Yeah. I thought he was thinking more in terms of how to maximize the possibility of long-term online visibility and archive. It’s hard to maintain one’s own site indefinitely — particularly after you’re dead or something. Or the cms goes wonky or site architecture breaks down.

So I took “walled garden” loosely to mean “someone else’s platform” or a third party social network publishing platform like Medium or even Facebook or LinkedIn. If you set up a blog on Medium or Tumblr, it is potentially more durable in a number of ways than maintaining it onseself.

But yeah, that’s why I was suggesting it’s less an either/or than an and/both. I have a blog, but then publish the best pieces from there onto Medium. I felt guilty about this at first — as if it constituted an abuse of the platform; like sending in a blog post to be original content in the NYTimes.

That’s because I originally thought of Medium as a publication. Like, a new “place” to write *for*. But after speaking with some people from there, particularly Steven, I got the sense that Medium can be used in any way we want. Syndicate things there, or create original content channels, or even try to get sponsorship from someone to do something.

It doesn’t mean I’m any closer to understanding how Medium will make its money — which is another question that probably shouldn’t be folded in with this. It’s just that, well, I want engage in writing behaviors that support the business model of the platform rather than just leech off it. That’s why I keep making sure to frame my questions not as some suspicion of motives or nefariousness but just trying to figure out what writing behavior is most consonant with the ethos and goals of the platform.

It’s also entirely possible that pretty much *all* well-intentioned writing behavior is consonant with the goals of the platform. And that money will come from people and companies who want to sponsor special content channels that get some extra formating or distribution push from Medium. So if Time magazine decides it would rather be part of a living writing community than off on its own website, it would do some kind of deal to have a special place on Medium, maybe do ad revenue shares or something like that.

And in that case, all the platform would really want from the rest of us is that we do our reading and writing here. Or that we anchor a different, more readerly/writerly set of expectations and behaviors here than we do in a place like Twitter or Facebook — making this environment the culture of choice for publications looking to connect with the social reading community.

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Author of Team Human, Present Shock, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, and host of the Team Human podcast

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