๐Ÿ‘ป Ghosting Medium ๐Ÿ“ฐ

Sometime back, I decided to try writing some blog posts on Medium. It felt cool; the experience was clean and refreshing; it was exciting!

Heck, when finally Medium launched support for custom domains, I set up not one, but two pulications!

Before switching those blogs to Medium, I had been trying them out on self-hosted Ghost instances. I really liked the ideas behind Ghost -- I've created dozen+ websites using Wordpress and I was happy to see a fresh take.

Ghost was under rapid development though, and compared to Wordpress' ginormous ecosystem around themes, plugins and update-workflows, Ghost was still in it's infancy. As an example, here's the script I was running in a cronjob to keep my Ghost instances up-to-date:

#!/bin/bash

sudo service pm2-init.sh stop

pushd ghosts
rm -f *zip
wget https://ghost.org/zip/ghost-latest.zip

for g in dig blog
do
  pushd $g
  rm -rf core node_modules
  unzip -uo ../ghost-latest.zip
  npm install --production
  popd
done
popd

sudo service pm2-init.sh start

Since then, Ghost has come a long way -- AMP support, new editor backed (Mobiledoc), ghost-cli and so much more!

Meanwhile, Medium went through some radical changes as well, most of which I wasn't a fan of:

  • Laid off 1/3 of the workforce in the name of renewed focus. Those impacted included a dear friend.
  • Medium introduced claps as a way of incentivizing content creators. There have been plenty of passionate opinions on claps, nothing new for me to add.
  • Changed their logo. Again. Unclear if this was a slam dunk.
  • Started charging $75 (one-time payment) for custom domains. No big deal, but it's all about alignment. More on this later.

Overall, while I'm cautiously optimistic about Medium's attempt to incentivize content creation, it's clear that Medium is not prioritizing ad-hoc writers who don't care about monetization. Which is a totally fine strategy for them to pursue.

And so here I am, back to Ghost. Of course, I'm not ghosting Medium in any real sense (I didn't even know what "ghosting" meant until a year ago when this excellent Wired article came out) -- I'm still reading a lot of great content on Medium, every day.