheapest tier.

It's also really easy to install yourself. They've done a great job on it all around. If you have a blog, give it a shot. It's not a WordPress replacement if you use tons of plugins but it's great writing software.

It's also really easy to theme.

DO recently upped their specs. Now you get 1 GB ram for $5/month, which are the specs of their previous $10/month tier. I'm going through this weekend and switching my $10 instance to a $5.

I recently switched to Hetzner Cloud, which offers significantly more at lower prices. For about $2.50 you get about the equivalent of a $10 droplet. Only downside I can think of is that they don't have servers in the US (AFAIK) and I think they don't have a DNS panel.

I've moved to Hetzner from DO as well. It's cheaper than digital ocean.


- They have two data center locations, both in Germany, which might be good or bad depending on how view the laws.

- Their web interface looks good too, but doesn't have the features that DO provides.

- Depending on what option you pick, some have commodity hardware (No ECC RAM, i7 processors instead of server hardware).

- [Rumor]I've heard that they are very hands off, and will take down your instance much more aggressively. As someone on reddit put it, "If Disney was a cloud provider, anything Disney won't be comfortable to host, Hetzner won't."

I use Hetzner for one of my NTP servers which handles traffic for pool.ntp.org. It's rock-solid and has no problem with latency.

I had a DO NTP server for a brief time, but the latency was all over the map, so much so that it was continually pulled out of rotation by the pool. I wasn't sure if my VM happened to be on an oversubscribed host or maybe the network to that datacenter was oversubscribed, but in either case my NTP server wasn't usable, so I decommissioned my DO server.

According to their FAQ, they are working on it:

> Will you add additional locations in different geographic regions?

> We are actively looking into this option right now.

I may have to check my droplets... do you know if the upgrades automatic by chance?

I don't believe it's automatic. I had 2 512 mb servers and 1 GB server going and none had increased specs automatically.

We use ghost as well, can't say enough good things about it. Digital Ocean also has a pre-configured droplet for it that makes installation / testing pretty seamless.

I'm a big fan of Ghost and have just set it up for a friend on free tier AWS for his travel blog.

DO droplets have gotten better/bigger lately, and with the one-click install it's a cinch. That said, if anyone's interested, I wrote a post on getting it running on a small VM which I'm currently rewriting for AWS free tier: https://www.danwalker.com/running-ghost-on-a-5-digital-ocean...

$19 for 50,000 views a month, only if you buy a whole year. A $5 Google Compute server and NginX can serve 5,000 static assets a second easy. Even more with some optimization.

I don't know why your service doesn't scale to be as good as, if not better than that, since you can put more effort into static caching and optimization at scale.

I began using Ghost for a personal blog (on a micro AWS instance) a few months ago, and I'm very happy so far. I also "import" my Ghost articles to Medium - so that helps to get views while helping me maintain control of my publishing.

Ghost is a very nice platform. How do you think it compares to Grav? My firm has been considering both.

A blanket statement like 'Medium is bad' does not have enough nuance. Medium is for profit centralized service. You are trading freedom for convenience and access to an audience. It is for you to decide if this tradeoff is profitable.

For me, having Medium as the sole repository of my content does not seem like the right tradeoff. Maintaining a static site with a CDN costs less than 5$ a month. Having complete control over the content is far more valuable than the audience that Medium brings. Mirroring posts to Medium can still allow me to reach that audience.

> You are trading freedom for convenience and access to an audience.

While this is certainly true, the understanding of platforms like Medium had been that they will not censor people for ideological reasons, or will do so only if the content is clearly illegal or disturbing. If they will freely censor people, there's not much point of their existence.

>the understanding of platforms like Medium had been that they will not censor people for ideological reasons

They threw out their integrity as a publishing platform when they updated their ToS a month ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16431403

Indeed, there is not much of a point to their existence when they throw this away, other than being a virtue signalling magazine with unpaid authors that doesn't even follow their own vague ToS.

This week has been horrible for speech and freedom on the web. But surely a much needed reminder that suppressing speech does not work. The remedy is more speech, not less: http://prospect.org/article/remedy-more-speech

Without holding this uncompromising stance, I'm of the opinion that one cannot call themselves a liberal, in a liberal democracy. It is the cornerstone of a functioning, modern liberal democracy, and the recent trend of this self-censorship by big technology companies is worrying.

If more speech was the remedy to hate speech, then we would expect platforms with the most speech and least censorship would have the least hate. But compare well moderated social discussion sites like MetaFilter, HN, Fark to "anything goes" places like Twitter, 4chan, Reddit, etc. and the opposite is true.

You're presupposing here that "hate speech" is what needs remedying. You already have a conclusion you want the rest of us to reach about what we should be saying. More speech is not a remedy to 'hate speech', but it is an alternative to physical conflict. Some conflicts have been going on for thousands of years and you should not expect that they will be over within a brief period. Hatred runs deep and if you repress it, it will not go away.

Censored environments like Reddit don't have the least hate because they aren't encouraging it, but because they are incapable of being used for communication between parts of humanity that exist, and will continue to exist for the time being. They are as a sandbox/playpen is to a real social environment - somewhere for children to learn and play around, but not much more. The bigger questions, disagreements and problems we face as a world are going to involve hatred and conflict before they are resolved.

Free speech is a pressure release valve for society. Otherwise, people just keep quiet until they explode, many times in a mob because they feel no one is listening or they're being suppressed, or ignored by media, politicians, etc. For example, it is far better someone goes and complains about immigrants online and vent frustrations, even if half of what they say is racist or unjustified, because they at least are venting frustration non-violently and maybe, just maybe some of their concerns or points or personal experiences are legitimate and need to be addressed even if it's not with the solution they're suggesting. If nothing else, you know that person exists, and they're on your radar if they start expressing violent intentions.

