Is Republishing To Medium Worth It?

If you are reading this on Medium and have seen other posts of mine in the past month, tell me if you think it’s been worth it for me to republish what is on Feld Thoughts to my Brad Feld channel on Medium.

I’ve been using the Medium WordPress plugin to republish my posts automatically. It’s generally not much effort, although there are a few bugs. The most annoying is that when I publish something on WordPress, update it, and then publish it again, it doesn’t update on Medium.

Yesterday my WordPress database automatically updated and published a pile of posts from 2006 and 2007 to Medium. It also filled up my drafts on Medium, which eventually caused Medium to rate limit me (it seems like that happened around 100 posts). I didn’t want the old posts up on Medium so I went through and deleted them. That was a pain in the ass as Medium doesn’t have a bulk delete feature and I had to do it one by one. That prompted me to ask the question as to whether this has been a useful experiment.

While Medium says I have 51,000 followers, it looks like I get about 1,000 views per post and between 10 and 50 likes. So – that’s a little incremental exposure, but a very low percentage of the people who follow me, which is interesting.

I’ve had a lot of trouble engaging in comments and feedback on Medium. Some of it is the UI, some of it is time, and some is modality. I do almost all my responses to comments on WordPress via email, which Disqus handles extremely well. Medium, on the other hand, doesn’t have a reply by email feature.

Any thoughts, especially from the Medium side? Feedback welcome.


Also published on Medium.

  • The writers on medium tend to be wannabe grandiose.

  • Double-publish if you must, but hopefully the thought won’t cross your mind to entirely migrate your blog there. Mark Suster did and it’s a bummer as far as I’m concerned.

    • I already explored that and decided against it.

    • Rob Larson

      Mario – why do you say that? (what about Mark’s move bums you out?)

      • I read four blogs “religiously” (wrong word but anyways) and have done so for a long while. Brad’s and Mark’s are in that small group. I’m used to the comment interaction and dynamic on Disqus. Since Mark has moved to Medium, I can’t stand the interaction personally: it has lost the intimacy of a “small corner” where you can interact with the author; it now feels I’m in a big room where everyone can ask questions but you’re not going to get the same response. I won’t even read the comments on Mark’s Medium-based blog, much less leave one at this point. Brad’s disposition to engage is unmatched by anyone in the tech industry, to my knowledge, and so the “small corner” approach provides the optimum experience to engage with him IMO. If I’m reading a blog post from someone I don’t have an engagement dynamic with — Chris Dixon, for example — then I don’t mind reading it on Medium, as I won’t be commenting; or if I do, I don’t expect more than a very distanced reply, if there is one at all.

        In short, if you regularly engage with a blogger, you may prefer to make the effort to visit their site every time they post. This is my view and it and it may not be representative of the majority, but it is how I currently feel about the engagement dynamic on Medium. And I would be curious to know whether there are others who feel the same.

        • Rob Larson

          Fair point. Like many small social institutions (the quirky club, the exclusive party, the fringe sport), the social dynamics change if/when they become popular, to the disappointment of the original crowd.

  • alek_komarnitsky

    As an old Sysadmin,we’d replicate information for redundancy, performance, etc. But it’s critical to have a synchronization process in place. Similarly, duplicating your posts elsewhere only seems to make sense if it is auto-synced … not just in your content, but I think also in the comments. I “got it” that people want to engage a wider audience by posting to the various social media platforms (Medium, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.) but at least for me, if I want to read Brad Feld’s musings (and (excellent) book reports – on wait list for Dark Matter!), the logical spot to look is at Feld.com … 😉

  • I tried posting on Medium and found it less useful and with less audience than on my regular blog. I guess Medium is good for those posting rarely occasional thoughts, without having own blog. Arguably it’s not that good for consistent blogging. Mark Suster moving there really made his blog to be less easy to read and comment. Liked so much better his previous blog setup.

    I guess Medium could be considered as just another channel, like Facebook or Twitter, to share link to original post to find audience and bring it back to main content and comments–posting only one or two paragraphs with link back to original blog to read more.

  • David Fox

    This is a good example of the challenges faced by new entrants in established markets. As well funded, connected and tech savvy as the Medium team is, it’s tough going up against a platform with thousands of developers making it better every day. Though not really a competitor to Medium, Squarespace appears to have made the combination of simple/good work vs WordPress. That said, I was surprised to see just how much traffic Medium has garnered (though both enable custom domains so this graph doesn’t tell the complete story) https://www.similarweb.com/website/squarespace.com?competitors=medium.com.

  • I have so many places I could look each day that email is still the one constant. I subscribe to people on medium but I only see their posts if Medium sends me them in my email summary. I have followed your posts for years. The constant has always been email subscription from your blog.

    • David Fox

      +1

  • One other point – for me Medium is about exposing your content to new people not speaking to your established audience.

  • I view Medium more as a complement to our blog. Specifically for posts that are different enough in tone, character and/or content. These might annoy regular readers but they also may appeal to a broader audience that might not know about us already. For example while I might post something on specific portfolio updates via our blog and email – I used Medium for a post about the experience of applying a new approach to one of our portfolios.

    I’m doing it as an experiment too, just to see what happens. Like you I’ve had few views there relative to our existing following but I’ll give it some time.