The perennial question when creating #content is where to post it so that it will get maximum traction and build the author’s personal #brand. Back in the dark ages of blogging, when I first started out, the received wisdom was that you needed to post to your own server, with your own domain name, and pretty nearly roll your own CMS to manage the blog - or just hand-code every single entry.
These days, the buzz is all about big platforms like Medium and LinkedIn. Even Coté has given in and moved to the bright lights of Medium. So I decided to try a little experiment and post the same piece on my own blog, on LinkedIn, and on Medium. It’s pretty much exactly the same post in each case, except for minor differences like footnotes and a different header image.
So, what happened?
The results seem pretty conclusive: on my own blog, I got 22 unique users looking at that post. On Medium, I got a whole 6 reads. And on LinkedIn, I got 132 views, 18 likes, and 5 comments - well, 4, because one of those was me responding to someone else.
In fairness, the subject matter of that post is well aligned to LinkedIn, and perhaps less so to Medium, but the disparity is huge, and very significant - unless LinkedIn is counting something different than Medium and Google Analytics are. I feel I gave each post roughly the same amount of promotion via social media (very little), so it’s more about how each platform presents its content and how users interact with it.
Medium is just too much of a firehose for anyone to be able to engage with everything on the site, and its recommendation engine seems to focus on popularity rather than relevance. It may also be the case that I just haven’t fed it enough metadata, but writing only for people who spend time relentlessly honing their Medium preferences seems like a losing game.
There are other reasons not to write on Medium, too. Remember the old saw: if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product, not the customer. In the case of Medium, writers and their #content are definitely the product.
Of course a similar situation exists with LinkedIn, but the point there is to raise your professional profile, no matter how much some might disagree. What I am doing there is absolutely professional self-promotion, and so my interests and the platform’s are perfectly aligned in a way that is not the case with Medium.
Regardless of the numbers, I’ll be keeping my own blog for posting things that don’t fit with LinkedIn - but anything that I do want to get out there is getting posted natively to LinkedIn from now on, not just linked from there.