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Strategic analysis
Should Publishers Use Medium?




Written by on July 5, 2016

With the rise of Medium and its recent push into a more publisher focused model (as opposed to the individual focus it had before) many smaller publishers are asking if Medium should be their new home.

So let's look at that from the perspective of the current media trends.

Before we start, though, I want to point out that the focus of this article is towards small publishers, for two reasons.

  • Firstly, large publishers don't benefit from being on Medium. It would be much more beneficial to build up your own momentum directly, rather than via Medium. If you have to turn to Medium to get traffic, you have much bigger problems.
  • Secondly, while Medium's publishing system is incredibly nice, it very quickly falls short when dealing with the complexities of large publications and their many varied ways to interact with readers. But for smaller publications, the usefulness of Medium is dramatically better.

So in this article, we are going to look at the strategies for smaller publishers, but there are obviously many elements here that also apply to larger publishers.


Medium is awesome, and I would probably use it if I were starting a new publication, but...

When I started publishing online back in 1999, there was only one way to do that. You had to build your own site. The problem with doing that, of course, is that it's incredibly time consuming. Not just building the site itself, but more because of the time it takes every day you want publish something new.

This is a big point of friction. The last thing a journalist or editor wants to spend time on is managing the system. It's like accounting. We all need to do it and it's quite useful once it's done, but we also hate the time we need to spend on it.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


Check out my book: THE SHIFT - from print to digital and beyond? Free for Baekdal Plus subscribers, $8.79 on Amazon.

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