Freecodecamp is leaving Medium

#1

I just got an email saying that freecodecamp, the largest publication on Medium, is leaving Medium.

Here’s a direct quote from the announcement:

But over the past year, Medium has become more aggressive toward us. They have pressured us to put our articles behind their paywalls. We refused. So they tried to buy us. (Which makes no sense. We’re a public charity.) We refused. Then they started threatening us with a lawyer.

It’s not just us. They are doing this to a lot of publications. And a lot of high profile people from the developer community are leaving Medium as a result.

It’s unfortunate to see what was once an excellent platform decay and rot like this.

I wrote my very first blog post on Medium, and I loved its simplicity and principles. No ads, no complex set up, no fees for writers to publish, easy sharing. These days, all I see on Medium is “Oops, you’ve exceeded your free limit. Sign up to be a member for $5/month”.

On the bright side, though, this has encouraged great projects like Hackernoon 2.0. As for freecodecamp, they’re launching a new site - https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/

I hope we’ll see more independent sites like Hacknernoon 2.0 and freecodecamp news pop up soon.

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#2

Medium has always been hostile to publications, except in the beginning. No tools, no promotion, no domain, unfair competition by its own flagship publications. Truth is, they want to be a magazine, and independent publications - despite what they say - are not welcome.

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#3

I’m happy with it! especially when I receive a notification from medium and 80% of featured articles are under paywall. So I assume my articles at HN2.0 will get more views due to better algorythm, without any hidden “terms” or wishes…

What is buzzing me - that one of investors in Medium is O`Reilly CEO and how he is ok with it i don’t know.

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#4

I’m fairly new to Medium (just over a year), but I don’t think it was always meant to be that way. Last year, “not silencing voices” was heavily emphasized. Writers could get paid without putting their articles behind a paywall. They didn’t have many of these new publications that I keep getting email promotions about (all paywalled, by the way).

I think a lot of their restrictions were well-intentioned and were to promote simplicity and prevent people from adding ads that would diminish the reading experience.

However, something went very wrong, because all Medium is now is one giant ad for the $5 membership, and they’ve denied heavily requested features like better analytics that certainly wouldn’t detract from the reading experience.

This could all be because their business model might not have been sustainable. But I fear that by the time we find out, most of the big publications will be off the platform anyway.

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#5

I’ve been on Medium for two years and I can confirm that it changed. At that time, many bloggers saw it as a platform. And you’re right that Medium paid attention to avoid ads, and that has been good for the experience. Then they added the paywall thing (lights and shadows there, but mostly welcome). But soon also switched to a model heavily based on the editorial effort, recruiting dozens of editors, and even commissioning stories from outside. Now, being featured by Medium, according their editorial taste (about US politics, pseudoscience, feminism, and other trendy and pop topics), is the only way to get results.
In the meanwhile, no tools, no new changes that - as you say - wouldn’t detract to the reading experience, and would only be positive. No surprise what happened to Hackernoon and other publications. Those publications will move. But the little ones are just be doomed.

#6

I seen your post on reddit. I actually spoke to Quincy directly about why they are leaving medium. It makes sense, but I wish they would stay.

#7

It’s not just freecodecamp: I just got an email that Decentralize.Today is leaving too!

These publications are lucky that they managed to get their custom domain before Medium deprecated it, meaning they don’t have to inform readers of their URL change and re-earn their SEO rank and everything.

It’s also nice to see them using Ghost, which I hear has a minimalist editor like Medium while packing all the features of a WordPress-like CMS. Including (yay!) multiple authors for an article.

I run a small publication on Medium, which unfortunately doesn’t have the resources to break away yet. A lot of our traffic still comes on Medium (heavily dependent on whether editors choose it or not; fortunately for us they usually do). And we certainly don’t have money to pay for Ghost hosting or self-hosting.

@Ajay is right—something has certainly gone wrong with Medium. Perhaps they’re desperate to monetise, and we publications are the collateral. I’m slightly anxious about publications moving off, because it means we have less “on our side” in Medium, but on the other hand they’ll hopefully work out a standard procedure/setup so others can easily move off as well.

#8

I emailed Quincy after few days when situation with HN goes on fire at Twitter - he told me that they didn’t know about it. So I share all details :slight_smile:

Another Big Magazine doing out

https://medium.com/signal-v-noise/signal-v-noise-exits-medium-56c483d827fc

#9

That’s so sad to hear @badrihippo. AMI (the parent company of Hacker Noon) still owns 15 other publications on Medium. We are still holding on and stayin on your side! (trying to, that is). Perhaps you can connect with people like Dan Moore who runs PS I love you? Happy to connect. He’s going the route of staying on Medium as well.

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#10

Oh yes, I had forgotten about all the other AMI publications! Glad to know they’re still around :slight_smile:

And yes, connecting sounds like a good idea. (My co-editor has actually written a few pieces for PS I Love You as well). Thanks for the suggestion!