Also, the answer isn't to suppress speech so it goes and hides under the surface, it doesn't go away and the people exposed to it never hear the counter points. The communities you talk about, like reddit, hate speech gets downvoted, it gets counter argued. Bring dumb hateful ignorant views into the light, so they can be addressed, if not for the purpose of convincing the OP (which is often futile), convincing anyone who might be on the fence or sympathetic at least partially to some of their points can understand why its wrong. The problem is when boards or sub-reddits become insular so never face opposing views, on either side, going back into bubbles or group think does not lead to moderate opinions and compromises, just like proving someone wrong can sometimes just cause them to double down on their opinion.

Reddit is not considered "Anything goes" by any stretch of the imagination. Reddit hasn't been the place for freedom for over half a decade now. Nor 4chan, or twitter.

All of these sites are extremely heavily moderated, which is understandable, but saying that they are "anything goes" is false by any stretch of the imagination. Honestly before last year, Discord was the place to be, no matter what your topic was. One of my favorite places to hang out was a place called "Meth and Funamines," which doesn't sound pleasant at the surface, as it's a bunch of druggies. The major rule was "No sourcing," but nobody went there for sourcing, and rarely to discuss drugs. When people did discuss drugs, it was similar to /r/drugnerds. It was just a community of mostly chill people, posting art, poetry, supporting one another be it mental illness or otherwise. No matter who you were, you could come to that server and find a friend in a time of need.

It was wrapped up in the ban of alt-right and other 'hate' discords early this year. Other than discussing drugs, I never saw a single bad thing come from that discord.

These days, I don't know where anyone can go to be free. Self-hosted options obviously, but that is not the answer. Self-hosted services don't have the accessibility or open-ness that sites like Reddit and services like Discord provide.

I wish Discord would provide self-hosted servers and just handled keeping them on a server list. It just sucks.

Is 4chan truly heavily moderated? I've never really used it, but it certainly has a reputation of anything goes.

Yes, and there are multiple other chans that have popped up in direct response that are more "free" speech. Most of the stuff on 4chan can be found on reddit, etc, and often does, usually OC on 4chan just gets posted on reddit days or hours later, the only difference is shtposting doesn't get down voted.

Yes, it is. It's heavily moderated and surveilled.

I didn’t follow. Is Discord a censored service now?

What is hate speech, given it’s been systematically used to censor political opponents...

It's whatever the people who are not in power say it is.

Which doesn't make the concept any more valid than if the opposite were true.

> more speech, not less

When speech can be automated, this turns into a question of who has the largest promotional bot army. True speech can be drowned out with an infinite array of conflicting lies.

You seem to have an assumption that people aren't competent to decide their own ideas and only follow what they see the most of. That's true to a large extent but you'd have to ban all religious information too if you really meant it.

This whole idea that false information needs to be suppressed only became popular after Trump's election win. People needed an excuse to explain that because they couldn't imagine so many normal reasonable people could possibly vote for him. The only explanation must be that they were not very intelligent and got suckered by external influence. That's a pretty arrogant viewpoint and its conclusion - censorship - is pretty naive direct action that ignores their legitimate concerns as well as the obvious horrible side effects that come with censorship. Since when did "these people aren't smart enough to take care of themselves, let's tell them what to do because we know what's best" ever work on a large population who are different from the "bosses"?

Suppressing an automated service disruption or preventing the spread of spam is different from policing content on topical or ideological grounds.

Looking at reddit as an example, I don't like where this is headed. First they came for pedos and creepers, and I said nothing because ewww. Then they came for assholes and trolls, and I said nothing because good riddance. Now they've come for gun coupons, and I don't want to flee to Voat because it's dominated by assholes and trolls.

>I don't want to flee to Voat because it's dominated by assholes and trolls.

It’s exactly this sentiment that prompts services like Reddit to censor. They need users; it’s no use being a bastion of free speech if you are hemorrhaging ad dollars because assholes and trolls ruin your platform.

That's always struck me as weird. Do you avoid using a telephone because pedophiles and terrorists use them? Of course not. It's a part of infrastructure that facilitates communication, nothing more. If you go to Reddit and hang out on r/python or something you're not going to accidentally slip, trip, and fall right into r/the_donald or something. I just think modern people have this feeling that if we can reach out and screw with other people not by talking to them but through underhanded technological means, we should do so. Which seems a basic social/philosophical problem that technology has no real capacity to address.

Yeah, but they're dangerously close to having their Digg exodus moment. The problem is they ban guns, the gun community leaves, but the gun community also frequents other sub-reddit's, its kind of a venn diagram. Each time they ban one controversial community, and they move somewhere, that community usually also participated in the mainstream sub-reddits, and that eventually bleeds off. Especially since Reddit is very selective about which sub-reddit's to apply ToS on which is very obviously effected by the politics of the places their offices are in.

It might be paper cuts, or it might be a redesign, or the rumored shift to being social media, but I honestly feel like Reddit is past its eternal September moment and kind of on the cusp of going the way of MySpace and Digg in the next few years.

Indeed, but now they've moved beyond that. While the latest round of content restrictions seem to be motivated by FOSTA, they go significantly beyond what is necessary to avoid liability.

"A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes"

If we go by your definition, "true speech" is always intended to persuade others of your opinions or positions. I don't believe that to be the case.

Your reference to the last presidential election is nonsensical, if you're attempting to claim that the Democratic candidate lost because of a few hundred thousand dollars in ad buys and thousands of Twitter bots. Clinton lost because the campaign was clumsy when it came to image management (which you really need when it comes to the skeletons surrounding both her and her husband), and the campaign ignored flyover states and the electoral college, and even outright insulted voters. You can't rely on California to get elected, sorry.

