Medium is a platform that allows you to earn money from your writing.
Although I do understand that writers want to get recognized and give the possibility to their readers to support their work, I am convinced that, as a service, Medium is unnecessary.
Using Medium for articles about programming
It does not encourage quality, especially in the programming community.
Authors have an especially horrible code block at their disposal, without the possibility to style it, and they end up hosting the code somewhere else, using GitHub Gists, which can stop working (and did stop working for a while), at any moment, or, even worse, they end up using images 🤮.
If you are part of the programming community, and you use Medium because you do not know how to set up a personal blog for free, then whatever you have to write loses credibility.
Furthermore, the fact that it is so easy to put a paywall in front of your content, can convince you that you should enable such a paywall, regardless of the quality or regardless of the goal your content has.
Each article should have a specific purpose: some of them are meant to lead organic traffic to you, some others are meant to establish your authority, and some others are meant to convert readers to customers, whatever customer means to your specific case.
You definitely do not want to hide behind a paywall the first type of article. But it is too easy to forget that and hide all your articles, instead.
And I am not the only one thinking it in this way.
So now I am in this situation where there might be a cool article on Medium I might want to read, but I already read three low-quality articles today, reaching the quota for free articles if you do not have an account.
In today’s age of accounts overload, companies make it easy for us to just create another free account. Giving away your email address and other personal information to more and more companies, and to other companies with whom they work.
Furthermore, having more accounts means having a higher probability of getting your information into the hands of hackers and spammers.
For these reasons, I try to keep new registrations with my personal information to a minimum.
Medium own thirst for new users backfires
How can we, then, read one more article without an account?
Medium needs to allow search engines to access the entire article, without accounts, because search engines only use bots for scraping new content. Medium needs it to get articles in the result pages of search engines.
And we are going to exploit exactly this.
On Google, on the search result page, we can click on the small triangle next to the title of the article we want to read, in order to access the cached version:
and then click on Text-only version: