Why I can’t (yet) commit 100% to Medium

My current blogging workflow looks like this:

  1. Write a story on Medium’s editor because it has by far the best writing environment I know of.
  2. Copy what I wrote to my other blog (hosted on Posthaven), do some light formatting edits and publish it there first.
  3. Come back to Medium, Import Story, format again and Publish.

This process is cumbersome and I wish I could just publish everything on Medium and call it a day. The platform has by far the best writing and reading experience but a few elements make me jump through these hoops, namely:

  • URL’s: I don’t like how URL’s look on Medium and I love how they do on Posthaven (http://blog.cherif.ca/b2c-relationship-building vs https://medium.com/@cherif/b2c-relationship-building-d0ba81e2bd0) This is not just an aesthetic preference but a very practical one. With simple persistent URL’s, I am not tied to a platform forever. I can change platform any day, choose the same URL taxonomy and my content will stay accessible through the same links. I have been around the internet long enough to know that platforms and publications come and go and I want to hedge myself around this in the long-term.
  • Custom domains: I prefer to host my stuff on my own domain and Medium does not currently allow that (other than for a few selected publications at the moment).
  • SEO: This might be related to the two points above and is entirely anecdotal (n=3) but I think that my Posthaven blog has better SEO that my Medium posts. For example, if I search for “Withings Activité review Cherif”, my Posthaven review shows up first but my Medium review is nowhere to be found. 
  • Emails: I have a small number of friends and strangers who subscribed on my Posthaven and receive my posts by email. They can reply to these emails to comment. For my readers who are not, this mechanism is invaluable for distribution. Medium allows Publication owners to write “letters” to their audience but this process is not as elegant as on Posthaven.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Posthaven is far from being the perfect platform. Some long-awaited features are taking forever to be implemented (Garry Tan writes about this here) and their feature-set is pretty minimal. But in the end, I really trust the team. You can read their pledge here and I am sure it will give you the same warm and fuzzy feeling. They did the right thing when they shut down Posterours and I trust that they will do the same thing if they ever decide to shut down Posthaven. Actually, I don’t even really need to trust them with anything since I can just take my content and leave any day.

To be clear, I am NOT delusional about the value of my writing. I don’t have any philosophical qualms about “someone else getting richer on the back of my content” and I am not obsessive about “controlling my online brand”. I just want a blog that will stand the test of time and makes it easy for people to find me. I love Medium and I will continue to be an active participant on this platform but can’t yet commit to it 100% until the above is fixed.