Now What, Medium?
What’s a writer to do when the TOS change?
I’ve been pondering my future here on Medium. The reason: recent changes to the terms of service. It’s reminded me of what I’ve always known: never build your house on someone else’s land.
I joined Medium soon after it launched, and have taken advantage of new features as they’ve been released. Until recently, it hadn’t been a primary platform for me, more a “nice to have”. That all changed in June, when I started writing about racism and anti-racism after George Floyd was murdered.
Around that time, I joined ILLUMINATION.
We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.
Both of those things revitalized my Medium experience. I connected with old writer friends and made new ones.
Now, I have a decision to make. Do I continue publishing here, take my work to another platform like Substack, or launch yet another blog? I can’t decide.
I could opt to stay anyway, especially since a bunch of family, friends and colleagues have joined Medium to follow my work.
But as a professional writer, I’m wary of giving away too many rights to my personal work. (Work for hire for clients is totally different.) But having launched and managed what seems like a gazillion blogs in the last 15 years (ok, not a gazillion, but definitely in double digits), I don’t know if I have the mental space to do that again along with all the other stuff I’m trying to accomplish.
I’ve backed up my work (and in any case, I draft offline and keep copies of EVERYTHING) while I think about it. I still have just over a week to make a final decision.
Right now, Substack is looking like a good option. I can republish my work there, and I have the option of earning from new work down the line. And hopefully some of my followers from various platforms will follow me there to read those new articles and to have the conversations I’ve been enjoying.
If I end up making that decision, I’ll be sorry to leave Medium and ILLUMINATION. But unless Medium changes the language in the new terms of service, I don’t know that I have a choice. What do you plan to do?
For more perspectives on the changes, check out the following articles:
Thoughts on Medium’s New Terms of Service
One Contracts Law professor I knew estimated that about 60% of all contracts currently in effect were void or…
Medium’s New Terms and Conditions Appear to be Taking a Huge Advantage of Its Members
I could be wrong, and I hope I am. Otherwise, I feel betrayed.
Update: Medium has listened. Check out Holly Jahangiri’s explanatory article to hear about the important changes they made to the TOS:
For now, I’m with Holly on this: I’ll stick around for a while. But I’m still going to work on my platform outside of Medium, in case this happens again. I’ll keep you posted.
This article was originally published on Medium. If you’re reading it anywhere else, it may be stolen.