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Ask HN: Please stop writing tutorials/tech articles on Medium
556 points by gls2ro 33 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 253 comments
Let me put this as simple as I can: Writing tutorials on Medium means you are putting them behind a paywall, thus restricting learning opportunities.

Medium is not StackOverflow, it limits the number of articles that can be freely read.

If you ever learned something from a blog or from stackoverflow do contribute back by sharing your knowledge open on the internet not behind a paywall.




For the past ~3 weeks Medium has blocked virtually every article I wanted to read and is asking me to pay. Most of these are programming tutorials related to some obscure Rails features. Honestly, I feel like Medium is the worse place to put your content.

EDIT: For context, I don’t mind people monetizing their content, but in that case I’d rather pay them directly (like GoRails), and not a “subscription” for something I might check once in a while.


The author decides whether the article is accessible for free or not. If the author is not in the partner program, even all of his articles are accessible for free.

Read https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018677974 section What does the checkbox do


Exactly. I run Better Programming, which is the second biggest programming publication on Medium after Towards Data Science. And it's definitely the case that authors are opting in to the deal that Medium offers: a usually small amount of money and a fairly large boost in readers.

The average article we publish does 10k views, which for most authors is way more than they'd get self-hosting and posting out to Twitter/FB.

I think also that Medium is still overly dominated by user generated content, i.e. what people here are calling low quality articles. You'd think of that content differently if it were better curated and better edited.

But all of Medium's subscriber revenue gets reinvested in their content. Most of that is author payments, but also they pay copy editors and curation editors. What they haven't done in programming yet is pay for any articles that have had a proper high quality edit. In programming that's a story editor, tech reviewers and a bug/errata updating process. But I suspect that will change because the subscription numbers are starting to be big enough that they can afford to invest in these things.


That is not correct. I've had people complain they couldn't read my articles on Medium and I never took part in the partner program.


> That is not correct

That's an official publication of the company behind medium. Maybe they had some bugs in the past or the people who complained or the author just made mistakes.

Try to access this article: https://medium.com/@rochus.keller/implementing-call-by-refer...

Can you access it or not?


There are separate walls like account walls, max x articles per day, requiring sign in that are in addition and uncontrollable from paywalls, IIRC.


For metered content, "non-members get a select number of free stories in their member preview, which replenishes on the first of each month." (see https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360017581433-About...).

If you hit the preview limit, you get the message "Not every story on Medium is free, like this one. Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from."

Non-metered (i.e. free) content is not behind the metered paywall. Also if the author posts a "friend link" the article is freely accessible, even if metered otherwise.

Do you have other sources?


I'll keep an eye out for the exact message. I tend to avoid Medium as much as possible - scrolling is incredibly slow, and I recently found out medium storing several hundred MB of garbage in my localstorage, which it adds to every time I scroll.


Usually if you save to Pocket it will open fine.


Suggesting a workaround is not addressing the root cause. Please don't.


Would you also advise against installing ad blockers?


Personally, I use an ad blocker - because I'm worried about the security of third-party code running on my machine. But I'm also moving towards the OP's idea... I stop reading articles/content that require a technical workaround to a political/philosophical problem. Any workaround strengthens the core problem.

Medium doesn't mind if you use a workaround - as long as you are using it. The business model is validated and metrics show that users are happy with it. The only way to change their mind is to stop using it entirely.


Ads are a universal problem. Starting an post on HN saying “hey let’s not use internet to advertise” will have zero impact. You have to take into your own hands and block.

A thread about changing how programmers distribute written content in the context of HN could actually have an impact.


That's like not plugging a leak in the International Space Station with multiple layers of duct tape because it is a work around, while waiting for a proper replacement panel that will arrive in 3 months...


That analogy is a little flawed. More like there is something in the ISS that is causing leaks and the solution is to duct tape them.


Of course it's a workaround and it would be better if the content would be freely available. I don't know the business model of Medium, don't know if contributors are getting paid, but I only suggested a way to read the articles without having to pay, before the issue gets resolved.


I use medium, as a freelancer, the extra little boost in cash helps during dry spells.

I mean, if people can't afford the $5 per month that it costs to read all medium posts, they really shouldn't waste the time complaining.


I have a blog on medium as well, I just haven't been motivated to contribute to it for a while. It may be my "reach" as others have stated. I like pushing out the small tutorials that I write, but I just can't justify 3 hours (ish) of work for < $1.50/mo

I also don't want to have to buy a domain and have a hosting service to push my own site having to load it up with ads or other nonsense just to make a side hustle possible. So I stick with Medium.


Took a quick look. If you want my take, your basic tutorials are, well... too basic. They describe fundamental language principles in a well-established programming language for which there's already a wealth of material available. Frankly, there's already a million articles and books that cover that.

IMHO, you need to write about some cool hot or esoteric feature that solves a specific problem in a new way. Or about how a particular crash bug ended being based on something that everyone else thinks works one way when in fact it works the other way.

Do a search on a topic. Are there already thousands of pages that cover the same thing? If so, write on something else.

Trust me. It's possible to do a lot better than $1.50 an article.


I really appreciate that feedback, thanks! The hardest part about picking a topic that you're interested in and writing, is finding people to give you the honest feedback about what you're produced. Now I have a starting point to improve :)


<3


Incognito mode works for me.


Yea but that cant be the real solution.


Its the only solution for 2020 web. Plus, of course, vpn and adblocker.


The only solution? So... in 2020 the only place to publish long-form content is Medium?

Well... TIL.


no but some content is on medium, so it's helpful to know


If you're using an adblocker, might as well add a paywall blocker to the mix: https://github.com/iamadamdev/bypass-paywalls-chrome


You can just block cookies from medium.com and everything keeps working.


It doesnt work for everyone, I always use firefox auto-mulitcontainers where each tab has its own container with no history and cookies and I still get blocked by medium


Often when using incognito doesn't work for "limited free articles" paywalls it is because you haven't restarted your browser in a while and have had incognito windows open for a time too. Session cookies happily persist in incognito windows while you have them open and are shared between such windows.


Not the best solution - but I post it on twitter and use that link to access the article(since Medium paywalled article is free through twitter) and delete the tweet in few seconds later.


TIL



Would you prefer ads or paying writers through Medium?


If you want to sell your tutorial for a few dollars, actually sell it for a few dollars and don't force me to play subscription games with Medium.


So you're saying, you'd rather pay me $19 for my tutorial, than pay $5 for all tutorials on medium's platform?


