Jeremy Keith’s post on owning his own words has reminded me about the importance of running your own blog in your own space that you control. Of course, I’ve long been a supporter of this idea, but I’m afraid the ease-of-use of Medium has pulled me over to the dark side where I’ve recently been more prolific. Of course, the “barrier to entry” that Jeremy cites is not the only reason I moved to Medium. It is easier to compose there, largely because of the great work they’ve done on a web-based editor. But the main reason I started posting on Medium has been engagement. I simply get more engagement (views, ??s, comments, re-shares, tweets) on my Medium posts than I ever did on my blog. Case in point: I wouldn’t have read Jeremy’s original post if I hadn’t seen it on Medium (sorry, Jeremy). There’s a value to the platform that Medium provides. But there’s also a value to owning your own words. I’m also a little disappointed that Medium keeps trying to push their app on me when I’m on mobile devices instead of building a great progressive web app, but that’s a different story.
I run this blog on a self-installed WordPress. So today I’m experimenting with a WordPress plugin for Medium which may allow me to have my cake and eat it too. I’m going to use the blog as the primary platform and see whether I can still get the same level of engagement on Medium.
Update: After making this post, I discovered that subsequent edits to the WordPress post are not reflected on Medium so that’s one strike unfortunately against this method. Why can’t anything ever be easy?
Also published on Medium.
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Thanks for sharing, and for sharing here on this domain. I think the point about control is important, but it’s also a spectrum. Just having your writing available on a domain name you control means that you can change providers (including to Medium, if you like it’s editor at the moment) but not be quite so threatened that when their software changes or service closes that your words are lost.
Running the software yourself gives you additional levels of control, and lets you make different choices than others about your blog, which is part of the diversity we so enjoy about the Web. Of course, that comes with the burden of having to make those choices and maintain that software. Indeed, it’s not ever easy.
Thank you so much, Nick, for writing a comment on my blog that wasn’t spam!