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Dear Devs, please stop using Medium for your contents
137 points by todotask on Nov 14, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 67 comments
Having a hard time to reading without the annoying popup for your sign up, please, let me know which other platforms do you use?

This comes up again and again, but a personal solution until things move is to disable Javascript on Medium. Then, you are presented with a fully working page, without any distraction. Just disable JS on Medium. It "gracefully improves".

To do this for chrome users:

1. Go to medium.com or a medium.com article

2. Click the icon to the left of the url in the url bar, it will probably be a lock or an info icon.

3. Select site settings.

4. Under permissions, change Javascript to Block.

Works a treat! Thanks!

Asking out of ignorance: does this also disable anti-adblocker pop ups?

yes, no popup.

I've reached my article limit and it won't show me the full text even with js disabled.

Do people realise that interested readers aren't getting to their content because they chose Medium?

In chrome, open developer tools then in "Application" tab, "Clear Storage" subtab, click "clear site data"

This only applies to articles that authors choose to monetize. Articles that are not monetized for not count toward your limit, and you can read them even if you’ve already reached your limit.

You can just use incognito on Chrome or private browser with Safari.

I don't get why devs work so hard on their project/tutorial, only to be lazy on the last step (publishing/announcement) and give away their content to be published on Medium.

It's very easy to roll out a Hugo/Jekyll/Zola static blog published for free on Github/Gitlab/Netlify. Then point it to your own domain name so you own your content and don't have to worry about what some 3rd party site does on top of your writing.

As someone who went through the whole thing just recently [1], it is a respectable opinion, but at the same time, it will eat your afternoon.

Every step is very straightforward individually (configure Jekyll, set up Netlify, buy a domain), but the sum of the parts is still a considerable time sink if it isn't what you do for bread and butter. I know I configured DNS records in uni networking class many years ago, doesn't mean I remember the slightest of it.

The friction obviously goes down if you've already gone through the process before, but if you're simply looking to get your voice out there, it can be very tempting to use a packaged solution. Medium simply has a big name, so that's what a lot of people default to.

[1] https://www.karltarvas.com/

While this is true, I feel that Netlify et al also make it very easy to get started. All you need to do is find a repository that has Jekyll configured the way you like it and clone that. Bonus points if it has Gitlab pages defined.

You can just clone Jekyll Now: https://github.com/barryclark/jekyll-now/ That gets you yourname.github.io instantly.

There is also https://habr.com , but there is always a risk that they go the way Medium went.

It's not laziness. Medium comes with an audience and rolling your own likely doesn't.

It's a question of do you get more people from medium than people you lose from other sources because your post is on medium?

What audience? All the medium articles i read, i found here, in reddit or Twitter

You just described three link aggregators, sites whose purpose is to spread third party content. The audience is the people posting Medium articles, and the people who follow them back to Medium.

shocking i know, but i don't follow anyone on medium (i dont even have an account)

Neither do I, but that isn't really relevant. Medium has an audience of readers who don't sign up for the service, but that's still an audience.

If the responses on their site to articles posted there are any indicator they don't even have a built-in audience any more. Even articles that make it to the front page here, the hn comments are half or more people complaining (rightly so imho) about medium.

Medium used to be good, people published good content there. but as they increased their gatekeeping it seemed like there was a sharp decline in quality and quantity.

I'm not disagreeing, but it doesn't really matter how high the quality of the content is on any site, more people on HN are going to complain about the presence of javascript and attempts at monetization than will ever bother to read the article.

It only happens more often with Medium because Medium articles are posted more often. I don't think it's an objective indicator of much, beyond HN's generally cantankerous attitude towards the modern web.

It's no different than blogspot then, and blogger has the record of longest running blog service.

I have an account on Medium and I do follow people on Medium. Weird.

> It's not laziness...

If/When Medium decides to add more popups, tracking or advertise over your writing and you'll eventually have to move off the platform, you'll probably regret not having put in the work up front to own and publish your own content.

Also, if your project/article is interesting, people will share it after some minor promoting on social medium or on HN, regardless if it's on Medium or not.