For the tutorial quality and UX scumminess typical of Medium, no, I don't want the $5(/month?) option. I'd prefer any of these options:

1) Free, non-scummy tutorial sample, with the rest offered for money, or

2) Free full tutorial with non-scummy ads/UX, or

3) Free full tutorial with the understanding that this is self-promotion and I should raise my evaluation of the author and seek to hire their other work.

Which of those do you feel is unjustifiably entitled?


Probably the fact that while you listed your preferences you and most everyone else wouldn't bother to pay. Primarily since it would mean making a credit card transaction to an unknown site.

Your options are clearly biased towards the fact that you don't want really to pay anything, either in terms of money or ads/attention.


No, I've paid for courses before, far more than I care to admit. And I've listed an ad-based option that makes money (2), I'm just allowing for the possibility of people who want to get paid in self-promotion (3), although that's perhaps redundant, being a species of advertising.


Dunno about the GP, but for me, yes.

I'm not going to subscribe to Medium or other things like it. I don't like subscriptions and avoid them for the most part, and Medium is effectively a weird bundle of mostly crap I mostly don't care about.

When something is worth it, a la carte works for me. It should cost more than as part of a bundle. (Although I'd need to need your tutorial rather badly to pay the price of a book for it.)


Why do you think your tutorial is worth a lot less on Medium than your own website? Shouldn't the price be similar?


How do you get the reach? Reach is worth something.


Twitter? Reddit? Hacker News?

Are you really trying to make the case that Medium is the only way people find and read content?


Many Reddit subs have been discouraging people from posting their own content for years now, and the reach you get on Twitter is entirely dependent on who's in your network. Hacker News is probably the second-best option to Medium since both are about as democratic, but Medium has more readers.


Nope. I'm just wondering what the sentiment is. I've obviously struck a nerve. "Oh no paywall!" for a site that pays its authors.

Now, if it ripped the authors off or engaged in other shitty tactics, then that's one thing. But nobody is responding with that kind of information. It's all a response against the paywalls, and I'm trying to figure out if it's knee-jerk or not.

I mean, aren't people allowed to make a living by teaching others?


> I mean, aren't people allowed to make a living by teaching others?

Absolutely good point!

I think if I were to rephrase the submitter's comment in a way that aligned with my own views and concerns, it would be:

If your intent is to put information into the world for others to share purely out of charity/a desire to help others, or to get your name out, please consider options other than Medium, as Medium is ultimately in control if whether anyone can actually gain access to the content you've produced.

If, however, as you say, one's goal is to produce and monetize content as part of a personal revenue stream, then Medium seems like as good an option as any (though, personally, I'm not a huge fan of contributing content into walled garden ecosystems where the publisher can unilaterally change the rules on a whim), and folks here complaining that stuff is behind a paywall should go find free content elsewhere.


I strongly agree with the part about the purpose of sharing the information:

I am buying from time to time website-based tutorials or other type of content. I agree this creates a new problem: I don't even know what I bought in the last years, what kind of online live books with exercises I bought and from where. I try to keep them in a document, but sometimes I forget and search email to find out.

Still I would like to ask that if someone just wants to share information and it is not focused on monetization then please consider other options than Medium.

A lot of newcomers will not make a subscription there.


Thank you both you have answered my question.


Could you walk me through your market value estimate for a quick writeup of an obscure Rails feature?


The value is the intersection of what some people are willing to pay and what the author is welling to accept.


Exactly. If the article has no value what's the big deal?


Sorry if I wasn't clear, but when I said estimate, I meant calculating actual numbers.


I prefer ads, but I'm one of those weirdos that doesn't see a problem with ads, and actually prefers targeted ads.


I prefer ads because, if they're a typical tracker disguised as an ad, I can block them without feeling even a tinge of guilt.

A few weeks ago I saw an ad on a blog post. I think it's the only one I've seen all year. I was so surprised, I looked at the source. It was just an image, hosted on the same domain, wrapped in standard anchor tag. It was even something I might consider using, a server monitoring service. I had never been so happy to see an ad.


This is the way all ads should be.


I don't have a problem with ads in general. But, I prefer not to have targeted ads -- I prefer ads that shoot from the hip and know as little about me as possible. I know that's not as compelling for advertisers, but they did ok with that model for a century.

I mean, if it were just as simple as, he likes gadgets and cycling: let's show him an ad for a new bike accessory -- that isn't so bad.

But when they know what your mood is, what your insecurities are, what your financial situation is, past purchases at one retailer linked with your phone number to purchases at another retailer, how likely you are to buy at a certain time of day, etc and then they show you the right ad, in the right place at the right time to exploit all of those things... that is too manipulative for my taste.


I'm very curious whether you have a citation RE mood and insecurities. I don't disbelieve you but they are pretty extraordinary claims.


I thought I was the only one.


Same here. Would love to see a targeted ad that makes me buy something new.


If it's a programming tutorial, it seems like the ad doesn't need to be targeted to you specifically, but to programmers in general. I really don't want to see another Zappos ad for some shoes I bought a month ago when reading a React tutorial.


> I prefer ads, but I'm one of those weirdos that doesn't see a problem with ads, and actually prefers targeted ads.

The ads are fine.

Surveillance capitalism is the problem.

Don't mistake the symptom for the disease.


I agree completely. And I'm also fine with people who want to be paid to teach.


Medium doesn't actually pay writers does it?


Medium pays based on users subscribed who 'clap' on your articles, the more claps/views the more you make per article.

It's literally $5 a month to subscribe to all medium articles, I don't get the problem. That's less than a starbucks latte.


It's not just $5 per month, it's $5 on top of all the other subscription services with their low, low monthly costs. Death of 1000 cuts.

A service must be really compelling and unique to persuade people to commit to an open-ended subscription on top of everything else crying for their dollars.

That's why the likes of Apple are racing to bundle their services for a single monthly family fee, they're getting ahead of 'subscription fatigue' where the mental and financial burden of managing a plethora of small monthly charges becomes overwhelming.

> That's less than a starbucks latte.

That's a perfect analogy. The majority of people in any population don't buy a Starbucks latté because the cost-value assessment indicates it's not worth it on top of more essential daily living costs.


Yes, it does.


None. People are unwittingly sharing free content on the platform because they are not aware of the paywall.


My understanding is that authors can get paid.


Most programming tutorials are effectively ads for the author. "Want to get hired? Write a programming blog" is advice I've received many times.


Okay, but I have no problem with people sharing useful knowledge as personal advertising, so long as it's actually useful and not otherwise scummy (e.g. the Medium UX).


But you're not ok with somebody selling you their useful knowledge?


I'm okay with that too, I was just replying to the annoyed attitude toward people who market themselves with useful articles.


I find most Medium tech articles to be written poorly or outdated or written by juniors. They seem to be written by people that want to write an article just to write and article.


