Goodbye Medium, Hello Ghost

Ryan den Rooijen
Ryan den Rooijen

When I started writing my weekly blog posts in January, I picked Medium as my publishing platform because it looked friendly, was easy to set up, and had so many cool kids using it. Even before I had written a single word, I figured that featuring my material on Medium would allow me to bask in the community's reflected credibility. However, half a year in the sheen has worn off to the extent that I have now bid Medium farewell. Let me explain why.

It feels strange to have Medium putting locks on my posts without my permission. Photo by Ian Britton.

Firstly, Medium allows you to opt your articles into their metered paywall. This means that if your article gets selected for distribution, Medium will monetise your article by restricting readership to those with Medium accounts. Seems fair, particularly as I never expected to get anywhere near the readership to pique Medium's interest. However, I found out that Medium was still showing login/registration walls to users even when my articles were not opted in to the metered paywall. Writes one reader:

I do not have a Medium account and after reading a few articles Medium seemed intent on making me log in before letting me access further content. However, it seemed I could only sign in with Google or Facebook accounts, which I didn't want to do. So sadly I stopped reading your articles, which I was otherwise highly motivated to do as I find them both entertaining and insightful.  

Secondly, while Medium offer their own tracking, this is a bit of a clunky affair when you are looking to develop a holistic view of your readership. Having the ability to use a more comprehensive solution like Google Analytics is very appealing to those who care about data. At the end of the day, the number of degrees of freedom you have to customise your blog on Medium is rather limited. Some will not care about this, but in my case it made enough of a difference that I figured it was time for a change.

Insert Ghost town joke here. Photo by Thomas Hawk.

Therefore I have decided to post today's – and any future articles – on this website. While the domain name is mine, the platform is something called Ghost. Not only does it feel easy to navigate like Medium, but even someone with limited creative skills like myself is able to make this website look palatable. If you are interested in a head to head platform comparison, here is a rather biased yet effective web page to that effect. While not a community like Medium, it will hopefully allow more people to read my posts without being harassed with endless sign in prompts. Happy reading!

— Ryan

Ryan den Rooijen

Chief Strategy Officer of Appsbroker CTS, the leading Google-dedicated consultancy. Formerly Chief Ecom & Data Officer.