Good article. It’s easy to forget how many great features there are on Medium.
As a web developer, I know the pain of people who want to move their sites from proprietary platforms like squarespace. Even worse, hosting companies like GoDaddy provide Word Press “templates” that can’t be used anywhere else. The ability to export your work from Medium (there will be some extra work to reformat the text, but it’s minimal) is a wonderful feature.
Your main point about wanting writer pages to have the same features as publications is the reason I create so many publications. The down side is I don’t submit a lot of articles to the big publications which would help me build a larger readership, or increase my chances to have an article featured on Medium.
During a two-week period last summer, I analyzed the featured articles appearing above the fold and determined the most popular topics and the source of the articles:
Only 6 of Medium’s 205 “best stories” came from the 230,000 writers who did NOT write for a Medium-owned publication.
Of those 6 stories, 2 came from Freakonomics Radio, a major media show with a huge following, and 3 more stories came from a small publication featuring a group of writers.
That left one story being written by a single and relatively “unknown” author.
It turned out that those “small publications” were Humungus and Wisecrack. And the one story written by a single and relatively “unknown” author was eventually published on Zora.
My only disagreement with you is about the main reason writers ask people to go “off” Medium.
Most calls-to-action involve asking people to leave Medium to sign up for a writer’s mailing list so they can send you back on Medium.
You know how broken the reader feed is here. If your articles aren’t curated, they are buried within ten minutes under a hundred other articles that show up in the tiny “New from your network” section of the home page. If you articles are curated, they are buried within a couple of days under all the other curated articles.
But if someone subscribes to a writer’s “newsletter,” they see article links so they can instantly find a writer’s most current work. And they can go back to the email later so there is a way (besides bookmarking the article) to find it in the future.