Ello Vs Medium

I’m focussing on these two communities because of their freshness and ability to provide an alternative blogging experience outside of a hand-rolled solution such as WordPress. They are easy to quickly set-up while offering another spot to spread your brand story.

ELLO

Pros:

  • No Ads (ever)
  • Markdown support
  • Creative community
  • Huge photos
  • GIFs supported
  • Slick iOS app that’s well supported
  • Responsive team with heart
  • Against the grain design matches its non-conformity branding

Cons:

  • No API
  • Creative community focussed; brand message needs to attract a broader audience and include improved discoverability of text posts (not just photo content) within the Discover tab
  • No Android app
  • No post tag support but hashtags are supported

MEDIUM

Pros:

  • Text (typography) focussed
  • Minimalist WYSIWYG editing
  • Thriving tech community
  • API makes syndication easier
  • API allows integration with 3rd parties such as IFTTT. Byword, a good iOS Markdown text editor supports publishing to Medium.
  • Ability to share or reply to specific parts of posts being read
  • Supports post tags

Cons:

  • Writing new post icon within the app is not always present in the UI; requires swiping back through screens until the option to add a new post appears
  • Odd commenting concept that treats comments as new posts
  • No Markdown support (any modern writing platform should support Markdown)
  • Expect future monetization efforts
  • Limited iOS app functionality; expect to visit the web for major bio editing or to simply see who follows you or who you follow; very limited formatting options
  • Unnecessary friction navigating replies which are oddly separated into network views (accounts you follow) and out of network views (accounts you don’t follow)
  • Sections of the app take awhile to update after edits

Summary

Personally, I prefer the business policies and user respect that the Ello platform brings. A no-ad policy (forever) is a huge reason to support Ello for me. Although Medium has the tech world buzz, Ello has heart. I’m always impressed with Ello’s transparency and prompt response to issues. When Ello releases an API, I’m sure that the syndication possibilities will attract more folks. Although many designers knock Ello’s design, I like that it’s marching to a different drummer while showing that social is possible without ad tech.
Right now Medium thrives with a tech focussed community and Ello flourishes with the creative crowd. I like that Ello supports Markdown and has taken a very strong stand against ad tech which tips the scale in its favor.
Note: I do not work for nor do I have family or personal friends working at Ello or Medium.

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