Someone told me that "It's called Medium because the articles are neither rare, nor well-done."

That seems accurate in my experience.


That quote is definitely not original, and I believe was originally applied to TV (i.e., TV as a medium, singular form of media). (See the origins here: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2019/07/24/tv/)

I mean, not knocking who told you that at all, I think it's funny that they applied it to Medium the website. Just a little tidbit of info about the quote's origins, in case you weren't aware!


Ah, I wasn't aware at all. I thought the joke was made about the website!


Medium has for me become a signal for "likely shallow and low quality".


Whats for you the signal for high quality?


A book usually signals a quality higher than Medium signals.

Given the nature of the medium, books usually have the highest guarantee of quality due to the resources used to publish a book.


I usually search for documentation or tech problems in a text browser with cookies disabled, no js, no css, using tor and using an empty user agent.

I won't try to guess why, but the few pages I can access are always high quality, while poor quality pages (as discovered when opening the page anyway in a full browser) always try to block that setup.


You can usually tell from skimming the blog post / looking back at the author's history of posts - it's hard to put it into words.

I suspect quality means different things to different people and even changes based on context for the same person.

For instance, a blog describing some arcane linux command to run to fix the issue you're having does not need to be the same level of quality as something you're reading to learn + get in depth info about a topic you know at a very shallow level.


Sharing experts knowledge, not copying stackoverflow answer adding sentence from official docs and one screen long picture on top of the post.

Usually you can find the signal in the first 2 or 3 sentences of in any post.

Medium.com has better SEO than SO and small personal blogs, so it's winning when searching for a solution.


No single thing unfortunately. But as an example in contrast to Medium, articles published on github.io with simple HTML often seem to be a bit higher quality.


.edu


Ding ding ding. Medium cultivated a Google presence and is now cashing in with crap content to rival Quora.


This is becoming a problem Internet-wide. Too many people are more interested in becoming Internet Famous than becoming actually good programmers/engineers/etc...


Just this morning I was thinking of making a search engine that only looks among personal blogs plus a whitelist of sites like stackoverflow and Wikipedia. Or something like the old web in general. Or it has to be non profit (no ads, no subscription options, no paid content, only donation/flattr if anything). I haven't decided on a good rule yet, it's quite tricky.

At any rate, the idea is to somehow filter out all the garbage when I just want to know how to do something. Too often I have to find personal blog links on stackoverflow ("PS. I wrote more about it here") as opposed to that helpful article simply showing up in the search results by itself.


You'll probably like Million Short (https://millionshort.com/) then, a search engine that can filter out the most popular websites.


This is pretty nice. It's effectively working as a blocklist from top domains.

It would be interesting to see a curated version with an allowlist of domains as well, like how Angelfire and friends in the 90s used to be with a "web ring" of peer websites.


Yep. The genuinely useful stuff is never coming from Medium/Twitter personalities. Instead I often find it on obscure Blogspot sites with a few posts per year, with archives going back to 2006 or so. That's where you find content from actual good engineers. Leave the Twitter e-celeb drama to the plebs, and Medium to the CV-filler fluff.


Because people see writing a blog or guest articles as a sign of possible expertise, but are generally too time crunches to check for themselves.


this is a general statement.

I have found several articles about Apache Kafka on Medium that have helped me a lot. I have no idea if it's by a junior dev or not.


Isn't that the point of most blogs?

I don't think they geniunely want to help people learn. I assume, given the low quality / effort content, that most are just trying to use them to build a prescence to help get jobs?


It's cargo cult career management.

People see successful programmers giving lots of talks and writing lots of articles.

People want to be successful.

Monkey see, monkey do.


There's an interesting tradeoff here, to say the least. Writers want readers. So to some, it's worth sacrificing universal accessibility to gain all of the advantages Medium has to offer.

There just aren't many reasonable, free alternatives for publishing written technical. Medium handles SEO and makes it super simple writers who don't know how to host their own content otherwise to get their ideas in public. Plus, readers who click on a Medium link know they'll see their content in a standardized format.


Yes, I think you are spot on regarding the motivation of writers. This is why I was thinking to write this request here, where there are a lot of technical people who can run their own websites.

Regarding standardized format, yes this is true. I don't have a rebuttal. I think it depends on the job to be done by the reader. For me getting to the information is more important than the format.

I learn things even by reading text mailing-lists.


I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with Medium as a platform for the space between amateur and professional writing, but I don't think it's right for most techie blogs.

For people simply looking to spread ideas and neat little hacks, it's almost always going to be better using either a 'traditional' blogging platform or homebrewing a blog with one of the static site generators.

There also seems to be some sort of 'style' that every Medium writer starts to take on that you don't see other places, I can't put my finger on it but there's a certain tone to many of the articles.


Right and how do you get people to read your blog? Ads? Billboards? No one will find a new blog with no Google juice. I used to get 300K a year but it took more than a decade to get to that level. I gave up on it (job burned me out). Now I get 100 readers a month. If I start up again, it will take years to get a decent readership (never did ads). At least with Medium someone would see it.


It entirely depends on what the goal of your blog is. Do you want to make money? Do you want to just post random thoughts online? Do you want to share solutions to interesting problems you've come across?

I post maybe once a month tops, and for very specific niche queries I'm on the first page of results for the three main search engines. The goal for me isn't to make money or get famous, just to fill in some gaps where nobody's tried something before.

I'm not a medium expert at all, but I would wager that most incoming traffic is going to be from google searches either way. The sad reality is that search & social is the only place traffic really comes from, practically nobody uses RSS or subscriptions anymore.


Here is a questions: What happens if Medium decides to cut your blog from there?

I am not saying they are doing, but what happens with all this knowledge when Medium decides to pivot (I am not saying they do) or to close (hope this will not happen).

I see better chances for the content to outlive when it is spread in separated smaller blogs. Not all of them will close, maybe some of them will be archived, maybe moved to other domains, maybe cached somewhere. But having a lot of content under paywall, without any license on the code shared (or at least I don't know about it) is not creating a comfortable feeling for myself.

Of course if the purpose is to monetize then maybe Medium is the right place.


Pretentiousness?


Actually can we stop writing tutorials period. When you search for something I always get a bunch of old tutorials by people who are learning something and writing as they learn. If the official docs aren't great, contribute to them.


Are you genuinely arguing that the world would be a better place if there were only official docs and no tutorials?

You must have a very different experience to me. I'd say the value is about 70-30% in favour of unofficial tutorials for the tech topics I've learned over the years.


But it is getting increasingly more time consuming to sift through the either outdated and misleading guides or the incomplete, inaccurate, or simply bad ones to get to a useful one.

