Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

Medium things

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/89
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AI generated summary: The author explains that they have been busy with work and reworking their German blog on Medium, but they have decided to move their blog back to a self-hosted platform due to changes in Medium's focus on monetization, and they no longer recommend Medium for writers who just want to share their words. However, the author still manages a Medium publication for Android developers and is considering a deal with Medium for income from paywalled articles.

I didn’t wrote something for the last days, because I was busy with two things. First: Because there are currently semester breaks I’m at work again and there I already spent the whole days coding and looking at screens. Second: I was busy reworking the Medium archive on my German blog.

Next to this (English language) blog, I also have a German blog focusing mainly on other interests of myself. I don’t really limit topics on both though. einGeek was hosted on Medium for most of it’s time after I failed with a WordPress-based setup. I was too distracted writing by customizing things, playing with the server etc. that I decided to move the blog to Medium. Back then Medium was a great blog hosting option. Offering custom domain support, being completely free and having a nice interface.

Unfortunately Medium has to make money too to satisfy investors interests and so things changed over time. They are now focusing more on writers who want to make money out of their words instead of people like me who wanted to use it as some free CMS. Why should they donate the platform after all? I understand their position somehow.

Therefor I decided to move einGeek back to a self-hosted platform. Beginning with only publishing new articles on the self-hosted CMS while keeping Medium as some kind of archive for old articles. Until I migrated that new self-hosted blog from Ghost to the more flexible static site generator Hugo which I now use for all my websites. Then I also exported all those articles, setup redirects and unpublished articles on Medium, so that they are invisible but still available for me in case the export did some mistakes and I need to fix them.

That fixing was done by me a few days ago. I went through every article, removed unnecessary header images, fixed styling, broken links and also some typos. Now every article in that archive should finally appear in a similar way I originally published it on Medium and it allowed me to finally delete those hidden articles from Medium.

I wouldn’t recommend Medium anymore for someone who wants to write for the sake of writing and sharing words for others to just read them. The semi-forced paywall and the annoying popups aren’t really user friendly. And because Medium is only recommending paywall articles anymore, the benefit of the large audience is also gone. It’s great though for writers who want to earn some money for the effort they put into writing. The best way to benefit from Medium is to republish articles from one’s own blog to also avoid provider lock-in. – It’s an unpopular opinion, but I think this monetization model is still better than advertising instead.

However I am still in charge of managing one of the top Medium publications focused on providing articles for Android developers. People can submit their articles to AndroidPub, someone of a few selected editors or myself will check submitted articles and publish them. Writers are free to put their articles behind the paywall – if they want to. Unpaywalled articles won’t be recommended next to other articles by the Medium algorithm, but subscribers (and this publication has a lot of subscribers) get to see them though.

Medium asked me multiple times if we want to make a deal that I get some share of income for paywalled articles in the publication. Unfortunately the legal situation is quite complicated for me and I didn’t setup a business yet. I also don’t really know if it’s worth the effort for me. Sure, I would get some money, but doing the legal work is a lot of work and in the past I also curated articles to help developers instead of getting some benefits myself. People told my how helpful that publication is to them.

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Jan-Lukas Else
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