The real victim, when bots run rampant, is platforms. Not democracies.

Clinton certainly didn’t help her cause, but psychographic warfare absolutely had an impact, even if it’s not measureable.

Ads/Stories were put in front of micro-targeted social media recipients with one of two goals.

Increase fear/anger on right so people would vote.

Increase apathy/disgust on left and with independents to discourage them from voting or to vote for a third party.

If you micro-target even the smallest group of people thousands of times, the emotional impact will lead to some percentage of success.

That small percentage may absolutely have turned the election.

Have we seen proof for this to be the case?

I see people make that argument all the time...it’s a good sounding hypothesis...but does it actually work? Is there data that shows that this was done and that it was impactful?

It's hard to measure this in hindsight. Someone would have to do a controlled study.

That said, Given the number of voters that stayed home in 2016 (over 10% in the key states of WI, MI, OH, and PA) and the number of people who voted "against Clinton" suggests it was highly effective.

Cambridge Analytica and similar firms have a data set of how emotions can impact certain kinds of people. They have openly admitted they do this for conservative causes. Their patent company is seeded financially by some of the most conservative people with wealth and now we know they are also supported by conservative British politicians.

This is a massive conspiracy to undermine governments that are supposed to be for and by the people. This is what happens when dark money is allowed unfettered access to elections.

Democracy. Real democracy....dies.

I personally think Clinton ran a poor campaign without being able to create and excitement at scale and Trump wasn’t a option for many (including me) so that may also explain the spike in people who stayed home.

Can you say 100% that your view of Clinton wasn’t impacted by the negative news push by CA?

Democracy. Real democracy....dies.

I disagree -- I think what we saw in 2016 was democracy. We saw the effect of giving stupid people the same amount of political power as everyone else.

It's indisputable that some people are more easily gathered and led than others. We can borrow the term "network effect" to describe how these people come to wield excessive power in a democracy. But these voters don't serve their own interests. They are the players in a competition among billionaires, religious leaders, and state-level actors to see who can raise the biggest army of intellectual zombies and herd them to the polls.

At some point there will have to be a conversation about how sustainable this practice is.

> Clinton certainly didn’t help her cause, but psychographic warfare absolutely had an impact, even if it’s not measureable.

Hillary spent quite a lot more than Trump[1] and had her own army on social media called Correct the Record. I believe it's now Share Blue?

The sad thing is that modern politics is based on who can make the other guy the most hated, as this seems to drive the most votes.

[1] http://fortune.com/2016/12/09/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-c...

According to favorability surveys, Hillary Clinton was widely disliked even before Donald Trump declared his candidacy. Regardless of whether the hatred was deserved, the DNC made a serious error in nominating a candidate with such negative ratings among the broader populace.


> Your reference to the last presidential election is nonsensical, if you're attempting to claim that the Democratic

Speaking of "true speech", I didn't say any of those things. I happened to be thinking of Michael Gove's "had enough of experts" https://www.ft.com/content/3be49734-29cb-11e6-83e4-abc22d5d1... and the much earlier GWB reference to not being in the "reality based community".

"This week has been horrible for speech and freedom on the web. But surely a much needed reminder that suppressing speech does not work..."

I agree. But few others do. The conventional wisdom seems to be, keep that idea (e.g., racism) in the shadows; as long as we don't see it, it doesn't exit.

False assumption.

Fringe ideas breed in the shadows. They thrive there. They, like vampires, can't live in the light.

Unfortunately, we live in a head-in-the-sand world. And most wouldn't notice a loss of freedom and/or speech anyway.

I know. Sad.

The article you linked looks to be about how they banned someone who said that a shooting last month was a 'false flag' and the victims were paid actors... This is not the time this horrible false narrative has been applied to a shooting, alex jones promoted an identical story last year.

These things are always actually about the alt-right getting kicked out of a service, they say the service is now dead and doesn't care about "free speech" (argument doesn't hold on a private platform), they make their own competitor and it's filled entirely with hate speech (voat, gab, hatreon). the reason only horrible people go to those competing sites is because everyone else knows the positions are nonsense.

If there are two platforms. One is high quality, polished and it allows everything except x. The other is lower quality, small budget, and it allows everything.

Then guess what: everything that isn't x will be on the first platform.

With the government is passing laws like FOSTA giving private platforms huge liability for allowing free speech, the alt-right was just the beginning.

Now it’s moved on to sex workers, harm reduction communities, marketplaces, and more.

If the next step is liability for “false narratives” and “disinformation”, open and free discussion is dead, under the boot of the arbiters of truth.

> open and free discussion is dead, under the boot of the arbiters of truth.

Next step: Ministry of Truth?!

Assuming a site like Medium is going to stand for freedom of speech is foolish. Of course they aren’t. They are for profit.

This silly mindset is way too common. Don’t trust for profit companies like Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, etc to be bastions of freedom of speech. They will do whatever is best for their shareholders.

Protecting freedom is why we need to keep it feasible and affordable to be able to host your own site.

There is a point for the vast majority of people who are unlikely to be censored. Don’t be a fatalist.

Something can be both bad (in a moral sense) and useful. In fact, most bad things are useful.

But certainly even a bad thing can have a point to it’s existence.

> Maintaining a static site with a CDN costs less than 5$ a month.

That's putting it mildly! I host a (small) static webpage on AWS S3 + CloudFront, and my monthly bill is 56 cents.

56 cts until one of your article gets published on HN and you are billed for a TB of data transfer.

It was on top of HN last year. I paid 60 cents that month.

