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Show HN: Switch from Medium to your own blog (github.com/mathieudutour)
494 points by mathieudutour on May 31, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 130 comments

I don't have a blog (medium or anything) so unfortunately I don't have a use for this, but I LOVED the gif. It wasn't an attempt to show "how easy it is to do with one command" but rather a real flow of how it all goes, I appreciate it, well done!

While I think the usage of a gif is awesome, I am a huge fan of actually allowing people to see what is happening. The purpose of the gif was to show how it works, but he moved so fast I could barely read anything or follow him.

> he moved so fast I could barely read anything or follow him.

Same here. So

  1. I downloaded the gif  
  2. ffmpeg -i screencast.gif foo.mp4
Now watching in vlc at decreased playback speed. (Press `-`)

The thing is, it's a command line tool that requires the user to go out and manually do just about everything. Export the files, set up the repo, create a Netlify account, configure everything there, hook it into GitHub, etc. In the end, all the tool really does is convert files to Markdown and then use Gatsby as an SSG. If you already had the knowledge to do everything else, why not just do that yourself and not be stuck with somebody else's opinionated choices?

I’ve built a few sites with Gatsby and Netlify, so I might qualify as having “the knowledge to do everything else”. Haven’t tried the tool, but I can’t imagine that I would get the end result of the GIF in less than a day if I had to figure it all out on my own. There’s a lot of decisions and research and little hiccups to get through in a thing like this. And even if you use the tool, it looks like you have every opportunity to do it your own way if you want to.

The one of many problems with gifs is that you can't pause or rewind them.

That problem could easily be solved by browsers though? Treat an animated gif like an mp4

Or just skip the GIF and create an MP4 file? No need to try and shoehorn GIF into what MP4 can do perfectly well.

Yes... except that you can't embed a video in github README

mpv has builtin support for gifs via ffmpeg.

I honestly don't get posts like these. IMHO the main selling point of Medium is not that you can easily set up a blog, there's plenty of platforms that let you do that easily, or great tools like OP's for setting up your own. The point is that there is already a large audience you can reach with your posts, and Medium actively works to distribute your posts to people who would be interested in them.

The equivalent here would be a "switch from YouTube to your own video hosting site in a few minutes." I mean sure, you could, and it probably wouldn't be that hard, but that's not the point.

I often feel like the tech industry has a huge blind spot around "not doing things that make people hate you", and that conversations around tech tend not to factor "hate" (or 'resentment' if you prefer) into making things appealing.

For example I mostly hate Facebook for the choices they have made for years, and if I was ever going to stop hating them it would be after many years of sacrificial demonstration that they have a new philosophy in mind. Not unlike what it would take for a scumbag person to reverse my opinion of them -- candor and sacrifice, rather than nice words and promises.

It is not entirely impossible to stop being hated. Microsoft is occasionally managing it with VSCode and TypeScript, although I'd say I still 98% hate them; they have a lot to make up for, and Windows is still miserable garbage.

It is easy to become hated. Google is pulling it off remarkably. Making money is often easier if you do things people hate, although it's a short-term view -- it definitely increases short-term profitability and guarantees that in 20 years everyone will hate you and avoid you. But it's definitely economically rational for the company's employees, with their 2-10 year tenures and the metrics they have to hit.

Medium started as a breath of fresh air, and has become hated by being annoying. The point of switching from Medium is to screw over Medium, benefits be damned. If you're not factoring resentment into your utility calculation, of course this action won't make sense.

If you had framed this as being about personal ethics and morals, it would have been much easier to agree with. Maybe even admirable. Describing it as some kind of irrational hate just sounds silly.

Then you and I work differently, and I will stand by my claim that if you/OP don't factor in 'irrational' hate, you won't understand people's behavior.

Anyway, the underlying principle is one of morals and ethics, in a sense. The sensations of hate, resentment, or disgust are the outward manifestation of a calculation to determine who to trust. Naturally, someone who repeatedly screws you for personal gain should not be trusted. The result is the feeling of hating them.

But it is not only about raw 'utility'. Someone who does annoying things (Medium), or demonstrating tremendous hubris or arrogance, or just does things that are or should be inappropriate, gets resented also. If you send me lots of unsolicited emails, I can find a way to explain why I hate you in terms of a utility calculation ("you are taking up space in my attention that I don't want to give you"), but that's just hand-waving -- I just hate you (to some mild degree) and I'm working backwards from that.

