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I get the feeling that a lot of people on this site dislike Medium, either consciously or unconsciously. I think part of it is the fact that it separates content from its creators; I think part of it is that it sprung up the same time as Svbtle, and grew conspicuously ubiquitous whereas Svbtle has remained pretty confined to the tech sphere.

The underlying value proposition by any sort of blogging engine (Posthaven, Medium, Svbtle, et al) is limited to a network, ease of use, and a good design. For most tech people, ease of use is a non-factor (you can extol 'distractions-free design', but you can put vim or Byword in full-screen mode) -- and I think the way people are reading is shifting away from individual sites and towards external services to the extent that design isn't a huge factor (everything looks the same in NewsBlur or Instapaper.)

This leaves the network/audience, which is a much more interesting concept: Svbtle is clearly going for a more curated approach (though the value of that curation is arguable), whereas Medium's trying a bunch of stuff at once (collections, editor's feed, etc.)

I can't help thinking that the winner of this nouveau publishing spectrum isn't going to be a hosting service, but a linking service. You might never get Patrick McKenzie to blog on your platform (because why would he?) but you can always link to his material.




> I get the feeling that a lot of people on this site dislike Medium, either consciously or unconsciously.

I dislike Medium consciously, but not for the reasons you present. I dislike the site because I don't think its prominence here in HN was progressive, but rather very sudden (one month it was nothing special, and the next one it was always on the main page).

That tells me that either Medium is the website to end all websites, a site so popular that it took news sites by storm and whose news cannot be ignored, or that their marketing team is artificially pushing their content in HN to gain views. The fact that they have a main page article discussing how awesome the site is doesn't help either.

Of course, I have no evidence whatsoever of this, but that's how it feels for me. So as suggested by a fellow HN commenter, I just ignore everything from them.


I don't disagree with you whatsoever. It definitely felt more organic to me because I follow a lot of the Obvious Corp. folk on Twitter, but I think it's naive to think that any major tech-focused publication (and I'm being broad with the definition of publication here) doesn't specifically submit stuff to HN.

I have no idea how HN's ranking works, but I wish there was some sort of diminishing return bias against a given top-level URL.


I think you see a sudden surge in submissions because there was a surge in Medium handing out invites and thus more people having access to publish on Medium.


I generally avoid any submissions from Medium unless they have over 100 comments, in which case it is the meta discussion that attracts me and not the Medium post.

The problem I have with Medium is the posts typically lack depth, they are more "sound bites" than articles.


I just simply wonder why so many medium articles have made their way to the front page for an extended period of time.

Some good, some, eh, but propensity of solo-source gets old.


Just for fun, here's a chart showing who submits Medium to HN

(http://imgur.com/pDIyeRM)

EDIT: I should have said, this is only the last 100 posts!

EDIT: increasing the number gives a bad request error. :-/

      urllib2.HTTPError: HTTP Error 400: Bad Request
        File "C:\Python27\lib\urllib2.py", line 527, in http_error_default raise HTTPError(req.get_full_url(), code, msg, hdrs, fp)


Fixed graph here, containing the top 20 posters by number of posts, for 1000/1315 links containing the medium.com domain. (Using R; sorry about the labels)

http://i.imgur.com/WIJ4cT9.png

...wow, 1,000 submissions for a less-than 1 year startup is crazy.

NB: If you want to get more than 100, you need to use the start=0,100,200... parameter which works up to a maximum of 900 with limit=100.


That's excellent, thank you!


The types of posts on Medium coincidentally and conveniently match the interests of the typical HNer. (fighting adversity, never giving up your dreams, changing flawed systems, etc.)


It just isn't innovative. It has a special font and layout, but it's still just paragraphs of text. Neocities is guilty of this as well. They did add a promise of privacy and commitment, but giving someone a textbox to write in just can't really be improved any further.


it's interesting that you say that, since I felt the same way. I never really liked how much the content and the presentation of something where tied together. personally, I built my answer to this as http://xwl.me/, a site that just makes you markdown document beautiful and readable. However, you control what that source document says and where it's hosted.

I found it makes things simple and beautiful for me.


> I think part of it is the fact that it separates content from its creators

I think it's more due to a 3 second loading delay when you are forced to stare at a blank page with no activity indicators.


I can't help thinking that the winner of this nouveau publishing spectrum isn't going to be a hosting service, but a linking service.

It's possible you're right, but I would personally guess in the other direction. I think Tumblr is the most successful example of an approach that focuses on the internal ecosystem more (posts can certainly contain links, but linking outward isn't the focus). Tumblr tends to cover smaller things (1/2-paragraph posts, photos), but that model of an internally focused platform seems like it has room to expand. Whereas the link-based model already competes with a million existing ways to organize links, with varying mixes of voting, curation, and algorithms: Reddit, HN, Twitter, Slashdot, Prismatic, BoingBoing, etc.


"For most tech people, ease of use is a non-factor"

If you're still looking for simplicity (minus the network) you might give http://postagon.com a shot.


I like your comment, and your last name. I have an Uncle named Jim. This isn't him, is it?

That would be quite the coincidence.

---

I think the next best blogging platform will be one that does what WordPress used to do. I have my eyes on Ghost, which claims to be a minimalistic blogging system that you have full control over.

It's interesting you mention a linking service. I am actually working somewhat of a linking/sharing/status service that will put salience on the conversation instead of the publishing.


I dropped Wordpress in favor of http://anchorcms.com earlier this year. It's a little raw, not even to 1.0 yet, but quite functional and very lightweight.


Ghost was a good idea but seems to be dead. Last post I can find is from last year. It's design inspired my own service however which was a nice silver lining.


Ghost just had a successful Kickstarter last month that raised ~200k. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/johnonolan/ghost-just-a-.... Not sure how you missed that. It's on the first page of Google results.


You may just have something different and great with the "private writing." Seriously does anyone care 1 million people read them, or a select 100, maybe even a select 10 then you can have a meaningful discussion with those. Private writing sounds more innovative to me then Medium, Sbvtle, and the likes.




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