Elementary OS – a Linux distribution (distro) built on top of the large, company-backed giant Ubuntu – is a mom-and-pop store by comparison.
But it’s also one that’s managed to capture the attention of even some seasoned Linux users thanks to its focus on user interface (UI) and even user experience (UX) – something often lacking from the more spartan distros.
With their focus on icon and UI themes sometimes suspiciously reminiscent of Apple’s interfaces – the Elementary OS team have also earned themselves something of a label of “hipsters” in the community.
Hence, their decision some years ago to communicate news about the project by hosting their blog on another largely “hipster” online venue – Medium – was little surprise.
What’s somewhat surprising is the about-face that the project is now making in leaving Medium for the sake of building their own blog hosted on GitHub Pages – using the static generator Jekyll.
This suggests there’s hope for just about anyone to see the light and start removing the power from centralized platforms by hosting and controlling their own content, and their sources of revenue – even if GitHub Pages is not exactly the best option out there for that particular purpose.
In a blog post Elementary OS explains the reasons why Medium, described as a once-promising publishing platform, has in the meantime declined.
According to the write-up, this happened as Medium was chasing ways to monetize its product by forcing readers to sign in with their social media accounts instead of their email – a way to track them around the web.
On Medium, users are being boxed into “relevant monetized” stories, that come in limited amounts before a subscription nag hits the screen.
As for publishers, those seeking wider audiences are being hampered by Medium’s new policy of putting their articles behind paywalls by default – and removing the possibility of posting from other platforms by killing the relevant APIs.
Any Linux distro, including the likes Elementary OS, was bound to get a push from its users to leave Medium – they might like fancy icons, but they’re still tech-savvy nerds who don’t appreciate that kind of behavior.