Starting Over On Medium
A couple of years back, I wrote a few stories on Medium. I thought it would be good place for things that didn’t quite fit on my…
A couple of years back, I wrote a few stories on Medium. I thought it would be good place for things that didn’t quite fit on my photography blog. Due to a variety of reasons, my writing on Medium ended up being rather short lived. I wasn’t making time consistently and favored updating my primary blog, mostly with more trivial updates on my photography pursuits, rather than the more thoughtful and reflective writing I’d hoped to engage in on Medium.
The current pandemic has prompted me to re-evaluate a lot of things in my life. The economic uncertainty we face, in addition to the health crisis, has me scrutinizing my spending. Every dollar I spend gets more consideration than ever before and one of the things I decided to cut out of my budget was my personal photography and blog website hosted by Squarespace. Since I have long maintained a Smugmug account for storing and sharing my photos, Squarespace was little more than a pricey blog platform for me.
I let my Squarespace account lapse last month and with that, my old blog content is no more. It’s time for a fresh start. My initial thought was to just use what I already have — Smugmug. With a bit of patience and a lot of work, I was able to get the general look and feel of what I’d built for my photo portfolio on Squarespace. However, after several hours of trying to manipulate web pages one by one to get the look I was after for a blog, I threw in the towel. I wanted a simple, uncluttered, elegant look…kind of like Medium. Why reinvent the wheel?
The only problem to solve was how to integrate my “blog” posts elegantly and seamlessly with my Smugmug site. After some experimentation, the solution I settled on is to create URL linked photos on a page, redirecting to friend links of the Medium stories that I want to share on my Smugmug site. Medium complements the minimalist design of my Smugmug site quite well. Using the friend link allows my site visitors to pass through to Medium without being pay wall blocked on any stories that may have been curated behind the wall.
While I can actually do what I want with Medium for free as a writer, I am paying for a yearly subscription. I believe in supporting web services that I use. In fact, I don’t want free stuff because I don’t want providers like Medium to have to resort to damned advertisements. The price is about a third of what I used to pay Squarespace, so it’s a win for me. Getting to read stuff that I was previously blocked on by the pay wall is a bonus.
Is Medium perfect for me? No, but it checks most of the boxes. What don’t I like? I’m sick of the social media “like” games and could do without the clap system. Yes, I know it generates revenue for some. That’s not why I’m here though. I’m also more than a little annoyed that Medium considers my comments on other people’s stories to be my stories and wants to show them as such in my story listing. Really hate that. Seriously, stop that shit. If there is a way to turn that off that I’m missing, somebody please enlighten me.
I’m quite aware there are many other ways to host a blog. Sure, I could have moved to Wordpress for about the same price. Then I’d have to find a template I like, probably spend time customizing it, blah, blah. Since Medium already has most of what I want and all I have to do is write, I think this is the way to go for me. Time will tell. Hello, Medium. We meet again.