Medium and HackerNoon are in the midst of a divorce:
In the early going this seemed to be quite the nasty breakup, with HackerNoon apparently asking for a license to all of its articles and Medium retorting that they weren't allowed to do so. It appears, according to later tweets, that the less savory aspects of this breakup are now "resolved" and both parties are at an understanding.
But as I was watching this from a distance (having no affiliation with HackerNoon and only a few articles on Medium), I couldn't help but feel very glad that I own my own content.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to me that I own my own domain, my own site, and my own articles. Every article on this site is something I've written. All of Exception Not Found is mine; my words, my thoughts, my projects, my code. This site is me, just on the Internet. I feel so strongly about this that, IMO, every developer should have a blog, and their own domain to host it on.
After four years of blogging, I truly believe that every developer should have a blog. It doesn't even need to be a "good" blog, it just needs to exist. It is your footprint on the web, a combination resume and portfolio that you can use to assist your colleagues and impress your (potential and actual) bosses. It is you, but everywhere.
Just as important, though, is that you need to write posts, publish them, and have your readers review them. Everything you know is something someone else doesn't. Publish your thoughts, tips, experiences, opinions, anything that makes you you. Who cares if they suck? They'll get better the more you do it! The mere act of writing causes us developers to examine what they're saying, how they're saying it. This, in turn, helps them become better communicators, and modern software development is all about being able to communicate effectively.
It is critical, though, that you own your words. Have your own domain, and publish everything there. Own what you write, and when your community points out helpful tips or places where you got something wrong, own that too. Just yesterday I had commenters point out issues with some examples in my FizzBuzz test post and we, together, arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. If they hadn't said anything, I'd just continue to look like an idiot.
Scott Hanselman said years ago that "Your Blog is the Engine of Community" and he's exactly right. But it needs to be your blog, not a "publication" hosted on some massive aggregator site and lost in the swarm of nameless, faceless, featureless posts. It needs to be your words, on your site, with your style. That's how people find you.
Own your words. They are you, when you aren't there. Own them, publish them, refine them, show them off. Write what you know, and be proud! Because one day, your words will help someone, whether it's to get a new job or solve a difficult problem. That person might even be you.
If any of my readers would like someone to look at their blog and make suggestions, I am happy to do so. I urge all of you to start a blog, pick up one that's been dormant, just get writing somehow. You could even host with DigitalOcean and Ghost like I do. Grab a domain and get writing. Yes, now. Seriously.
Why are you still staring at me? Get blogging! Future you will thank you for it.