Syndicating to Medium ift.tt/1XdwRhi
Syndicating to Medium
When I publish something on adactio.com in HTML, it already gets syndicated to different places. This is the Indie Web idea of POSSE: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. As well as providing RSS feeds, I’ve also got Twitter bots that syndicate to Twitter. An If This, Then That script pushes posts to Facebook. And if I publish a photo, it goes to Flickr. Now that Medium is finally providing a publishing API, I’ll probably start syndicating articles there as well. The more, the merrier.
Until Medium provided an API, I didn’t see much point in Medium. Let me clarify: I didn’t see much point in it for me. I’ve already got a website where I can publish whatever I like. For someone who doesn’t have their own website, I guess Medium—like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.—provides a place to publish. I think this is what people mean when they use the word “platform” in a digital—rather than a North Sea oil drilling—sense.
Publishing exclusively on somebody else’s site works pretty well right up until the day the platform turns out to be a trap door and disappears from under you.
But I’m really puzzled by people who already have their own website choosing to publish on Medium instead. A shiny content farm is still a content farm.
“It’s the reach!” I’m told. That makes me sad. The whole point of the World Wide Web is that everybody has an equal opportunity to share their thoughts. You don’t need to ask anyone for permission. The gatekeepers of the previous century—record labels, book publishers, film producers—can’t stop you from making whatever you want and putting it out there for the world to see. And thanks to the principle of net neutrality baked into the design of TCP/IP, no one gets preferential treatment.
Notice that I said “people who already have their own website choosing to publish on Medium instead.” That last bit is important. Using Medium to publish copies of what you’ve already published on your own site gives you the best of both worlds: ownership and reach. That’s what Kevin does, for example. And Jeffrey. Until recently that was quite a pain in the ass, requiring a manual copy’n’paste process.
Back when Medium first launched, Dave Winer said:
Let me enter the URL of something I write in my own space, and have it appear here as a first class citizen. Indistinguishable to readers from something written here.
It still isn’t quite that simple, but now that Medium has a publishing API, it’s relatively straightforward to syndicate copies of your posts to Medium at the moment you publish on your own site.
Here’s what I did…
First of all, I signed up for a Medium account. For the longest time, even this simple step was off-limits for me because Medium used to require authentication using Twitter. By itself, that’s not a problem. The problem was that Medium demanded write permissions for my Twitter account. Just say no.
Now it’s possible to sign up for Medium using email so that rudeness is less of an issue (although I’d really like to see Medium stop being so demanding when it comes to Twitter permissions, especially as the interface copy bends over backwards to promise that Medium would never post to Twitter on my behalf …so why ask for permission to do just that?).
Once I had a Medium account, I needed two pieces of secret information in order to use the API.
The first piece is an access token.
I went to my settings on Medium and scrolled all the way to the bottom to the heading “Integration tokens”. I entered a description (“Syndication from adactio.com”) and pressed the “Get integration token” button.
Now I could use that token to get the second piece of information: my user ID.
I opened up a browser tab and went to this URL: https://api.medium.com/v1/me?accessToken= …adding my new secret integration token to the end.
That returns a JSON response. One of the fields in the JSON object has the name “id”. The value of that field is my user ID on Medium.
With those two pieces of information, I could make an authenticated POST request using cURL. Here’s the PHP code I’m using. It’s probably terrible but please feel free to use it, copy it, fork it, or do anything else you want with it.
When I run that code, I get a JSON response back from Medium’s API. Assuming I get a successful response, I can store the URL of the Medium copy and link out to it from here. That copy on Medium has a corresponding
link rel="canonical" in the
head of the document pointing back here to adactio.com.
That’s pretty much it. I added a checkbox to my posting interface so that sending a copy of a post to Medium is just a toggle away. I’ll tick that checkbox when I post this. You could be reading this on my site or you could be reading the copy on Medium.
The code I wrote is pretty similar to how I post notes to Twitter and photos to Flickr. In fact, posting to Medium is more straightforward: Flickr requires three bits of secret information; Twitter requires four.
What would make this cross-posting with Medium really interesting would be if it could work in both directions. Then I’d be able to use the (very nice) writing interface on Medium to publish on adactio.com.
That’s not so far-fetched. I’ve already got a micropub endpoint here on my site (here’s the code). That’s how I’m able to use Instagram to post photos to my own site (using OwnYourGram). I let Instagram keep a copy of my photo. I’d be happy to let Medium keep a copy of my post.
We need to break out of the model where all these systems are monolithic and standalone. There’s art in each individual system, but there’s a much greater art in the union of all the systems we create.
“Syndicating to Medium (Adactio)” adactio.com/journal/9694
RT @adactioJournal: Syndicating to Medium ift.tt/1XdwRhi
Publishing online and ownership buff.ly/1LIFcpq
Syndicating to Medium adactio.com/journal/9694
Last week, Jeremy Keith posted about syndicating his content to Medium using their new API. Before they added the API, there was no way to automatically publishing to Medium from your own blog. And doing it manually was quite tedious.
Jeremy posted in detail about how to set it all up and provided the PHP code he’s using to make it all work. As I’m running a static site on Octopress, I ported it to Ruby as a Jekyll Generator. I’ve posted it to Github, so you can grab it there if you so desire.
Syndicating to Medium adactio.com/journal/9694 (I read it in RSS, appropriately)
Syndicating to medium adactio.com/journal/9694
Syndicating to Medium adactio.com/journal/9694
Liked Syndicating to Medium
Considering POSSEing once again adactio.com/journal/9694
How to publish a post on your blog AND on Medium“We need to break out of the model where all these systems are monolithic and standalone. There’s art in each individual system, but there’s a much greater art in the union of all the systems we create.”by +Jeremy Keith Read it here:https://adactio.com/journal/9694or here :-)https://medium.com/@jeremykeith/syndicating-to-medium-b59bbebc48d3and look: they share the same rel canonical!<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://adactio.com/journal/9694“>
Publish anywhere you can export your data and keep your URLs January 21, 2016 Dave Winer recently wrote that if you have something you want to publish that you should publish it anywhere but Medium. His argument is that Medium could shut down or change course at any moment and your content and your URLs would then be in jeopardy of disappearing. He’s right. That could happen. But that could also happen to the platforms he suggests that you publish on; WordPress.com, Tumblr, Blogger, etc. WordPress.com is owned by a private company and could, theoretically, stop working tomorrow. Tumblr is owned by Yahoo! and we’re all sitting here watching that train wreck in realtime. Blogger is owned by Google and that should give you pause. So, while Winer’s point is valid — that you may not want to publish anywhere that could disappear — I believe the solution behind it is a bit more nuanced than a one-liner like “anywhere but Medium”. The more reasonable rule of thumb would be to publish “anywhere that you can export your data and keep your URLs”. Currently Medium does not match this criteria. You can use your own domain name so you can keep track of your URLs. And they do have an API. But it is one-way and severely limited API — very similar to Facebook’s API of yore. You can push content to Medium but cannot consume content from Medium. (If I’m wrong on this, please email me.) WordPress.com, Tumblr, Blogger; these each have a way to get your data out of them. WordPress being the easiest and most friendly since they offer most of the features via an open source download on WordPress.org. You could have your site back up and running (and able to be published to) in less than an hour. The others simply give you the content and you’re on your own to create your own publishing software. So should people stop publishing to Medium? I think Jeremy Keith’s approach is best. He says: Using Medium to publish copies of what you’ve already published on your own site gives you the best of both worlds: ownership and reach. There are caveats to this approach. The main one being that editing posts after their pushed to Medium is a manual process. But that is the same on any platform you cross-post to including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. View all posts Comments