The AWS CDN is really cheap, and 1 TB is a truly massive amount. Remember, this is static content, not megabytes of useless JS dependencies.

In any event, it's easy to set a budget in AWS. I'll add one now, just to be safe.

My blog was on top of HN multiple times in the last years. I had an article that reached past a TB by itself.

It's not the javascript but the medias that are expensive. Pictures, drawings, schemas. God forbids if you have a gif or a video.

It would be free on netlify.com.

I'm always afraid that those free services start to change their policies and suddenly your site doesn't work without you knowing. The 60 cents for hosting it somewhere I have a business relationship with, rather than a simple ToS, are easily worth it.

Then setup a monitor:


If they change the ToS then move. That's the great thing about static sites, you just plonk it anywhere and you're good to go.

Maybe the 56 cents is worth more for them than the possibility of some hours of downtime to set up the site on another server.

Can you write a how to guide on this?

[0] add files to S3 [1] configure Route53 to show those files at a domain name with permissions [2] use Cloudfront as a CDN to that S3 data.

[0] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/user-guide/uploa... [1] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/Route53/latest/DeveloperGuide/Ro... [2] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonCloudFront/latest/Develope...

Sure, I could do that. Just yesterday someone described AWS as an "Ikea" construction set, where it's all there but you have to figure it out (and the AWS documentation is not very good). I need to start blogging, anyway, so thanks for the push.

I use GatsbyJS, a static site generator, to create my blog and use Netlify for continuous deployment + hosting. Netlify also provides free CDN and SSL.

Static site plus Netlify for me. Publishing is drag-and-drop or a git push away. reminds me I need to write a blog post

Agreed. But I think you can do both. That is have your own self-hosted and then __occasionally__ do a Medium post for audience, etc.

If it helps, envision Medium as a social network. You share to FB, TW, etc. Medium would be a slightly longer post.

As a reader, I use Medium because it recommends articles that I enjoy and probably won't otherwise come across.

I would appreciate publishers who follow your solution of doing both!

Yeah that's until your CDN or hosting provider decides to censor your. Turns out those are a for profit centralised service too, way more often than not.

What about github pages plus cloudflare? 100% free

That doesn't really solve the problem, it just moves it to github. At least you have a clearer path to move your content to another platform, if needed.

Why do you even need a CDN? GitHub will host static sites for free and updating is a git push. S3 will as well for pennies a month unless your site is huge.

“I fled Medium because they are a profit making enterprise that rando-bans people.”

“Cool, where’d you go?”

“GitHub pages.”


I don't believe you can use HTTPS with a custom domain (a domain that doesn't end in github.io or amazonaws.com), with GitHub pages or S3.

Two free choices I'm aware of, for hosting at a URL that both future-proofs your choice of hosting provider and provides end-to-end encryption to site visitors, are the free CloudFlare plan in front of GitHub or S3 (or any other static hosting service), and the free hosting plan on Netlify.

If you want to go the free route, you can use CloudFlare: https://blog.cloudflare.com/secure-and-fast-github-pages-wit... -- you have to use CF for your DNS, but it is also free for basic use

You can, we use S3 at my company to host a site used by pathologists to sign out reports. How we did that... I'd have to ask my coworker, but we have https and a custom domain.

Aws cert manager (acm) now does this for any domain you can verify

It looks[1] like you can use Cert Manager with CloudFront[2], but not directly with S3.

CloudFront is very cheap[3], but it is not free. (For that matter, S3 itself is cheap but not free.) It's therefore a solution to “I'm employed in a developed nation and don't want to notice that I'm paying for hosting”, but not to “I have literally no money to spare for hosting because a year is less than coffee” or “I want my content to stay up without my having to remember to keep a valid credit card on file somewhere”.

[1] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/acm/latest/userguide/acm-service...

[2] CloudFront ≠ CloudFlare. Nobody in this thread has been confused about this, but it tends to trip people up.

[3] I ran tech ops for a company whose site was, on launch day, around the 55th-most-popular site on the internet. I think our CloudFront bill was $300 for that day.

There is some bandwidth limit, though, and with CDN your site could also get better response times, since they will serve content from a server with better proximity to visitors.

Is there a practical limit for gh-pages though? I think you get flagged for manual review if you're high traffic; but as long as you're serving content I don't know of anyone being taken down (and I have heard about some great lengths gone to to keep things up).

And you can put a CDN in front of gh-pages too! I have done that with cloudflare a couple of times for relatives that want to run a static site and super low cost.

Does GitHub not push its static content from a traditional CDN, or something effectively simulating a CDN (just a lot of servers spread across the globe)? I don't know offhand, it'd be surprising if they don't given the scale in question.

Netlify does all this for free IIRC.

Always publish on your own platform then syndicate it across all the relevant social media providers to get exposure.

It's a huge pain, especially now that most platforms are closed and don't provide automation (APIs, RSS), but it's really the most flexible solution.

It also makes syndicating to new providers a lot less painful since you'll have some standard raw form (e.g. Markdown) which you can create a manual or automated pipeline for.

Considering Liberapay is using Mastodon, I expected them to already know what they're getting themselves into. Especially with Medium's thickening walls.

Standard reminder that Markdown, while pleasant to author in, is perhaps one of the least standard formats ever (every implementation does things their own way; see Babelmark 2) and not a great archive format, largely as a result. (Markdown files don’t have version or flavor information embedded)

I hear org-mode is a good alternative. In the mean time, consider storing a permanent .html version upon publication of markdown

Standard reminder that Markdown, while having no formal standard, tends to be implemented in broadly compatible ways across various systems. Yes, there are edge cases -- yes, I've seen the lists comparing different renderers; yes, I've run into differences once in a while myself -- but in general, it turns out that the Markdown documents I wrote 15 years ago are still perfectly readable today, no matter what Markdown engine I drop them into. Or, you know, even if I don't drop them into a Markdown engine, because the entire point of Markdown is to be easily human-readable, without "looking like code," before rendering in the first place.