If you think irrational hate isn't rooted in misunderstood morals and ethics then you need to sit down and listen to your peers a little more when they discuss the reasons they hate companies associated with Silicon Valley.

I wholeheartedly agree with this comment... and find the way it's articulated refreshing. God forbid we say we hate something without someone being outraged. +1 to 98% hating Microsoft... but also kudos for VSCode and TypeScript.

you and I hate the same companies, and as you explain making things that people hate are profitable in the short and medium term.

I still cannot forgive Micro$oft for their past behavior, even if they seem cool now.

Totally, but that's what syndication is all about. The best is to have the original content on your own blog and then to cross post it to Medium, with the canonical link linking back to your blog. That way, if/when Medium is replaced by another platform, you don't loose your content and your have already build some SEO for your blog.

I've heard that Google deranks content it believes to have been duplicated, and I don't know if that's really true but I've been paranoid about copying my existing Medium content to my new blog; if it's true then Google will certainly give precedence to Medium.

It is true yes, that's why the generated blog have a canonical link to medium so that the SEO isn't impacted. So you won't get any SEO for the articles that have been created on Medium but if you create one on your blog first and then import it on Medium (using the import tool, not copy pasting the content), Medium will be nice and put a canonical link pointing to your blog.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to set a canonical link on Medium a posteriori.

I don't believe your blog would get any improved SEO benefit from having canonical links to Medium - IIRC, Medium would get the juice.

Furthermore, I don't know how Google handles cross-domain canonical reporting, but if I were writing a search engine, I would treat it as highly suspect.

You've got it backwards. There will be a header in the Medium post saying "the original source for this content is on this other blog, I'm just a repost". Google does pay attention to that and ranks the canonical source higher.

I believe they were discussing how Medium does not allow canonical links. I am aware of how canonical links work.

> Unfortunately, it's not possible to set a canonical link on Medium a posteriori.

Yeah, that's a problem. :/ I guess I'll continue rewriting my old content so I at least have a shot.

Google is smart enough to handle duplicate content. It's a false problem.

From the source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQZY7EmjbMA

It’s Ok to republish content as long as you provide a link back to the original. That tells Google which version to prioritize.

Link to the post on your new blog from the Medium post.

Something like the following:

> Source: https://example.com

This should transfer link equity to your new blog post that helps offset any duplication penalty.


Medium used to allow custom domains. They no longer do.

I left Medium, but because I own all of the URLs no links broke. Nor are there duplicate copies with canonical links. So there’s no SEO risk.

The main selling point for Medium for a long time was "cool, minimalist blogging site without all the crap". Now they're not.

Like all blog platforms, they eventually realized that all the crap was there for a reason. And the wheel of reincarnation turns...

Which is why you should use your own domain. What's a good offer today might not be in a few years, make sure you can move.

I don’t have a blog, but considering Medium and Hugo, but would like to know what happened to them?

Unfortunately that didn't translate into a "buying point" for advertisers and trackers.

It's kind of a trap, but Medium definitely provides the audience. The articles I've written there have gotten way more reads and interactions in the last 2 years than anything I've ever written on any other blog I've had, and it required no SEO or paranoia over whether there's something about my markup that Google has decided it doesn't like.

The reason that I say it's a trap is because I think search engines, especially Google, don't seem to index things as easily as they did in the past. Any time I host a new site, it can take months for it to surface in search results, and even then it might not even show up in other people's queries which seemingly depends on the age on a site and whether Google's algorithm subjectively likes the content. But Medium has been around for a while and your articles appear in search results in mere days, sometimes less than a day. It's a trap because we're made to believe that we can't or shouldn't host our own material.

I would prefer that we wouldn't have to use Medium, but Medium has a product that delivers, and it's not the scam that people are making it out to be.

It really is a trap, and it also doesn't provide the audience that it used to. It's annoying to users who aren't bought into their ecosystem (it shows popups trying to get you to log in when you just want to read blogs), it doesn't support syndication in any reasonable way (they have some broken RSS stuff that also includes comments, which is obviously wrong for blogs where the content should be prioritized) and any number of other problems. It's not syndicating to the widest number of readers, instead its locking you into their diminishing readership.

