10 Comments

  1. Bruce Maples

    I have mixed emotions about the Medium change.

    On the one hand, as a for-profit publisher trying to make it in the media space, I am sympathetic to the forces driving their decisions. Advertising is dead or dying. Donations only go so far. Writers should be paid, as should other contributors. “Free” is great until you have to meet a payroll.

    On the other hand, as someone who has signed up for the Medium partner program and started putting our articles behind their paywall, I have noticed that articles that once would have gotten numerous views are now getting many less views. The difference has been dramatic.

    Fortunately for us, we have our own site and other channels, and are not solely dependent on Medium. (Good thing.) We did the partner thing to see if it would generate some income. So far, I think we’ve made seven cents.

    We have moved to a flexible paywall (a la NYT) and so far it seems to be the best solution we’ve tried.

    Thank you for the article. I was unaware of Medium’s actions toward publishers who don’t put things behind the paywall. I think I’ll try that for a while, just to see what happens.

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  2. Leonardo Losoviz

    If Medium doesn’t drive traffic to your (not paywalled) articles anymore, then there’s certainly no need to host your articles on Medium anymore. Medium’s other advantage, its shiny UX, could’ve made a difference back in the day, but nowadays it is not so special anymore: We can build similar features through native JS and CSS capabilities, and WordPress is certainly catching up through Gutenberg.

    Even more, Medium’s stance to sign up users on its site is certainly aggressive, displaying that unwelcoming welcome message “Let’s make this official, you’ve been here 5 times this month, it’s time for you to sign up” which makes me want to close the tab immediately. And also, reading articles with code feels awkward, since the code is not pretty-printed. If your publication is all about code, then hosting it on Medium is making a disservice to your readers.

    It will take time to provide a real alternative that can generate heavy traffic to your articles as Medium once did. I think the most sensible way forward is to set-up your own website, share its content with other sites through the IndieWeb, and implement your own strategy to attract people to the site (eg: which other sites do you want to share your content with? Can you ask them to join the IndieWeb too?). This video by Tantek Çelik, promoting the IndieWeb, explains the case against Facebook, but it applies against Medium too.

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  3. Graham Armfield

    One of the criticisms of Medium from accessibility specialists has been that Medium does not support alternate text for images, and seems to have no interest in doing so.

    Alternate text provided with the alt attribute is of course helpful in explaining the meaning/content of an image for those who can’t see it, or if the image doesn’t load for some reason.

    I’m hoping that the new freeCodeCampNews site allows for alternate text for images in articles.

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  4. Jason

    Oh that’s a shocker of a news imo. Because of being on medium, I was able to discover so many of the valuable articles of FreeCodeCamp that I wouldn’t have discovered on any other platform. But I agree with Quincy that FCC has definitely outgrown medium and needs a place of its own.

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  5. Anh Tran

    Why didn’t freeCodeCamp move to WordPress? Just wondering!

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