Markdown isn't the be-all and end-all of markup formats, and there are valid reasons for using formats with strict specifications (e.g., AsciiDoc or ReStructuredText for certain kinds of technical writing). But the chances of Markdown documents suddenly being woefully unreadable in 20 years are roughly in line with the chances of plain text Unicode documents being unreadable in 20 years.

Commonmark is a wonderful and well defined markdown standard (ie the one GitHub uses)

I’m not sure that GitHub uses CommonMark! Generally GitHub's format is referred to as GFM (GitHub-Flavored Markdown) and it has notable differences including preserving newlines.

Notably, GitHubbers and StackOverflow representatives joined to define CommonMark, but GitHub and StackOverflow do not have remotely similar fenced code block conventions.

Also, CommonMark currently says that they have not yet defined a version 1.0 of the spec.

I certainly applaud the effort, but CommonMark did not unify all the Markdowns.

Cited in the spirit of good humor, but not irrelevant: https://xkcd.com/927/

Serious question - how is it not irrelevant? Should it be posted any time people discuss the pros and cons of various standards?

To be fair, this is exactly what happened, since CommonMark did not cause all Markdown users and implementors to converge.

As a daily user of org mode for notes, agenda, todo lists and word-processing (I LOVE IT) I'd recommend against using it for sth. like a blog. I did try. First of all it's a moving target, new syntax is introduced not-infrequently. Then, the API is cumbersome at times, and it's also slow. My org-publish setup with an RSS exporting function bolted on took many tens of seconds to export, even when only a single file was modified. I migrated to Textile for my website. It's implementations are all compatible, and it's way more comprehensive than any version of markdown.

Markdown is IMO good enough to archive.

The major point of using markdown, or why I use it, is that it doesn't require a working implementation to be understood. I can open a markdown file in ed and still understand it. From what I've seen of RestructuredText and Org-mode, if i'm not using the implementation, it becomes a mess.

(I also always recommend to put anything that isn't widely implemented in Markdown in HTML instead since that will be reasonably parsable for the next couple decades.)

Markdown is thirteen years old. This is older than HTML5, which introduced '<article>', '<section>', '<header>', '<footer>', '<figure>', and '<aside>'; and it's older than lots of modern CSS features. I've got archives in a variety of markup languages going back several decades; I've found old Markup easier to work with than old HTML or SGML. YMMV, though.

If your documents are available on the open web, you can visit them on the Wayback Machine to make sure they're cached as HTML. This is in some ways more reliable, and some ways less, than trying to keep track of your own HTML transcodes over decades. It's generally a more reliable way of making sure they're available after you disappear.

org-mode is even less standard than markdown. The one and only editor for it is emacs. I haven't seen another implementation that is even close to complete.

The question is what is your platform? Does it require running your own server in your bedroom, hiring a virtual machine, or maybe even anything like hosted WordPress counts as yours, because you pay for it directly? And you know even if you run your own bedroom server - even then you still rely on some companies, be it your internet provider or even electricity provider, and theoretically you can be switched off if you offend them enough. This is a complex world.

The “threat model” approach from security is useful here too. (Or Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery, if you're familiar with that domain, or want to learn it.)

What are the threats to your content availability — hosting provider censors you, hosting provider dies, your cloud servers die, your on-premise servers die or their storage is corrupted, your workstation dies or its storage is corrupted, you miss a bill, you lose your ability to pay bills at all?

How likely are these? What happens? How much do you care? How could you recover and re-publish your data? How quickly do you need to recover, if at all? How much (time, money) is it worth investing now, to reduce the risk of future data loss or the duration of an outage?

Medium even has options to import copies of posts from your main site and an API for it, which they haven't gotten rid of yet.

They don’t have a reciprocal export function, however. :(

> Always publish on your own platform

What does "your own platform" mean? Without relying on things like Tor, I don't believe it's possible to publish anything without relying on some large corporation who can pull your content with a day's notice. If not Medium, it'll be AWS or Google Cloud or your domain registrar. Anyone who cares about an open web should be, at minimum, calling out those who take down content on short notice without reason.

Your own domains are orders of magnitude safer from that in general, so I think "our own domain + content in a form we can quickly mirror to another provider" qualifies as your own platform.

Domain registrars are orders of magnitude less likely to censor content than user-generated content sites. Hosting providers vary on this issue, but they're a commodity and some do take a hard non-censorship line.

I agree we should call out sites for censorship, but there's a strong case for people taking more control over their publishing.

> Hosting providers vary on this issue, but they're a commodity and some do take a hard non-censorship line.

Nearlyfreespeech and Gandi comes to mind here, I'm sure there are others who try to set as clear stance about their TOS. In general for web hosting though you should research that they have good connections, don't over-provision and have competent staff.

The source at least should not be on the platforms: I shouldn't need a web connection to work on my content

The point is there are tons of cloud hosting / self hosting / hosting over tor... Do you think piratebay would have survived a medium take down if they centralized through a service like that.

I don't even understand why someone who has a hosting would want to write on medium when they can host their own blog, especially when in the case of liberapay and mastodon they say they are fighting for freedom but choose to wirte their posts in a closed, centralized service which also has user-hostile behavior.

I rarely click medium.com links, or any of their associated domains, hackernoon.com, etc.

The website sucks. It's crippled without JS, and squirmy and laggy when JS is enabled. Either way, it's very heavy on the network pipe.

Medium is in business of driving traffic, which means the content is likely to be mediocre.