You really don't have to use Medium. It's trivial to get things indexed by Google if that's what you're worried about (generate a sitemap and submit it with their webmaster tools, everything is indexed shortly, or just write good content that gets linked from other places and those links will be followed), and you'll thank yourself later when Medium decides to arbitrarily kick you off, or goes out of business, or who knows what else that could cause you to lose access to your content because you don't own the domain.

I would instead advocate open federated platforms like Plume [1] that have discoverability built into them. Medium obviously has more reach at the moment, but the only way to change that is for more people to start using open alternatives. The best part is that since ActivityPub is a standard protocol, all these platforms can talk to each other. So you don't have the fragmentation problem associated with closed solutions.

[1] https://joinplu.me/

A ton of people want to get off platforms (including medium) that they see going the wrong direction, and making it easier is great.

The point is that there is already a large audience you can reach with your posts...

There was a large audience. Medium have introduced a paywall that you could dismiss with a click, but now they've started enforcing that paywall and stopping you reading more than a couple of articles a month. The audience who have chosen not to pay will fall away precipitously over the next few weeks to the point where people are going so see no traffic on their posts at all.

Authors need to choose to either support Medium or leave for a different platform now. The glut of 'how-to-leave-Medium' posts are a response to that.

This comment needs more visibility. Everyone is stumbling by this stuff and missing the context. I got a spat of emails about organizations leaving Medium and was like "okay whatever", but then I discovered that basically everything is now paywalled.

I had a subscription to Medium in the past, and if I knew they were paywalling articles in general, I would have canceled right away.

The point was for me to publish writings so they would be generally available (and not get bogged down in details). It seems that's no longer offered. The idea that someone would hit a paywall trying to get to my articles is infuriating.

I hate everything about this. We're constantly bombarded with unwanted sharing. I get advertisements based on websites I visit, and there's nothing I can do about it. My activity is just free for the taking for advertisers. But heaven forbid I try to share something constructive to the rest of the world.

I used Medium a few times, but just never felt comfortable providing them with my content.

It's been so long now that I had no idea they'd put up a paywall. Make me feel like I had it right from the git go now.

Aside from that... this sounds like it's got to be close to the dumbest thing they could've done. It's akin to slapping your audience in the face every time they show up.

I hardly ever click on anything from WaPo or the NY Times. I have no problem with them charging for their content, they both do some great work, I just cannot pay for it and it's frustrating to run into their paywall.

Thanks for pointing this out. I'd still have been clueless about this had you not.

Welp... that is if you want to interact with the people there.

Youtube lets you make money. Medium just makes readers frustrated.

Medium does literally nothing to help the average blogger get views.

Their network is zero value. It might actually be negative value because Medium is now associated with shitty content.

Source: Have blog, left Medium for static hosting.

I only recently started using Medium. I do like the audience aspect of it, but I also want my own personal website to mirror all of my content on Medium. As they don't have an API I'm actually working on something to periodically scrape my own Medium account and copy all the posts to my personal website so they can be seen at either place.

Although technically not that different from this project my objective would be not to switch over, but rather still use Medium's editor, but just have content mirrored.

I honestly don't get comments like yours.

The author of this repo built something to help people move off of medium (where their content is currently stored) to their own blog. This has become progressively more common and people might be putting it off because it takes too long.

E.G. the basecamp blog moved in January (https://m.signalvnoise.com/signal-v-noise-exits-medium/).

Furthermore, it is super easy to be critical of something that someone built but significantly harder to create something. Perhaps instead of taking the negative road you could offer suggestions, or build your own move your blog to medium repo... or literally anything that isn't trashing someone's hard work.

> or great tools like OP's for setting up your own

I don't see how I was trashing OPs hard work. I'm simply pointing out that there's more that Medium provides than just a way to host a blog. No need to read so much negativity into it.

>> I honestly don't get posts like these.

That's the phrase that caused people to read negativity into your post. You didn't mean it when you were typing but to those reading the phrase has come to mean, "there's something wrong with the {thing}" or even "that {thing} shouldn't be." Could your paragraph have omitted that sentence and conveyed your meaning or is people knowing you don't understand integral to what you were trying to say?

I also appreciate the humor of @jppope using that same sentence as the lead for his/her comment.

Why does it have to be a trade-off? Something like WriteFreely gives you both your own blog and (via the Fediverse) an audience.