Even StackOverflow is reaching the point of net-negative value; far too many of its questions and answers are outdated, but the nature of their system means the older (first acceptable) answers tend to be promoted as current answers.


> But it is getting increasingly more time consuming

I'd dispute "increasingly" - twas ever thus to some degree.

Spotting whether a tutorial is still valid is a skill that can be honed and it's part of learning how to learn.

Your argument has some merit but your solution of "let's stop writing tutorials" seems a trifle extreme. Wishing something was better isn't a great argument for it's extinction.


I missed the part where I said we should stop writing tutorials. I do believe people should be responsible for content they publish, periodically reviewing and removing outdated, irrelevant, or immature/incorrect articles.


Ah - sorry. I assumed I was still talking to the first person I responded to. I've made that error in the past of not looking at the username.


I think it's easy... I ALWAYS filter tech searches by date, anything over a year is outdated, usually. Esp. framework related as they change frequently.


Yes, but on StackOverflow, repeat questions are very strongly discouraged (or locked/deleted); the reader is pushed back to the older or original question which may be very much out of date. There are often useful comments or additional answers on those old questions, but it's a slower process to wade through the old content in hopes of finding a useful new nugget.

With general Google/DDG searches I often do filter to past year, but I've noticed increasingly that some sites have been republishing old articles with new dates, or minor updates (apparently to bump them up in search results?)


It sounds like the OP was complaining about the bulk of tutorials out there are written by people without any real experience with a subject. It's a blind-leading-the-blind situation where you don't know enough to realize that these people have significant knowledge gaps.


If anyone reading this does write a tutorial, _please_ put the date on it. Or at least the year.


I can't count how many times I've gone to a blog and it's only given the month and day of a post, like "Oct 30". Is that 2020? 2010? I look around the entire page, but I can't find a clue.


This is a great great advice.

I think - in case of tutorials about programming languages/frameworks/libraries the bare minimum should be:

- Date

- Language Version

- Framework Version


Or perhaps the software version.


That's a chronic issue. It's even worse, with printed materials.

Things move so quickly, in tech, that something is out of date, almost as soon as it's published.

I've been training for years, and setting up a syllabus/course is a big job. Often, my subject matter may be "old hat," by the time I am ready to give the course.

That often means that I don't teach "bleeding edge" stuff. When I take those courses, they tend to be mighty "scruffy," with ill-prepared instructors, and lots of "Well, it worked this morning..." stuff.

The same goes for topical material in walkthroughs and tutorials. If they are relevant, they are likely to be "scrappy." If they are good, there's a fairly high degree of confidence that they will be out of date by the time I see them.

Nonetheless, I have gotten fairly adept at translating "dated" stuff to my current circumstances.


Official docs are great, but there is also a place for tutorials. They generally cover different styles of learning.

For example the official docs should probably contain a bunch of "hello world" tutorials for using the features they offer. But often times once you are combining a couple of different tools it isn't clear if it should go into the official documentation for any one of them. ..and I especially don't want the maintainers of the official documentation acting as gatekeepers for what combinations of tools are "useful" enough to be allowed into the one source of information.


I write my own blog posts as I learn something, it's a great way to reinforce my learning. Sort of, If I can write it down in such a way that I can explain it, then I'm more confident I actually understand it. I then look at it and think what would someone who doesn't know any of this ask if they read this or if I was explaining it to them. Sometimes I don't know the answer, so I have to go off and research to allow me to fill in those knowledge gaps.

I find this really helps me.

I just don't publish the bloody thing to the internet! Because I know it would just be clutter when people are looking for an actual experts explanation of the thing.

It also means I have quite comprehensive notes I can go back to, again private though.


> Actually can we stop writing tutorials period.

No. If I don't write tutorials for my Javascript library thing[1], who's going to bother using it ... or even looking at it?

[1] - Obligatory spam link: https://scrawl-v8.rikweb.org.uk/learn


Outdated tutorials (often misguided if by someone who is learning) are worse than nothing.


The major audience of my tutorial is myself. People have different learning styles. I like to go straight to the code first and learn the concept from there. Some people like to do that in a reverse way.


That sounds like an opportunity for a search engine improvement.


Medium, Twitter and other "dark pattern" companies are on my blacklist: I don't open any link that point to them. Life is slightly better this way.


The only problem with medium is that sometimes you don't know you are redirected to medium because of a custom domain...


On the other hand, there's no gatekeeping on custom domains, right?

I have a custom Medium domain from back in the day when you could get them, and it doesn't suffer from any of the usability problems and dark patterns of the actual medium.com (though I should probably move away from it anyway).


Facebook, Quora, and the list goes on. It's really a depressing state that the internet has evolved into.


What's a "dark pattern" company? I've never heard that term before.


"Dark Patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn't mean to, like buying or signing up for something."


So... it's a "dark pattern" to give you access to some articles for free and then, should you like them and want to read more, ask you to pay for them?

IDK, but that seems pretty straightforward to me.


I'd say it is a dark pattern to fill the screen with annoying banners asking me to sign up when I just want to read an article.


Dark patterns are tricks, like making you click on something that you thought did one thing but does something else. Asking you to sign in/up is hardly a dark pattern.

And I've yet to see Medium "fill the screen" with annoying banners. In fact, from what I've just seen, Medium just displayed a web page with the article's bottom half telling you you've read all of your free articles and asking you to sign up.

Too much hyperbole on the internet these days...


Why not hackernoon or any other blogging platform, then? Stackoverflow is gatekept, not super friendly, and you can only share things in response to people's questions.


I believe StackOverflow is just listed as an example of decent site design, it's well-known to be a ludicrously terrible resource considering its popularity.


Yes, I just listed StackOverflow there as an example for two reasons:

1. It is public (you don't need a subscription) 2. It has a license for using the code there (https://stackoverflow.com/help/licensing)

I am not affiliated in anyway with StackOverflow and actually I created a new account because of some things I disagree with.


> and you can only share things in response to people's questions

It is ok to ask and answer your own question.


That's true. Though, I'll also say that my experience and expectation from medium articles and SO are different too. Medium lends itself to more end-to-end stories (here are the steps, combining these 3 libraries, to accomplish this task), whereas SO feels like it's more focused (Why does this part of my toolchain break?). The upvote/downvote mechanism also doesn't really lend itself to tutorials. I feel like if you wanted tutorials on SO, you'd want to branch SO itself into a different entity.


You can even write an answer for your question at the same time you're writing the answer (you may need 15+ reputation though).


hackernoon is on Medium, no?