It's content that is looking for an audience, as my comment's sibling states. Which means that it is probably not that compelling, otherwise the audience would find it.

It's written by someone who can't be bothered to set up their own website without all of these mis-features, nor understands the importance of doing so.

And for all of these reasons, the opinion of someone who publishes on Medium is worth a lot less to me.

The same goes for businessinsider.com, wsj.com, patch.com, nymag.com and all those other shitty sites that make me regret visiting them the moment I arrive. There can't be anything relevant enough on there that I can't live without. Just a big waste of my time and network resources.

I've blacklisted them in my hosts file, and haven't looked back.

> It's crippled without JS

Fun Fact: A single Medium blog page downloads more code and data than a multi user ERP & Accounting system I wrote for a large company back in the 80's (in terms of MB).

> Medium is in business of driving traffic...

It always puzzled me how did they manage to get the amount of visitors they get? Is it just overabundance of marketing type people among Medium users that would spam their blogs to all corners of the Web?

I wrote comments on a few Medium articles months ago. Since then the email address tied to that account has been targetted by some really aggressive disinformation "news" garbage coming from Medium. I don't know what they're doing, but it is clearly being misused.

> It's crippled without JS

It's an SPA. What did you expect? That's the new M.O., unless you're a 90's relic like myself, in which case I appreciate your point but times change.

There are some use cases for which SPAs are a huge leap forward, greatly improving the user experience. A lot of modern web applications don't and shouldn't behave like a collection of pages, after all.

A blog is not one of these use cases; it is exactly a collection of pages.

Not to mention, as a SPA, Medium is a total failure.

Trying to read a string of comments on Medium results in a bunch of unnecessary clicks and page reloads. I guess it's upping their click count..

I have thought it was intentional, to reduce the number of comments and motivate the writers to write their own real big posts instead.

The way I see it, medium doesn't want to be a forum, but to have people write the full articles. Even those who respond.

I can see that. But it's tiresome as a reader.

> It's an SPA.

Yes, that's the problem.

> What did you expect?

Technology to be used in an appropriate manner to achieve business goals.

> That's the new M.O.

...for apps, yes. This isn't an app, it's a blog. Of all the things on the internet that could be handled by a static page of HTML and CSS with maybe some JS to offer extra features, this is it.

Fair enough!

You're not missing much. The content on medium is consistently low quality.

Medium offers the potential for an audience who will read your work. It’s dead simple to use. The “claps” economy at least offers a glimmer of hope you could be compensated for your work. And, for a lot of folks, it can offer a sense of community. And honestly, hosting your own blog, while cheap, is often an annoyance to maintain.

> Medium offers the potential for an audience who will read your work.

If you write good content and are consistent, it isn't that difficult to drive traffic to your own blog.

Blogging is easy with a good static site generator and netlify (free).

because they can get access to audience which could take years to get on your blog

I get e-mails ever once in a while asking if I'd like to write for a medium blog. I always ask how much they're paying and never get a reply.

I'm fine for writing in a spot I can get exposure, but you better pay me. Medium does pay a subset of their writers. I know when they started The Nib, they paid political cartoonists like Matt Bors. So they paid a small group to get others to contribute. They're pretty much the new Huffington Post.

How exactly does that happen btw? What are all the discovery mechanisms? Once the network is saturated like the Web, what does it do to allow new blogs to be discovered, besides just a "new on X topic" section and stuff people can do anyway to share urls?

Thst only explains why they would syndicate to Medium, not host there.

I've got access to GCP and AWS, and a private account at a VPS provider with a server I can put anything on, and I still publish technical articles on medium for the simple reason that I get far more readers than I do when writing on my own blog.

Why not publish to your own site and syndicate to Medium?

Reading further down the thread, it seems they were suspended for violation of Medium's policy on cryptocurrencies... despite the fact that they have never written about cryptocurrencies.

Medium has a policy on cryptocurrency? Given the amount of problematic thought pieces submitted to HN from it (and the no-so-subtle advertisements for the author’s own crypto), you wouldn’t know it.

Here's the post where they quote the message Medium sent them: https://mastodon.xyz/@Liberapay/99744414079487371

And here's the policy page it links to: https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000646167

Ah, that policy page was added a week ago (the update date is visible on the mobile site). Even if that policy was violated, it’s a jerk move to ban for infractions prior to that date.

Probably a pre-emptive move triggered by FOSTA and that other one that starts with S who's name I forgot.

I don't think FOSTA/SESTA have anything to do with cryptocurrencies.

Jerks do jerk moves to move as jerks.

It does look like an obvious mistake, based on the cached content Librapay posted as an example and others I could pull up in Google's cache. Hope they get a quick turnaround with support.

Further down the thread there's a link to (all of?) their posts on archive.org, i think

I never understood why people who can use self-hosted wordpress and domain names would decide to give up control and put content on Medium. The stories featured on the front page seem a bit of an ideological bubble (I doubt any conservative bloggers would get any traction there.)

And the whole "log in to your email to log on" is IMO horrible design. I put Gmail in a separate browser to mitigate cookie tracking, having to log on to email then copy the login link to my main browser is much more annoying than using a password manager like every other site.

That is a bit like saying "I never understood why people who can self-host video put it on YouTube". Most times your content will never reach a significant audience (if this is your goal), platforms like Medium/YouTube/Flickr/500px make discovery easier.

You're going from a simple CMS to video hosting is like saying why ride a bicycle when you can build a lamborghini from scratch. Sure some people have the bank roll to try and launch a youtube, very few, but everyone can afford to spin up a wordpress or some other sort of CMS on a one click host.

Slightly better discoverability and easier “subscriptions” are the main values of Medium for me. I find syndication ok at attracting readers to specific posts but not great at getting people to keep coming back (even with rss available).

