I gave up using Medium

31 January 2018

A week ago I decided to remove all my publications from Medium. I've been using Medium together with my blog to publish articles, and also to find content from other publishers. I like how clean the design of the platform is, and how easy it is to discover new content based on other publications that you liked. However, several reasons made me decide to stop using it, remove my posts and focus on my personal blog instead. These are the reasons:

  • Pull vs push: I became anti-push products or technologies. For me, push products are those who push content to you, instead of expecting you to appeal to the product whenever you want. In other words, opening a website to read something because you want to read at this particular moment, instead of getting notifications every time there's something new that "you might like". I hate that products try to guess what and when I might need something. I hate that from Facebook, I hate that from marketing emails, I hate that from Amazon. Medium does it as well, and I don't like it. We have a saying in Spanish that says: "don't want for others, what you don't want for you". Since I don't like being pushed with new content, I don't want others to feel the same when I publish an article. We are overwhelmed with a lot of streams of information every day, and I don't want to add up to that stream. I don't want to be feeding machine learning engines, and recommendation algorithms to spread my blog post around the world. I don't care if I don't reach that many people, or if my blog posts are not read by as many people as they used to be. I'm caring more about people's time, and since I can't change the way most of the products work, I'll stop being part of them. The people that like reading what I write can always use a convenient web feed format called RSS. I'm using it a lot these days, and have it setup on my desktop and mobile phone to read whenever I feel I'd like to read something.

  • Content: Ultimately, I don't find any good blog post on Medium. The homepage is full of sensationalist and superficial blog posts that have no value at all. "7 tips to have a successful life", "Why you should start your own company", "How meditation changed my life", "8 reasons why you should invest on Bitcoins", "Why you should use Kotlin". Not sure if it's their recommendation algorithm that doesn't work well with my profile, but I don't like most of the posts that I find there. As I said, I set up my RSS client again, and I subscribed to the blogs whose content I like because they are well written, with strong arguments, and with a lot of value.

  • Claps: Most of the things on the Internet are built around the need humans have of being recognized, including Medium. It's all about the impact: the likes that you got on your publication, the people that watched your Instagram stories, the retweets on your last tweet or the stars on your GitHub repository. On Medium the impact is measured by claps, and in some way is a mechanism to hook publishers into the platform and get them to write more. Have you ever thought about the profound effect this subtle thing has in your mind? You end up publishing more because you want to get more claps the next time. That doesn't go with me, and even though I've suffered it in the past, I don't want to publish anymore driven by the recognition on a platform.

  • Jekyll: I like the flexibility Jekyll offers me. I can write my blog posts using Markdown, easily add code examples, add Ruby code to automate the project generation or use Javascript to add components to the website. As a developer, having such flexibility is something that I like a lot. Moreover, using only Jekyll, I don't have to maintain the blog posts in two places. I didn't have anything automated, so when I wrote a blog post, I copied and pasted it into Medium. When there was a typo, I had to fix it in on both sides. I don't have to do that anymore. There's a single source of truth, and I have full control over it. It's an open source git repository on GitHub. I can deploy the site to any hosting service. The content that I write is not used to run businesses with it. It's a content that I write because I like sharing all the work that I do and the things that I learn. It's not a business, it's knowledge that should be shared on the open Internet.

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