Personal websites are great and I’ve been trying to put more content on my own personal website (I made nine decent-size posts this month, and I’m happy with that). HOWEVER,

Running a personal website is a time sink and it can become a real pain as time goes on. It’s not a problem to create a personal website and shove a few HTML files on there, or set up a Wordpress installation, or create something with Jekyll. That’s easy enough.

The problem is that 10 years later, your HTML files are sprawling, or you rely on Wordpress plugins that are no longer maintained, or you’re fighting against your generator for whatever reason.

I’ve somehow managed to get my personal website into a state where posting a new article is little more than adding a file to a Git repo and then running a command to deploy it, but I always feel like I need to modify the scripts, and I always want to revisit choices I made when building the website.


After moving my blog to Hugo and a custom CI/CD pipeline for it (that is in serious need of refactoring, but it works), writing and publishing new blog posts with SEO is very, very easy. Writing the damn thing is the hardest part of publishing now. All I have to do is commit and push, and now that CloudFront updates your local POP super quickly, new articles usually appear within minutes.

I used to host my blog on Wordpress, and I agree; massive timesink.


My website is getting a bit big to shove the entire thing into a Git repo, unfortunately. At the very least I would want to have sparse checkouts.

I’ve thought about Hugo but it might require a serious migration effort. My current website is written in Go templates so I can do something like:

    {{.SrcFile "_src.c"}}
And it will read _src.c and set it up to be highlighted using C syntax rules. Leading underscore just means that the file doesn’t get deployed. This is just one example, there are a number of different things I’ve added to my website like this over the years.

Things would be different if I had chosen a static website generator from the start rather than letting things evolve naturally from hand-written HTML files. Currently, what I want to do is get rid of the templating and use DOM manipulation, so I’d write the above like

    <src-file src="_src.c" />
Just because it would make editing the files more convenient. Putting something like C source code directly in an HTML file is too much of a bother, and I put a lot of source code in my website, so anything I can do to save time here means I can write more articles. Markdown makes it easier to embed source code but it’s just not good enough to replace HTML for my use case.


You can also just not use a generator at all. Just publish markdown files directly on Github or similar, or convert to html with pandoc and be done with it.


Congrats on creating content on your personal website. I am trying with my own but I still dont have a good habit in place to write.

I agree that running a personal website is a time sink.

But there are many other options like: Github/Gitlab Pages, Medium ....

Persoanlly, I prefer simple HTML pages or Markdown. Plain HTML will render easy many years from now. They are easy to transfer and hard to get lost between migrations.


GitHub pages is really just a hosting service for Jekyll. My website is getting close to the maximum size for GitHub pages anyway (the limit is only 1 GB). Medium is unworkable for too many reasons.

I started out writing my webpage in HTML, and if you dig around you can find my old GeoCities page, but plain HTML suffers from some problems that make it high-friction for posting frequent updates. So you start adding a simple templating system. Maybe at first it’s just a header and footer you stick on to every page. Then you start adding indexes so you don’t have to update index.html every time you write a blog post. Your plain HTML starts getting more and more complicated, and it starts relying on some kind of library of scripts which you are now maintaining.

That’s what happens if you dive straight into it and use whatever technology is simplest to understand. I think most people would be better off picking a static website generator, to be honest.

(Also: When I started posting content to my website, Jekyll didn’t exist.)


Is it 1GB of text + source code? I can't imagine that much plaintext from one person unless binaries, images music, or video is involved. Github Pages is probably fine for most people even with the 1GB limit.

Btw, cool website. I didn't realize there's an N64 homebrew game development scene until looking at your blog.


I'm with you on this, and I started using https://dev.to/ instead of wasting my time maintaining my own personal website that nobody reads anyway in the hope that maybe, someday people will start reading it.


Medium's popularity a few years ago prompted an idea for me. I wanted to be able to remove all links to domains I knew I never wanted to visit from all pages because I kept wasting time accidentally clicking them, not realizing where they were going.

I had hoped to pull it off with uBlock Origin but I couldn't get the filters to do what I wanted. I ended up making a Firefox add-on that takes a regex and some css, searches all attribute values and/or text for a match, and applies the css to the element with the match.

So, I have a regex for a handful of popular domains I never want to see and matched elements get "visibility: hidden". The result is that I never see a link to Medium. In fact, I usually forget the site exists until someone mentions it without linking to it, which is almost always a post about how Medium sucks :) Same for all the other domains in the list.

The plugin works on Firefox for Android, so I've enjoyed the benefits there as well. However, I expect that to be a problem soon. I don't do much browsing on my phone anyway.

It's only designed for personal use, so the interface is terrible, but I had to submit it to the official add-on repository because there's no reasonable way to run an add-on locally for practical every-day use, so it is available for anyone to use [1]. Source [2].

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ssure/

[2] https://github.com/7w0/ssure


Aren't the writers consciously choosing to monetize their content?


Does that mean that anyone who publishes something on Medium can potentially get paid for it?

I'm not familiar with the workings of Medium, aside from the fact that there's a limit on the number of articles one can read for free each month.


Medium pays authors for their content.


I don't use Medium, but according to https://about.medium.com/creators/

> You’ll be able to get paid for all of your writing, some of it, or keep everything free and accessible to all. The choice is yours.

So it looks like the authors are the ones responsible for putting up the paywall.


Medium still requires an account to read after a few free articles a month and that's what's pissing most people off. Myself included. This has nothing to do with the monetization of the articles, it's just medium and their arbitrary limit.


So you read some articles, and apparently find them useful... except for that fact that Medium would like you to... create an account????

OMG! The horror of it all. ;)


I'm pretty sure, medium allows non-members to read a few Paywalled articles per month free, free articles are still free.

The thing with medium is I can write a tech post, and I may not get good reach, but I can syndicate it to another medium blog like the startup, and then it gets mega reach and I make like $100 easy.

I guess I could just repost my content on my personal blog and charge people like $10/month to access all my posts. Seems $5 though for a multi-publisher paywall is a lot more reasonable than say the wallstreet journal, or new york times.


Yes, the writers get paid for it, but they can select not to put their content behind the paywall and just use it as an open blogging platform.


Yes. The author has to choose whether his article should be monetized or not. If someone chooses not to monetize them, they are not behind the paywall.


But still require an account to read it - of at least this is what sometimes happens to me.

Others (like self-hosted blogs or Stackoverflow) don't.


You’re right. Medium articles are free by default, but authors can choose to join the Medium Partner Program [0] and put one or more of their articles behind the paywall. Then when a paid member reads an article, Medium shares a portion of the revenue from their membership with its author.

[0]: https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/115011694187-Getti...