Don't want to run your own? Then pay for a Write.as account to have Matt run it for you.

I 100% agree. I don't need a Medium alternative that let's me write blog posts from a cloud hosted Python IDE using a color-coded braille keyboard. I just want an efficient editor, clean interface for readers, and as much help as possible getting my posts in front of people. Medium can check all three in my mind. I'd infinitely prefer to see (and pay for) new and different ways to build ecosystems with which my blog could grow readership and exposure, rather than just more tools for blogging itself.

> clean interface for readers

The point of the post being that many authors don’t believe Medium provides this any longer and may be looking for tools to switch to a service that does.

by putting up a paywall, medium does the opposite: they are actively stopping your readership from seeing your articles.

"Medium actively works to distribute your posts to people who would be interested in them"

I let Medium email me suggestions. Almost without fail, both the "Today's highlights" and "Based on your reading history" sections of the email are hard left or "woke", while I am neither. I think that if Medium were actually doing as you were saying, it would be taking the same sort of heavy criticism that Facebook and Youtube have for "suggesting" various right-wing figures. Medium has clearly taken deliberate measures to avoid this.

Maybe Medium works well for other people. I don't know. I do think that Medium is promoting the idea that it distributes your posts to the people interested in them, but I'm not really sure if it actually does so.

(Edited to add: Medium was not so obnoxious in the past: maybe it's trading on a reputation for content promotion that it no longer deserves.)

>The point is that there is already a large audience you can reach with your posts, and Medium actively works to distribute your posts to people who would be interested in them.

I know this is medium's pitch to bloggers, but is it actually true? It is for youtube, but i'm pretty sure i've seen some blog posts about people having migrated away from medium with minimal change in readership.

Couldn’t the blogs be decentralized, and the links and previews be offered by any platform? This is what Hacker News does, Reddit, RSS, etc. What else is Medium offering? I don’t use it, so it’s a genuine question. Do Medium writers get paid on a Spotify-like model?

Audience or not, if I had started writing on Medium when it first came out then I'd be pretty pissed off with the way the site looks and behaves now with its sticky headers, popups and paywalls. I'd welcome a program like this to help me migrate my posts.

some of don't really care who reads it, just that it is available. This gaming of everything is not necessarily a good thing. Is your article about programming or something, or is it about attention whoring?

Personally I'm not gaming my sites for personal attention so much as I'd like people that do stumble on my content to have a positive experience. A lot of SEO metrics do reflect a user's experience.

Is it fast? Am I writing well enough that people can follow my instructions, debates, etc? Did I have a hard time finding information or additional sources on a problem?

Things like canonical links are personally important to me for other reasons. I do use the analytics of my blog for personal improvement. If people are bouncing off a page after getting there with relevant search terms maybe that post needs to be re-written or my assumptions were wrong.

Ultimately though, if you're writing a blog and posting it on the internet rather than just keeping a personal journal at some point you've got to be expecting to get something out of that. I don't think you have to jump to "attention whoring" as a motive though.

Cloudflare recently posted about competing with GitHub. Maybe this is a better place to compete if they are hell bent on going wide vs deep?

Medium, for me, is a weird shit show. There are people there I want to read, but I dislike the "medium". For a variety of valid reasons, ranging from page weight bloat, to killing the custom domain feature, and finally...to paywall experiments. I do recognize their strength in visibility.

Edit: happy to hear critical feedback.

Cloudflare isn't trying to compete with github, You have misread the news.

Not making that up, or paraphrasing from 3rd parties, from the Cloudflare CTO:

"If we do, what features would you like?" - Cloudflare CTO


The key word being "if".

It sounds like he's just curious what people want Cloudflare to do for the GitHub audience instead of making a full Github replacement.

Honest question. Do people still read blog posts these days? I feel like twitter has made me so lazy that I can hardly consume any long content. I hardly even read the articles posted in HN but do go through the comments since they are easily digestible. Is it just me?

I do from time to time. Depends on the authors ability to make it clear in the first paragraphs that the post is worth reading.

In case you're worried about having lost the ability to read longer texts: Find one of those book that you can't put down. A physical book, away from the screens. I used to read a lot as a kid, then stopped. I'm glad I picked it up again. But do start with something easy to read.

Some ideas can't be fully represented in a short paragraph. You can get a surprising amount of knowledge out of a few pages of text. I developed the patience to read slightly longer texts recently and it has been refreshing and rewarding.

