All I could do was shake my head when I saw the post from John Gruber that mentioned Medium no longer allowing folks to use custom domains for their Medium-hosted publications (read: blogs). The alternative solution is to resort to a
medium.com/publication URL. That sounds fantastic. /s
It seems like only yesterday that I posted about Medium supporting custom domains, though it was really over three years ago.
While old URLs will continue to work, this flies in the face of anyone expecting any kind of long-term stability and consistency from the service and company. This change reminded me of a post from a friend of mine about how self-hosting is the most safe and sustainable option. A couple years later, that’s still the case.
Gruber sums it up well:
There is tremendous strength in independence and decentralization.
and Rafat Ali takes Medium to task (and rightfully so):
This needs to be said, without any personal malice: Medium has been an utter failure on all fronts, including behaving as an ethical, reliable player in the larger media ecosystem. I can’t wait for it to go away and more responsible alternatives to emerge. https://t.co/XcGFdYAWfY
— Rafat Ali رفعت (@rafat) September 5, 2018
Seeing Medium take this course–into blanket depersonalization of authors and content–makes me a bit sad. I have always loved their editor and I knew they were doing something right when WordPress introduced a similarly-behaving editorial experience.
The problem isn’t cost, or the tech — it’s users. Medium has momentum, still, as the place-of-record for web writing, much as YouTube is it for video. It’s a shaky foundation. No business model, huge money already invested. Not a good situation.
Without a definite revenue stream (being a Paywall as a Service doesn’t count), I wonder where Medium plans on heading next. Maybe they’ll limit word counts? Maybe most articles will cost money–a la Wall Street Journal? Or better still… good old-fashioned ads? Who am I kidding old-fashioned ads aren’t in style, anymore. these ads will have a cargo ship’s worth of tracking tech baked in.
I joke… but it’s probably coming.