Medium is not StackOverflow

Maybe StackOverflow should add a Medium-like product where people can write tutorials?


StackOverflow allows you to answer your own questions and a tutorial typically starts with a problem statement.


They do give you the ability to post an answer along with your question. I've found that particularly useful in the private Stack Overflow instance my company uses.


As a writer, I believe you can just opt-out of the partner program and your content should be available to everyone, but will not be promoted by them.


If you're a techie, you are likely capable enough to learn and use a static-site gen and host your blog on Github Pages, Vercel, Surge, Netlify, etc. If you're a techie, you probably also care enough to not inundate your readers with a crapton of intrusive trackers and weird browser hacks/overrides that Medium employs.

If you don't want to use an SSG, or if you're not a techie, you can use or self-host: https://write.as/, https://bearblog.dev/, https://rwtxt.com/public, https://the-federation.info/plume

The downside of the above options is that they are nowhere near as prominent and thus don't provide the same level of discoverability as Medium -- in which case, if you're really hurting for cash and are trying to make a career of writing, maybe it is in your best interest to stick to platforms like Medium, despite how intrusive and reader-unfriendly they are.

EDIT: I am hesitant to recommend https://dev.to/ because I have this sinking feeling that it will eventually become like Medium. Also, semi-related, but Dev.to uses endless scroll, which I think is very bad for readers (also it makes it impossible to click links in the footer).


Why not provide a static hosted mirror of the article?. Medium is bloated and slow. I miss the days when people had personal blogs


That is a good option as well, if you're concerned about discoverability.


I write everything initially on my own site[0].

I will often (but not always) mirror the article on Medium[1].

I'll often post links, here, to the Medium articles, because I have had my site get the "hug of death" a few times.

In the old days, that was cool (The term "slashdotted" came from that). These days, it doesn't really mean much; except that the server goes down. I don't get any real advantage from it.

I think Medium kind of butchers my work. I have full control of presentation, and whatnot, on my site, and I can do series. There are always links to my original articles, because I don't really trust Medium. I could see them try to claim ownership of my work; simply because it's on their server.

As for people applying value judgements on me for using Medium? Eh. Whatever.

[0] https://littlegreenviper.com/miscellany/

[1] https://medium.com/chrismarshallny


You should try a static site generator, and then get your site hosted via CDN. No hug of death and extremely fast. It will take you an afternoon or so to figure out how things work if you haven't done it before, but it is time well spent.


The issue is with transferring older material to the site. Lot more than an afternoon, there..

I agree, though. Static site generators are nice. I will probably look at doing one, sooner or later.

My issue is that I like to have a fairly "branded" experience, so I want to control all kinds of stuff. I'm not usually one to leave "standard" templates in place, without peeing on them.


I used to mirror some of my more general interest stuff on Medium. I actually found the formatting pretty nice and figured there was 1.) Some discoverability and 2.) Some people, possibly out of ignorance, associate/associated Medium with more credibility than a random personal blog.

I do use Blogger, so load isn't actually an issue.

Since the paywall became increasingly obtrusive I stopped mirroring and just use my own blog or one of the numerous other publication channels I write for.


I suspect that my site may be more robust, in the future. It's hosted on a server that a friend of mine runs, and he moved to a better LiquidWeb server.


So, you would prefer individuals who are the highest caliber in their technology specialty, along with the rare combination of also being an excellent writer, to take the time to write an article for you for free rather than getting paid.

If they made it in book form, would that be ok, or is paying for learning material just not acceptable?

Creators like to get paid, and if they are clicking that checkbox to make it so they get paid, there is a good chance that they wouldn't bother making that content for you if they weren't getting paid. Then the world would be worse off for the lack of their contribution.

Medium is free for all articles in which the author chooses to give it to you for free. This is the same for news, or youtube, or music. Some stuff creators will give you for free just for the satisfaction of you enjoying their work, but usually the output in those cases are small, or just monetized in other ways. Regardless of if you are paying for a subscription or just voting up someone's question on StackOverflow, providing a positive incentive for creators to go on creating is essential if you want to have quality content and a steady stream of it.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.


I used to work as a professional tutor and, I think Medium's monetization strategy is overall a good thing for tutorial authors. My nuanced thoughts are pretty split though. I, personally, would never write on Medium. It doesn't fit the hacker ethos. I would roll my own blog and, try to make the content as accessible as possible.

Despite this I still see the value in Medium over what I would do and over other options like blogger, quora, stackoverflow, etc. Medium's premium content ranges from horrible clickbait to significant thought pieces. It's all over the place but it's best content is pretty good and I think the reason why is because of their monetization strat.


I subscribed to Medium briefly during the lockdown and the content was truly, utterly, awful. Terrible writing drowned out the good and great, reams of tripe, inane nonsense everywhere, and advertised like crazy to me. After a few weeks of this, I cancelled and subscribed to some actual magazines with some actual experts.

So quite apart from the nagging annoyance of being unable to access various padded-out articles (tip: private browsing FTW), this has highlighted that a need from 20 years ago hasn't changed: the world still needs better editors.

If the bigger newspapers like NTY, WAPO, The Cardigan would get behind tech in this way AND provide editing and curation, it'd be amazing. Maybe.


What I always wondered about is why the (good) people that publish free content on Medium actually publish on Medium.

I mean, talking of technical article/tutorials, it is not like nowadays (and in the last - say - 10 years) there are not other ways (personal site/blog or if the issue is expected huge traffic other free hosting sites, like - still say - github).

What is the perceived "added value" by Medium (in case of free content)?

Better visibility?


I'd say visibility and it's super easy to start. Even if you want a simple github-hosted static blog, there's just a lot more to do than just opening a website and writing in simple markdown


More than just considering the reader's interests, it's also against the author's interests to use Medium. They've become more and more draconian, bloated, and, well, the same as any other venture capitalist ultra-growth-oriented company. The chickens will come home to roost, and if your content and your audience is on Medium, moving them elsewhere is going to become increasingly difficult over time. Ability to export your content always trends downwards as the desirability of doing so trends upwards - a business which is struggling is not going to make it easy for customers to leave.

Always write on a domain you own. You don't necessarily have to own the server, but if you own the domain, you have the freedom of choice.


Hardly anyone will find it. Writing for 10 people is not very interesting at all.

I want a Medium that charges me to write, but anyone can read for free. I pay DO $5 a month to host something, why should I not be willing to gain a benefit of a medium with large SEO and strength in numbers, and pay that $5 a month, but still allow people to read for nothing? But no one wants to pay to read or write so you go alone and google ignores you.


Google does not ignore your website, what nonsense. I have always posted on my own domain and I have a strong readership. RSS exists, link aggregators exist (how did you find this article? On HN!), it's not all glum and woe.


I dont remember when was the last time I read a tech article on medium as it keeps blocking me to read, I lost the habit of visiting medium and now I dont even think of clicking on medium links. I would suggest to checkout alternatives and more programming focused communities/blogging platform like Hashnode (https://hashnode.com)


AFAIK This is happening due to people enrolling in the partner network to get paid per view. https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/115011694187-Getti...


Oh, for a moment I thought you were arguing people to stop writing those notoriously low-effort, beginner level tutorials which Medium is filled with.

I guess I'll have to do it myself: dear beginners! We don't need your (n+1)-th "how to do [basic thing] in React" tutorials. Please stop polluting our search results.


To be frank, I could live without yet-another-half-cooked, tutorial on Python/ML/DL/Data Science anywhere, not just on Medium...


I wholeheartedly agree. Medium is a cancer in the programming tutorial/article front.

Unfortunately, any such platform will be in due time be trying to seek income and will transform into such an ad-powered walled garden, whatever the good intentions in the beginning may have been.

What could be the solution to this?


Going back to blogging and not expecting any income for your writing, mostly.


What's your solution?

Like it or not, websites cost money to run. The more popular they are, the more money it takes.

So... what? Spend your own money? Ads? Paywalls? Sell t-shirts? Try Patreon and hope enough people throw a dollar or two into your hat?


They are giving free, unlimited place to host all your articles, and putting it behind a poorly implemented paywall (disable javascript for medium.com, incognito, clear cookies, proxy...Literally anything works)


As someone who used to run a WordPress blog as a kid and taking a long hiatus from blogging, I'm really happy about all the options there are today. I spun up a blog using 11ty and netlify, and it was just as easy as all the blog posts about them say it would be. I don't think there's a better time to try to self-host a blog if you are at all inclined. I've also been excited about Dev.to (although I haven't dug too deep into it).

* Shameless plug: my blog lives at salem.io, and I'm more than happy to answer blog-related questions (or any other, honestly) if you're interested in starting but need a little push. My email is in my profile.


The way Medium works is impressive for those who wish to have some income writing. I wish there was a similar blockchain based / decentralized app where authors and editors would get their fair share and is not owned by just a company which could change policies at any time.


well, I was not going to say anything, but I think this applies to every other type of post.

Lately every third link I click there's this HUGE div blocking the content and I need to pay or sign in to read.

It's very frustrating and I leave immediately.


Writing on your own domain and blog, and then re-publishing on places like Medium and dev.to etc seems to be the best combination.

You get the ownership of your own site, and the reach and SEO of medium and 3rd party publications.


That's the [POSSE](https://indieweb.org/POSSE) approach - Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.


Had no idea about POSSE -- thanks for the intro!


I concur. why not use github itself?!


Agree! dev.to for example is a nice place.

However, Medium is a like a book publisher for articles. It's a good way for simple and/or new articles to get an audience that wouldn't elsewise.


Medium is not stackoverflow, definitely. It's great for authors and getting to know new technologists and others. Ofcourse quality is going to differ but eventually people will improve, that's the idea.

I would say medium has better way to identify content you like as well. And sort of introduce you non IT content at the end of this daily newsletters. I like that.


Most internet "content", including Medium articles, are definitely not worth money. Even worse, there seems to be a massive increase in "articles" coming from a particular part of the world that has churned out masses of sort-of-developers.

I'm even starting to wonder if part of their pedagogical process includes "Every week you write an article". Perhaps by sheer number of posts, an individual has been trained to believe they will be more likely to get hired.

So given that most content on the internet is garbage, I will never, ever pay for access to content before I can assess the value of it. I will (and do) subscribe to some writers/musicians on Patreon.

Medium might as well be the next Experts-Exchange... cluttering up search results with paywalled trash.


Curious, would you care to explain a bit more about your thoughts on these sort-of-developers?

How come you know so much about them? Do you often find yourself digging through medium articles?


Not OP, but if you've lately found yourself trying to hire devs or technical folks in general, you will be inundated with resumes from current students and new grads that will illustrate the point.


Well, Medium has higher quality/$ ratio than virtually any other journal I know.

Yes, it has its issue but for many it is an easier writing experience than setting up one's own blog. In fact, a few people I mentored started writing precisely because there is Medium.

(I subscribe them. I wrote a few article on Medium. Yes, if for one there is no difference, I suggest GitHub pages a way to disseminate knowledge.)


I think it's interesting how quickly this posting dove down the rankings, even though it has over 300 upvotes.

Seems to be hitting some nerves.


Medium is also terrible for SEO. Writing there is a waste of time and resources https://pawelurbanek.com/medium-blogging-platform-seo


I recently took an email-course on blogging for devs. One of the key points were to use your own domain, and the course showed a few tricks about creating traffic there.

If you're interested, here is it: https://bloggingfordevs.com/


Might I suggest publishing your articles over at DZone.com? It is free for anyone to publish there, and all of our content is free to access!


Medium does help with a lot of distribution through internal members. That's really nice when you're trying to get an article to many people quickly but, point taken. We'll be reblogging all our content on a self hosted Jekkyl instance and Substack from now on.


I have tweeted the same a few days back, I found this very irritating. https://twitter.com/niksmac_/status/1317859294465830912?s=20


Is it just me, or did this rise to the top of and drop off the front page incredibly quickly?


No it was not just you, same here.


Honestly, stackoverflow works but other than that, most bloggers end up putting ads on their website for monetisation. I'd rather pay a 5 dollar subscription than view ads that could possibly be tracking me.


Although I use incognito mode as a workaround (if you open the article on incognito it shows it without the paywall, at least it does for me), I find Medium tutorials badly written or written by people with limited technical knowledge.

I'd say 95% of my process with medium goes like this:

1) Finds a blog with a tutorial or something relevant. 2) Opens it and sees a paywall 3) Opens it in incognito mode 4) Browses through the article 5) Leaves the page and learned nothing


But then how does a bootcamp graduate with no experience whatsoever writes and article about some basic shit that takes 5 minutes in the official documentation to grasp can pretend to be a subject matter and get a high paying senior job? /s


I agree. I use Google for news/article recommendations and I ended up banning medium.


I guess people in use medium for visibility? What does Medium offer? SEO? Brand recognition (by hosting a few well know authors)? Some special relationship with google? It s hard to tell why it became popular


Medium is not StackOverflow, it limits the number of articles that can be freely read.

On the other hand, StackOverflow simply limits the number of interesting discussions that can be had.