It's called syndication. You still own your stuff and still get the exposure.

Very little risk.

I never liked medium, their comment UX is weird and annoying, the whole thing is just faceless, brandless and feels generic.

Mabye I'm old, but I find shared hosting with one click deployment of wordpress a better choice, but heck, most of the blogs I end up reading nowdays are tech blogs written by bright people who for some reason will not

1. deploy an existing blog engine to a shared host

2. host a blog on a vps

3. write a rudimentary blog engine

4. write a static generator (how much time could that be? a day?)

Yep, searching may be tricky, especially with rendered sites, but it's doable and I literally never used the search function on medium... but whatever. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree.

If you really want to publish something and you're a lazy bum, just throw up a github repo, or a gist, it's still 100% more flexible than medium.

wordpress offers free hosting for unlimited traffic. You don't need to set up anything.

The smallest blog takes a long time to setup. I understand developers who don't want to run web services at work only to come home and run other web services.

> (how much time could that be? a day?)

You'd be surprised how much time you can sink in a high quality blog engine.

Static site generator + static site hosting + JavaScript based comment system like disqus is a great combo. You can generate in a container off markdown using something like Hugo and host on S3. I’ve got free tier werker pulling my repo, building it, then deploying it to CloudFiles. All I do is commit the markdown changes to github.

If you are concerned about the privacy of your readers, using Disqus probably isn't such a good idea:


Two alternatives are:


and Discourse on a subdomain ($5/month for a Digital Ocean server).

Another alternative is Talkyard (I'm developing it):

https://www.talkyard.io/blog-comments — there's serverless hosting (with privacy. No ads, no tracking), + it's open source like Isso.

Disqus isn't the best with security either.


Good point. There are probably other like services. I don’t really get much traffic!

The best other service: a mailto: link. People do write e-mails on posts they like, sometimes. Also, 9 out of 10 comment threads under blog posts I've read are just plain stupid logorrhoea.

Maybe a subreddit would work too?

What do you think about https://www.talkyard.io/blog-comments? I'm developing it and if you or the ancestors have any thoughts or feedback that'd be interesting to hear

I personally prefer not having comments at all in personal blogs. Tho the sytem seems robust and comprehensive, would be useful for those who want to incorporate comments in blog posts or support pages. An immediate criticism is that the web page needs a bit of work. It was unusable in Firefox for android, with half the video off screen. Also, the video is kinda cryptic, some narration, written or spoken, would be a nice addition. That it's OSS is really compelling, I personally would be more likely to buy hosted service from you because it's so. But maybe that's not the general stance.

Overall, kudos, this seems cool!

Thanks for the feedback :- ) Yes I agree that the web page needs more work.

I didn't know about the problems with FF and Android o.O, thanks for letting me know :- )

> would be more likely to buy hosted service from you because it's so. But maybe that's not the general stance

Hmm a word is missing after "so"?

Yes I think for most people it's not wort getting one's own server. Installing stuff, creating OpenAuth accounts at Google, FB etc, finding a send-emails SaaS, and other things ... is lots of work and sometimes confusing / frustrating.

You're welcome!

> Hmm a word is missing after "so"?

I meant "because it's OSS" there. I really like the model where you put the code out there, open source, but sell hosting and services. You're both giving back to the community (and I can't think of much software projects built without using anything from the open source community), adopting an open and more trustworthy model, and also selling a SaaS version for those who don't want to or can not set it up. It seems to me to be a very legitimate and honest way to make money off of software.

Looks like their account has been reinstated now: https://mastodon.xyz/@Liberapay/99745922397657868

I expected the other side of this link to be a thinkpiece that maybe having one company host and track all of our blog reading activity isn't smart in a post-Cambridge Analytica world (or even a post-Snowden world, but whatever).

It’s actually saying that maybe giving a company control over your own blog isn’t always so smart. True.

For these reasons it seems dumb to me that Mastodon itself (not the author of this post on mastodon) blogs on Medium. Like a global warming activist jetting around a lot, it just shows one not putting their money where their mouth is.

Am I the last TypePad user? I never see it mentioned anywhere, including this entire comment thread. Based on my blog traffic in recent years, it would appear that, like De Niro rants in "The Deer Hunter" — "I'm the only one here."

I still use TypePad. I actually like it much more than Medium, much better typography imho.

The Mastodon website works great without JS, unlike Twitter. Nice!

It's getting harder and harder for me to muster any sympathy for these "Company X suspended my account and now I can't do Y" sob stories. As long as it's not your server, running software you control, you are taking the risk that whoever is providing that service will go out of business, capriciously close your account, censor you, ban you, etc., whether or not you're paying for it. Moreover, if your business actually relies on this service and you haven't accounted for this risk or prepared a mitigation plan? WTF!

How many examples of this happening do we need before we start acknowledging and taking the risk seriously, rather than crying about it after it happens? The sooner self-hosting comes back into fashion, the better.

What happens when your DDoS-protection reverse proxy deems your words wrongthink and drops you, allowing anyone with $50 to flood your server? What happens when your registrar drops your account and steals your domain name so that you can't transfer it elsewhere? What happens when you get BGP blackholed? And what happens when all the modern-day puritans on Twitter approve of these actions?

What happens when the oh-so-responsible Twitter crowd decides that the above actions are mandatory under some CS "code of ethics" they made up? What happens if they can back up their words with an industry blacklist?

You're screwed.

We have a massive society-wide problem with censorship and moving to small-scale private infrastructure won't help.

You can always start to host on a Tor onion service, though that is admittedly the last straw.


1) Medium has SESTA/FOSTA concerns.