You’re looking for context to the content. That’s normal in a distrustful media landscape.

I recently switched my blog from Medium to custom blog, reason being among other things (such as Policies) it felt slow to load on Medium.

I had a custom domain in Medium before the feature was shutdown for others, so after I manually copied the posts, I used the same URL slug as in the original Medium posts and deleted the medium posts. The SEO didn't get affected, same posts which had most visitors in medium have same number of visitors at my own host.

Perhaps this was the reason Medium removed the support for custom domains, those who didn't have it cannot move the posts to new domain and expect same SEO results.

Great gif. This should be how everyone does readmes.

An 18 MB GIF of some text? No. It's an unfortunate consequence of GitHub still not allowing actual video files.

I might not have realized it was an animation if you hadn't said this. It takes forever to load.

If there were only a way to render text in such a way that when clicked would instruct your browser to request and display a resource from another site. :-)

I’m conflicted. When the video is so long that waiting for it to restart is painful, I think that an actual video with pause/play/seek controls is preferred. At the same time, it’s nice that it autoplays. For 100% text/CLI videos, I prefer Asciinema as it doesn’t involve downloading an 18MB GIF.

Indeed, I'd love GitHub to support video embed in the readme, but having to go to another page to see the video is a bit of a no-no for me...

On twitter I did use a video instead of a gif: https://twitter.com/MathieuDutour/status/1134448154793914368

Maybe a short GIF and a longer full video? I don’t know. This is all super off-topic anyway. I like the project very much.

Alternate POV: I hate gifs in readmes precisely because of the autoplays. I find it incredibly difficult to read a block of text when there's a gif moving around directly above/below it.

I've tried doing this screen-capture-to-gif thing before but it was always frustrating. I'd love to hear about the workflow to make a gif like this.

I've used the default MacOS screen recording (cmd + shift + 5) and then edited/speed up some parts with iMovie.

Then I transform the video into a gif using https://github.com/mathieudutour/dotfiles/blob/master/bin/mo...

Hope that helps!

I used to do the same, but I've had MacOS's default software crash with long-ish (about an hour) content. I switch to Open Broadcaster Software[1] after that; free and open source, and very well made. The learning curve isn't that steep, either, if you're just doing regular screen/audio capture.


ShareX makes it very easy.


Wow I never heard of this and it looks awesome! Thanks for the share!

For terminal based things I've been using `asciinema`. There are various options to play/render such recordings, such as to an interactive SVG. SVGs are lot smaller than GIFs in file size, and are even scalable.

See one of my projects for example: https://github.com/timvisee/ffsend#ffsend-wip

Even better is ttyrec + tty-player for full self-hosting without a third party intervening. You get interactive playback controls and scroll buffer access while paused.


That isn't something I can embed in a GitHub README. But it looks cool anyway.

If you're doing just text/terminal recording, Asciinema is probably your best option: https://asciinema.org/

Why? Sadly, there's not much motivation described in the README. You state "Let's move your Medium content to your very own website" and then you push it to Github and Netlify, which are yet another silos. Good work with the export, but migrating the content to the next vendor lock-in should be optional. Not to forget that these platforms also collect data about your visitors.

How does Github "collect data about your visitors"? The repository is cloned, built and served by Netlify's server. And since I doubt Netlify is injecting any js into my site, I also question the extent to which they can track users.

Netlify is serving the content, so at the very least, they (and/or the CDN they store the files on) will have a server-side access log of every visitor. Maybe that's not "tracking" per-se, but, if enough sites are hosted on Netlify, they could correlate the visits.

As far as I know, Netlify doesn't make this data available to users hosting sites on the platform.

My own (perhaps paranoid) theory as to why Netlify is able to provide so much for free is that they're selling the access log data, but I haven't seen any proof of that either, so who knows.

Another theory is that storing all those access logs would be huge and maybe they just store nothing...

and Gatsby... now you need to maintain this. It’s much better to use something simple like Jekyll. You don’t need all these fancy stuff like GraphQl, SCSS, React etc. And Jekyll can be served directly from Github.

Honestly I really appreciate tools like this exist but I'll probably keep using Medium out of laziness. I don't want to have to worry about maintaining my own blog and I'm cheap so I don't really want to pay for hosted Ghost/Wordpress since I'm not trying to make money off of my infrequent dumb blog posts. The cheapest Ghost plan is $29/mo :(

One of the benefits of static sites like those: They don't need continuous maintenance like e.g. WP would.