I’ve moved to substack. Medium is very aggressive about their sign in to read tactics. I just want a platform where I blog once in a blue moon and want my subscribers informed.

Medium is pretty awful for that.


I agree. Are there any good alternatives (except for personal blogs)?


I recommend dev.to for any programming-related stuff. If has far better support for markdown content and embeds like Codepen and similar media.


I've used github pages with a static build tool and would recommend it. It felt like it strike a good balance of having control and letting it hang out forever with no maintenance.


Most technical content on Medium is a waste of time. It's now mostly shallow and low quality. If you are a developer you should have your own blog or write on a platform that's not paywalled. If you are writing to share information do where it will be publicly accessible.


Make an account just to upvote this. Fkn preach brother.


I blocked medium results in my DDG settings.


DDG lets you block sites from results? Time to create a DDG account


It's a browser add-on called something like

DDG Hide unwanted results.


Browser add-on? feh. Heck, I'd sign in to google and let them monitor me explicitly if I could just filter out sites from my results through the standard web interface.


Care to kake a tutorial on medium for that :D


If you find the content useful there, maybe consider paying the $5/month to get access?

Sounds like you place enough value that it would be worth it to you, and you can feel good knowing you're helping contribute a small way back to the author (who gets small proceeds based on how long you read the article) and supporting one of the leading platforms for an ad-free experience to read interesting content without all the distracting popups.


This! It is market dynamics. If the content isn't worth it to you, don't click the link (or don't read it). If everyone agreed there would be few readers and people would stop posting there.

Personally I avoid Medium links, I find that it isn't worth it to me. But I guess for most people it is

The main counter argument I see is that people aren't aware that viewing their content is painful for many. If that is the case then awareness is good. If authors are intentionally using the paywall so that they can get paid I think that is good! However if they think it is just an easy place to share information then I think it is good that we are asking them to reconsider.


My mail issue with Medium, except the paywall, is the clutter. It feels like all the articles are having big, usually unrelated images that make the whole site inclined toward sensationalism.


Thanks for publishing. Have been wanting to say this for a while. Developers posting tech tutorials behind Medium paywalls is deplorable. Just use a different platform.


Maybe I missing something, but I've published several tutorials on Medium, all outside their paywall, and all appearing in google search results. It's a nice blogging platform. Not sure what the issue is.

For instance, this article I wrote is still available outside their paywall: https://medium.com/@alsargent/monitoring-aws-with-telegraf-i...


I doubt paywall is true for all articles. I think paywall applies only to articles that the author elects to get curated by Medium team and gives up monetization opportunity. https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006543813-Frien...


> you are putting them behind a paywall

Read this:

https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018677974

Quote: If you are a writer enrolled in the Partner Program, when you click Publish on a story, you will be prompted to choose whether to make your post eligible to earn money as part of Medium’s metered paywall. [...]

Only writers in the Partner Program see this checkbox. Stories from writers who are not enrolled in the Partner Program will no longer be part of the metered paywall.

So authors obviously have the choice whether their tutorial is behind the metered paywall or not. Here an example of a free article: https://medium.com/@rochus.keller/implementing-call-by-refer.... Can you access it or not?


Learn to use private browser window, man

And don’t spoil market valuation for good guys :)


I don't even know if some of the authors are aware that their contents are now behind a paywall. Yet, people keep recommending those articles as if they're openly accessible (because for some reason they have access). Yesterday someone linked to this series from Guido van Rossum https://medium.com/@gvanrossum_83706/peg-parsers-7ed72462f97.... I opened and was greeted with this message:

Not every story on Medium is free, like this one. Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from.

Upgrade Read any story. Access everything on Medium across all your devices with no limits or ads.

Reward great writing. A portion of your membership fee will go toward the writers you read most.

Considering the author you have to wonder.


Thank you. Completely agree.


Have you heard of anonymous windows ?

"Ctrl shift p"


A useful tip that most people probably wont see, use notion's web scraper, it can get behind the paywalls. Or just set your cookies for medium to delete every time you close the window. I do the same thing for HBR.


> it limits the number of articles that can be freely read.

It's literally right click, 'open in private tab'


THIS !


i stopped reading medium because of large amounts of click bait.


I agree on contributing back to a community and there's many ways to do that. That's not every producer's motivation though. Some do this to get paid and it makes sense to publish behind a paywall to do so.

Follow up question. What are opinions on publishing technical books?


This is a great followup question.

I don't have an opinion on technical books. I buy them. I have ebooks from Amazon to iBooks, to Manning, Apress, Pragprog ....

I don't have something against paying. I have something against subscription paywall. I pay this month and I read something. Then next month if I want to read my subscription needs to be valid.

A book once bought I can read it anytime I want.

Also my main thing is not even with paywall.

It is a trend I saw which I think it makes the path of self-through beginner harder. Also Medium started to appear from time to time higher than other resources.

I am working with some people who are trying to switch to IT and I usually need to explain to them either how to open Medium to read the article or how to go to next resources. I am pretty sure some of them are spending time navigating information. Yes, maybe the solution is to say: go and make a subscription to Medium, but it just raises the bar of entering the IT.

Then my second thing is this: what happens with all that content when Medium decides to go away (pivot, close ...)? It will vanish like many other great content online.


It's like when searching images on Google, you'll find a significant part of them behind Pinterest. I keep hitting Medium when I search and cannot access whatever it is because it's behind their paywall... frustrating.


You can publish on medium and chose not to be behind the paywall. The thing is that most individuals that publish on there want to get paid for it, hence paywall.


Just use https://sugoidesune.github.io/readium - Paywall solved :P


the author can turn off the paywall "feature" they consciously chose to use them, no?


User that right clicks Medium articles and opens them in incognito mode, here: what paywall?


I also request free access to everyone's hard earned knowledge. I deserve it afterall because information wants to be free.


Most people started writing on Medium before the payway and probably would reconsider if they realised the current impact on potential readers.

In addition - does anyone make money worth mentioning from Medium? I thought they were the Spotify of blog payouts. We're funding them, not the writers.


would their articles get much readership without medium? build it and they will come only works if people know about the thing


We seemed to manage quite well before Medium. It's not a portal in the sense that YouTube is. I got to YouTube to find content. I end up on Medium because I found content via some other means.


so people chose medium for no reason?


I presumed it was mainly for ease of use. I might be wrong - anyone here write for Medium who can chime in?


Started writing on Medium a year or so ago, mostly on Swift, RxSwift, SwiftUI, Combine, dependency injection, iOS application architecture, and so on. Will probably make $5-6K this year, which is a heck of lot more I ever made trying to monetize standalone blogs. And since it's cumulative I'll probably do better next year.




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