The interlocking corporate platforms on the internet today are so entrenched that many of us have forgotten a time before blogging meant logging in to Medium with Google and sharing our posts on Facebook and Twitter. Back in the day, you’d simply update your Blingee’d-out Geocities page for your audience of, like, seven real-life pals.
Those days are gone, but if you’re deep in the content mines and reminiscing about a simpler time there’s now an automated tool for porting your Medium posts to a personal website, courtesy of programmer Mathieu Dutour.
Dutour said that he decided to move to a personal website because, while Medium is a decent place to get noticed, he dislikes how it has implemented things like paywalls and pop-ups encouraging readers to subscribe to premium services. While he was going through the time-consuming manual process of porting blogs, he had an idea.
“Copy-pasting the articles and transforming them to another format, that’s what computers are good at!” he said. “I love automation, so I made the tool for myself first. I then open sourced it because I thought other people might find it useful.”
Dutour’s program is open-source, hosted on GitHub, and makes use of several different services to get a personal website started with minimal manual effort. First, the program asks you to download your Medium content, which is pretty easy to do, and drag the .zip file in. Then, it instructs you to create a GitHub repository and paste the URL in as well. Finally, you’re asked to connect the GitHub repository to Netlify—a service that deploys GitHub code as a website and automatically updates it—and deploy the site.
Netlify has a free tier with up to 100 GB of bandwidth per month, which is “more than enough for a modest blog,” Dutour said. Since the generated code is under your control, you could deploy it on just about anything, including a server at home for the ultimate in DIY blogging.
“You could totally deploy it on a server in your closet,” Dutour said. “GitHub/Netlify simply make that step a lot easier and gives you access to a network of servers which make your website as fast as Medium, if not faster.”
Dutour said that Medium is a good platform for writers and that it confers some benefits like the chance to be discovered by an audience of readers. “What I’m advocating for isn’t to completely give up on Medium,” he said. “Instead, it’s about having your content in a place that you truly own, and then import it on Medium.”
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