"Also, if your project/article is interesting, people will share it after some minor promoting on social medium or on HN, regardless if it's on Medium or not."

People who are part of the audience you don't have because you aren't on Medium?

Medium has no audience. People go to medium for specific articles. Other than that it's basically a collection of blogs. Do you browse collections of blogs? Nobody I know does.

This was once the case, but these days my articles get about 20 views each. This is ridiculously low, even worse than putting it on Twitter without any followers. Medium gets more traffic from me than vice versa.

Probably because after crafting a product, solution, or e-polemic, the last thing we’re interested in doing is wrangling a manual process when an in-browser wysiwyg composer gets the job done. Yes, medium is a visual pain (unless you don’t reflexively engage reader mode on Firefox or Safari). The next best (least worst) option is probably a self-hosted WordPress blog with zero/few plugins.

> The next best (least worst) option is probably a self-hosted WordPress blog with zero/few plugins.

If you already have dev experience, I'd argue that rolling out a static blog with a pre-made Hugo/Jekyll theme (lots of Medium-ish clones) would be just as fast as rolling out a self-hosted WordPress blog.

What's the best privacy-respecting way to attach comments to a static site? I've got a 'blog on github.io, but have never set up comments.

I've never enabled analytics either. I just assume I have 100 million readers. (-:

I haven't personally toyed with either, but I've seen these used with increasing frequency.



Rolling your own blog still requires time & effort to start/maintain, without any of the organic reach of publishing platforms.

> I don't get why devs work so hard on their project...

Because in the early days of Medium you got a lot of reach through them promoting your content on other blog posts. This now went down a lot from what I've read and the additional paywall / nagging module on each visit is not helping either.

I think it'll naturally disappear as more and more people realize that creating their own site isn't that hard any more and having your own domain / brand is useful.

> having your own domain / brand is useful.

I wish more people realized that. It costs as much as a cup of coffee per month and you can also use it for backups etc. Wordpress comes preinstalled and autoupdating in most hosts.

Medium hate comes up again and again here, and I get it to a degree. But, Medium delivers an audience that hosting your own rarely does.

Fair enough if all you want to do is post to HN, but if posting to HN is only one delivery channel, you're giving up a huge audience just to placate techie UI sensibilities on this site.

Posting on my own blog gets me single digit views, because I don't have an audience of my own. Sure, I could and probably should work on that, but working on that is a long term plan. Posting to Medium via an established publication such as The Startup, HackerNoon or The Mission has delivered 5k to 50k reads (not views) for me in the past.

I think a sanity check is required here. Annoy a few techie users or have your work read by many thousands who would not otherwise read it. To me that's a no brainer.

I tried dev.to but the signal to noise ratio was much worse than Medium. It combines the worst parts of Medium with the worst parts of Twitter. I had high hopes for it though and hope it can improve.

Medium seems to strike a good a balance as I have been able to find with regards to quality albeit with a little searching.

Agreed, the quality of content on there isn't poor in itself but is aimed at getting low hanging fruit.

I want to like dev.to, but I think it needs more granular curation for the feed.

I want to follow interesting JS/web-dev related stuff, but if I follow related tags all I see is "5 tips for new devs" and "how to pass the interview" type articles.

I self-host two blogs [0][1]. I even made the static site generator I wrote for the second one available [2].

Each time I visit a Medium page I wonder why people are still using it.

[0] http://johnbokma.com/blog/

[1] https://plurrrr.com/

[2] https://github.com/john-bokma/tumblelog

Shameless plug: I created Glyph, a static site generator utilizing Github Issues and Github Pages. It should be great for developers because 99% of the time you will use Github anyways and you don't need any other accounts to publish. (hn link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16776047)

Checkout the following resources if you are interested:



As an example have a look at my blog (not very active):


You can click on the "Discuss" button to go to the "original" markdown as a Github issue.

I quickly looked over your GH pages for examples and didn’t see anything beyond the link to your personal blog, which you note hasn’t been updated in a year and a half.