Ghost is pretty easy to set up on a $5/month Linode box, for what it's worth. That's where I host mine. Definitely took longer than entering a couple forms on Medium, but if you consider both as a % of time you'd spend writing, it shrinks to effectively nothing pretty quickly.

You can always use a Github Page. As long as you have a GH account, it will host the page for you.

This tool migrates to netlify, not Ghost/Wordpress. Netlify is free for 100GB of bandwidth.

So I have been putting together a way for people to more easily make their own blogging platform. It would kind of mimic a social media platform, but since everything is committed to a repository using the JAMstack it could easily be converted to a full website or in your case you could simply delete the repository or any number of your posts because they are just files in your repository. Any feedback would be wonderful. https://your-media.netlify.com/post/make-your-own-media/ Everything is owned by the end user. This is only providing a recipe for people to use. I will also mention that https://www.stackbit.com/ is doing basically the same thing but more from a “Make life easier for Website designers” perspective.

..well at the very least it is a form of backup/archiving no?

Aaah this reminds me of noob me who thought I could just build a blogging platform of my own. Here are some non-trivial features that Medium provides to writers which we just don't notice. 1- Distribution channel No one is gonna remember the name/url of your blog, Medium allows discovery. 1- Autosave draft Unless you plan to write your post in one go, in one sitting with an extremely reliable internet connection, you are gonna need this. 3- Social plugin integration- Sure start writing oAuth integrations for each of the hundreds of social plugins out there. .....

> 1- Distribution channel

Write searchable posts on topics people actually search for. Post it on Reddit, HN, etc. Those are specifically for distribution.

> 2- Autosave draft

Write it offline, copy paste it for online. Btw WordPress has had this for 10(?) years or something similar.

> 3- Social plugin integration

There are existing solutions for this, see IFTTT, Zapier, etc.

Does anyone actually go to Medium to find content though? I don't think I've ever been on their homepage.

Related, I wrote a Python library[1] that takes MD/HTML/TXT as input and gives you estimated read time for that content. That combined with Flask and you've got a great blog with read time calculated going forward, while exporting from Medium looks to only preserve read time for past posts not future ones.

1. https://github.com/alanhamlett/readtime

What happens with all the comments? Are they migrated as well? It should at least be mentioned somewhere. Obviously, it is harder to set up dynamic content (like comments) for static sites. I've blogged about many solutions to this problem [1].

[1] https://darekkay.com/blog/static-site-comments/

The fact that the first thing you see here is a CLI video already puts off most of the people who write in Medium and could hypothetically consider moving away.

Since I got downvotes, let me clarify. People who use the terminal can probably handle an eventual migration without much hassle but it'd be good to consider non-technical people for future releases. Otherwise it's a fine tool.


I'm sorry that you found my comment "completely ridiculous".

On the other hand I admit that it sounded way too negative and I've just amended that to reflect that I have nothing against the tool, just wanted to suggest that it'd be good to consider non-technical people in the future.

I have my own blog but also use Medium, I like what they do and wish they could be better at making money

Would be also great to see the experience of writing and publishing new posts and/or updating published posts. Otherwise, kudos for doing this. The GIF is amazing!

Well done. Would love to see a similar process that works for a Medium Publication (which has multiple authors, etc.).

Interesting, do you know if it's possible to export the content of a Medium publication?

This is fantastic!! I'm going to give it a try before long--thanks for making it! Also love the gif.

FWIW, the formatting of the example blog referenced in the README looks stunningly terrible on mobile.

There's one issue with the formatting of the tags? Cool your jets.

Smart, catching on the "hate Medium & I'm leaving it" trend

this is awesome. I ended up paying like $99 USD just to have a custom domain pointed to it.

When I asked if I could switch the domain they said "that will be another $99 USD please"

...I don't even know why I am writing on medium

To people wondering why you would want to move to a standalone solution while Medium provides you with distribution and community - it does not (anymore). Well, not to the extent that justifies ceding the control over the representation of your content.

Take a look at this experience https://www.freecodecamp.org/forum/t/we-just-moved-off-of-me...