2) Medium constructs a broad, but also shallow/naive, search for warning terms.

3) Since darkweb pornographers accept cryptocurrencies, all crypto-related terms are included in the search.

4) One of those terms is "decentralized," which is also a property of Mastodon.

5) Mastodon gets auto-banned.

It's liberapay that they've banned, not mastodon.

I never understood why people trust their data, identity and brand to others to have ultimate power over. Whether it's facebook.com/yourbrand or twitter.com/blah or medium.com/pleasedonthurtme

I realize that these days people may want something more than Wordpress, they want some social networking layer. So I did something about it. I opened a company and 7 years we worked on an open source platform to once and for all solve this stupid situation. Take a look and I'd be curious to get your feedback:


> I never understood why people trust their data, identity and brand to others to have ultimate power over.

> https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ1O_gmPneI

No further comment

I have no idea why businesses think that it's a good idea to let third-party sites control their primary website pages. I have written at length here about this issue >> https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/basecamp-moved-blog-medium-yo...

The point is, everyone is moving to medium because they have great UX plus they already have an in0built audience. But what happens when they have to start making money? We all know what happened to Facebook pages.

Any official word from Medium? I want to know what their excuse will be.

Matthew Butterick made this argument years ago:


Can someone provide any context? What were they writing about?

Mentioned elsewhere in these comments but they got deleted for violating a no-cryptocurrency that medium added a week ago.

also they never wrote about cryptocurrencies, they're a free alternative to things like patreon, and only accept payment directly through the bank (i've used them once)

Host your own. I trust medium like I trust Facebook - they're a walled garden and the walls are getting higher.

I wish the creator of dadgum started a no-frills blog hosting business, a Medium competitor that loads in milliseconds due to text being the medium.

What do people use medium for? To duplicate their blog posts? Can you put any content on it? Even controversial topics?

We use Jekyll and it’s just awesome.

It was funny to me seeing so many people recommend less robust, less tested static site generators than Jekyll.

If you like the medium editing you and want it for your own site, have a look at quill.p3k.io

I wish people would stop using Medium, especially for programming blogs. The UI is terrible (footer bar, animated pop-ups, monoculture design, paywalls), and I don't like landing on Medium sites. Publishing on the Web is supposed to be decentralized.

If you're going to write a tech blog use a static site generator like Metalsmith, Hugo, Hexo, Middleman, Jekyll, or Pelican, and deploy it for free on Netlify.com.

If someone is writing a programming blog AND using a static site generator like Hugo, etc., that also builds up the author's credibility as a programmer in my view. But that's just me.

Serves you right for handing control over your content to another party. So, now that the account has been reinstated I figure you must be busy executing your migration plan? Or will you leave it like it was until the next time it suddenly disappears like this?

I'm partial to using netlify and Publii for my blog.

Medium is a magazine with unpaid writers.

That's not true. I made about $200 from a Medium article published last month to their membership program. It's not an amazing amount of money, but better than I expected for a single post.

Yeah, that's a living wage for a writer.

Is there anywhere you can blog under a pseudonym?

This is why I use Publii https://getpublii.com

It's open source, free static CMS with GUI and free themes.

You can easily sync your website with Netlify, GitHub Pages, Google Cloud, S3 or SFTP.

Set up publii for a non-technical client, it looked like everything the client needed, but a few stumbling blocks

1) Themes are too limited, there are <10 and the path to customization is not simple. This is a chicken and egg problem, if publii grows, more themes come into the marketplace, but only having a few themes limits growth.

2) Even though it has a pretty good GUI, it is still confusing for non-technical people, and I struggled a lot with it too, mostly because there aren't tooltips next to fields to explain them (e.g. what is the difference between a "title" and a "label" for a link?)

I'll have to unfortunately move to something else for my client, and revisit publii at a later time.

Great feedback, I will send it to the authors. Publii is is still in beta so your comments will be helpful.

PS: In fact, there are 10 themes at this moment but show me the same quality, free themes that come with other static generators.

2nding this. And if netlify stops being good, well, Publii has everything saved so I can just upload it someplace else. Having a gui on a static site generator is a must.

Is there a facility that Publii supports, to easily sync locally, before an edit/push (eg if you are using different client systems a lot), either with Google Drive or Git (preferably) ?

I never saw this feature listed when looking at Publii, which kept me from trying it.

Note, please don't say just sync down from the server before doing anything locally; I don't want that to be the point of record. I'd rather that be Git.

Wow! I gotta say, this looks fantastic. Thanks for the link!

Is there any sign of an explanation as to why Liberapay was banned?

No one even considers that Medium might be right and we might be better off without Liberapay aka Gratipay aka Gittip. May I remind you of https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7844457

Happy Medium user here for several years. Even have been paid >$5 USD for work hosted there. Yes, I have skin in the game, and yes I'm positioning myself as a semi-advocate.

Today's better lesson: LibraPay is too cheap to fork over money for effective legit marketing, so they're going the GoldiBlox route and trying to pick a fight to make themselves look good and get press. I mean they can totally respond to this post with a list of how much they've spent in hard currency to market their brand versus the traffic they've gotten from throwing mud at Medium...

Complaining about an unfair (or at least perceived as such) account deletion is now "marketing"? And how convenient that you define at the same time how they can absolve themselves of that claim: by demonstrating how much money a non-profit project financed by donations has spent on paid advertising...

Did you get paid directly by medium? I know they hired people for things like The Nib. I feel like they hired some people to get initial content, but then expected other people to contribute for free.

It feels like Huffington Post all over again, except more accessible I guess.

$5 USD?? Is that a typo?

More than you get paid for HN posts I guess

That's how much a soul costs these days. Millenials love dark rituals and demonic tutoring..

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