Maybe making a post on that blog about how you use your own software would make more people interested in your project? Plus it can act as documentation.

It would greatly reduce the friction people have trying out something new to see it being actively used.

The blog I linked was created with Glyph. There is also a blog post about it:


In fact that is the reason why I linked it because as you said I am not writing any blog posts these days.

I host a simple Hugo blog on GitHub pages. The only cost for me is the domain name. Highly recommend Hugo, since it makes everything outside of writing easy.

The downside is that discoverability is lower, but my goal for it is writing for myself rather than getting page views.


A Chrome/Mozilla extension to help you avoid clicking on links from websites you don't like. I use it to block medium.com links.

Been wanting something like this, will try it on FF desktop.

Mobile support would be a big attraction for users with low-powered devices. Accidental taps on slow links to fatty content e.g. news sites can trigger some pain.

It supports mobile I think. I'm the maintainer, so please open an issue if it doesn't.

I moved off medium to self-host my blog via Gatsby and Netlify. It's a far nicer experience and I wouldn't go back!

For a personal domain, own your own domain or be owned by someone else.

I wonder if there is space for a web-ring type solution. Have a discovery service that an author plugs at the bottom/footer of their posts that can link to similar labeled articles. Now you have discoverability and control of your content. For monitization, you could go with ads and/or subscription.

gitlab.com/pages provides many example blog engines they will host for free

I use Medium to direct traffic to my personal blog. This is what 3rd party publishing channels are for, be it Medium, LinkedIn or FB groups/pages.

Exactly my thought.

I setup this alternative for Medium, https://bun4.com. Make a Pull Request on https://github.com/pinehq/bun4 and it automatically compiles. Stop complaining and start writing ;)

Fully agree with you, best option is to start your own blog using either Blogger.com or a statically hosted site at Github.com (they allow static-hosting). And if you can spend some money on it, why not register your own domain and go for your own Wordpress or Drupal hosted site? Own your content and be your own master if you call yourself a developer!

It might not work for everyone, but you can answer your own question on stackoverflow. If you want to write a blog post about how to setup e.g.: a Webserver on a raspberry pi, you could formulate it as a question on stackoverflow, and answer your own question. I personally really like this approach.

I post to my own blog and cross-post to Medium. I get a lot more views on my Medium cross posts - that's why I continue to post there. I've found job freelance opportunities via people visiting my Github, which they said they found from Medium.

I use jekyll since ages, since it was easy to set up && publish, and lately started syncing the content to dev.to in order to try to amplify the audience (although most of what I write, are just oneliners, so that I don't forget)

I think the best way is in the middle. It is called POSSE: Publish Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. You own your stuff by first posting it on your own page and then syndicate it to other places for visibility.

Publish on medium?

I instantly close your post.

The reason people publish on Medium is that it comes with a large, eager to read, audience.

People see numbers of visitors in Medium that they don't see when they post on their personal websites...

So, unless you also come and check people's personally hosted blogs, and convince millions to do the same, don't let the door hit you on your way out when you "instantly close" Medium posts...

Not sure why but I expect a big storm when Medium does something "outrageous"/"politically incorrect" and then people would move in mass. We need to calculate teh cost of a possible migration in the future, what happens if you delete your account in protest or they will delete it for you.

I use RSS feeds to monitor all of these.

I agree for a number of reasons. I strongly dislike Medium, and avoid it unless there's something specific of exceptional interest that is only there (which is reasonably rare).

I automatically follow any developer's blog I come across with an RSS feed. Just putting it out there for anyone who has a blog and wants to share :)

Someone should start a personal/company dev blog aggregator. Don’t allow any medium.com URL’s.

As usual whenever this comes up, no alternatives recommended. And the truth is, all alternatives are worse currently. They either require way more out-of-scope effort, or draw in a lot less potential readers.

jesus get a MySpace account and be done with it ;-)

Medium is more of a traffic generator for me. I post articles on my blog and then simply _Import_ them on Medium. Almost 99.9% of my articles are free without any paywall.

Those articles aren't for you they are to impress potential employers who can afford to pay for Medium.

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