Tl;dr: Medium's practice of paywalling articles and preferential treatment of those articles over public ones kills the reach of your content. Also, they lock you in by removing the feature of attaching your own domain name. Also, their weird upvote mechanism. Also, the dysfunctional comment system. I can go on and on.

Is there anything similar for swotching from Wordpress.com?

I hope that everyone uses this. If I was Netlify, I'd pay Mathieu to develop this further (e.g. web UI for people not handy with CLI). What broke Medium for me was their paywall, paid subscriptions, and all that crap. Suddenly, instead of Medium facilitating an author's work reaching readers, it became an impediment in its way.

The CLI version is pretty cool, if you'd like a more point-and-click experience try: https://www.stackbit.com/medium/ (Disclaimer: we created this a few weeks ago)

It uses the same Medium export process and lets you pick what Site Generator to use (e.g. Gatsby, Hugo, Jekyll) and more importantly it lets you pick between a variety of CMS like Contentful, NetlifyCMS, Forestry and DatoCMS.

Oh there are also several Blogging themes to pick with and your new imported blog can be up and running in 1-2 minutes.

The cycle of these SV companies is interesting. They start off with a bang and become "darlings" in the initial stages, then they reach mass-market appeal, attempt to monetize (some of them do so in the most unethical ways) and start to become loathed by the very people who touted them in the beginning.

Let's compile a list:

- Facebook

- Twitter

- LinkedIn

- Quora

- Medium

(You can add to it to see how far we go)

I think you specifically mean web companies that take VC money, and not just "SV companies". If you take someone else's money they probably want it back.. with interest. The unethical monetization just reflects the fact that the general public rarely pays for quality web offerings.

It's hard to actually make money as a free service on the internet without being evil and/or really annoying

Yes, it'd be easier to compile a list of large free Internet services that aren't evil or annoying.

1. Wikipedia

2. Hacker News

3. Stack Exchange

4. Github and Gitlab

Disagree on Stack Exchange, I'm afraid. It's a vampire that has pushed the costs of its service down on unpaid contributors (esp members of open-source communities) and privatized the benefits. Similar to Medium, that's time & energy that those programmers could've spent enhancing the knowledge archives of their own open-source communities.

The Peter Thiel recipe from Zero to One

Every image/video/content hosting site seems to go through this process too. Look at the likes of Photobucket or Imageshack or Imgur or YouTube; they all started out with simple, clean interfaces and everyone liked them, then they became mass market, tried to monetise and were so obnoxious with it that everyone turned on them.

Then again, YouTube is basically an example of a company/site/service which does virtually everything wrong, but succeeds on pure network effect/inertia. The monetisation aspect is probably the least of their worries.

Does anyone really loathe LinkedIn? My inbox always has some spam, but it's by far the best way to get a quick summary of most peoples professional experience.

It took numerous attempts over several years for me to fully close my account and stop receiving their spam emails. During that time I certainly loathed them, and now, I rarely think about them at all. Occasionally I’ll click a link to someone’s LinkedIn profile if they have it set as their website on Twitter or something. I’ll see the ludicrous login-wall, chuckle to myself, and close the tab.

Interesting, I was going to ask the opposite. Was LinkedIn ever really a darling? I thought it was dark patterns, stealing contact lists and sending spam since day 1.

Also, for the record, yes, someone actually loathes LinkedIn. They are a spam factory

That may be due to my echo chamber but I got the feeling everyone I know loath Linkedin.

Partly due to their dark patterns, partly due to it attracts recruiters and therefore a lot more recruiter spam.

But only a quarter or a lot less of people I know stick to their guns and don't use Linkedin.

Most (me included), moan about it, but still, have a fairly updated profile on their site...

I loathe that lack of an account on an invasive, spammy tool is regarded as a valid reason to discard my application.


To add to the list:

- Instagram

- Pinterest

- most Google products

Out of curiosity, what happened to Pinterest? I was never an active user, and the only thing I observed was the mainstream interest in it fall, so it got out of spotlight, but i dont remember anything bad actually happening that triggered it.

A lot like Quora, I think a lot of people see their tactics as super hostile to users. Things like bait and switching to force you to sign up to see the content. Tons of spam on the site. I know a lot of people hate that they have just dumped so much trash into Google image results, again, forcing you to signup when you actually want to see the content. A lot of dark UX patterns like those seem to be the biggest complaint I've personally seen and experienced.

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