I’ve enabled the new WordPress plugin that cross-posts my blog to my Medium profile.
It’s my latest attempt to advance my understanding of online publishing and the economics of writing. Previously, I had tried to do a similar cross-posting to Quora, but despite having a decent number of followers, it didn’t really take off. I suspect that blogging was not a particularly successful initiative.
The Accidental Tech Podcast actually had a pretty good discussion about writing on Medium, or at least cross-posting content there from one’s own blog. The gist is that while writing on one’s own private blog is the purest expression of ownership of content and personal brand1, Medium’s distribution and readership have great value. Ben Evans makes the point that the hardest part about writing online—and perhaps trying to make a living off of it—is getting folks to read your work. That is, content creators will be forced to go to where the audience is.
The plugin will enable me to test this theory. Of course, I’ve built a relatively small audience via Twitter, but once in a while I’ll get traffic by posting on Hacker News as well. On the Medium side, they also leverage Twitter’s social graph, but their philosophy should also surface my posts to people either through their own social network or, hopefully, via links from similar content.
Then again, I’d also be giving up some of my lucrative banner advertising.
Though its disingenuous for the ATP guys to keep on making fun of “branding” in condescending tones and eye-rolling language even as they’re building exactly that via their own blogs, podcasts, etc.↩