9 votes

[Suggestion] let's collectively use outline.com to avoid Medium's nuisances

This thread also applies to every other annoying website.

Medium is one of the most annoying sites out there. It's slow, cluttered, always greets me with a despicable banner (no, I do not pardon the interruption!) and manages to consistently bypass uBlock Origin. I'm tired of complaining on individual threads (and attracting well-deserved reproach for my grumpiness), so here's my proposal: let's establish an informal rule that every Medium article should be shared in a sanitized version. outline.com seems to be the best tool to accomplish that, but I'm open to suggestions. As a safety measure, in case outline.com goes offline, the original Medium link could be posted in the body of the new thread.

What you lovely people think about this idea?

17 comments

  1. [6]
    Deimos
    Link
    No, please always submit the proper source link. You can post an outline link in the comments, but I will always edit any submitted outline links that I see to point to the original source instead...

    No, please always submit the proper source link. You can post an outline link in the comments, but I will always edit any submitted outline links that I see to point to the original source instead (and may automate this if it's happening often).

    29 votes
    1. [5]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Would individual groups have any leeway in that regard? /r/savedyouaclick only allows archived links, for example.

      Would individual groups have any leeway in that regard? /r/savedyouaclick only allows archived links, for example.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        I guess it's hypothetically possible if a group has good reasons for avoiding submitting the actual source of articles, but I can't really think of what those would be.

        I guess it's hypothetically possible if a group has good reasons for avoiding submitting the actual source of articles, but I can't really think of what those would be.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          That’s fair. The example I mentioned does this to avoid incentivizing click baiting.

          That’s fair. The example I mentioned does this to avoid incentivizing click baiting.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Deimos
            Link Parent
            Sure, but "clickbait you shouldn't click on" is pretty much the polar opposite of high-quality content, so that's not something that would be relevant for a Tildes group.

            Sure, but "clickbait you shouldn't click on" is pretty much the polar opposite of high-quality content, so that's not something that would be relevant for a Tildes group.

            5 votes
            1. mrbig
              Link Parent
              That sub in particular contains posts in which OP summarizes annoying click bait articles like slide shows that could have been a single page, so other users don’t have to read it. It’s partly...

              That sub in particular contains posts in which OP summarizes annoying click bait articles like slide shows that could have been a single page, so other users don’t have to read it. It’s partly useful and partly comedy. The link is merely for reference.

              2 votes
  2. [2]
    test
    Link
    I'm opposed to submitting links to rehosted content both because it strips the original creator of their right to monetize their work (which Medium does have, even if it's irritating) and because,...

    I'm opposed to submitting links to rehosted content both because it strips the original creator of their right to monetize their work (which Medium does have, even if it's irritating) and because, as you mentioned, a rehosted link may leave content inaccessible in the future. If a Medium article goes down, it's easy enough to plug the URL into the Wayback Machine, but Outline probably can't be (and almost certainly isn't) crawled by Archive. Worse yet, Outline's URLs are completely nondescript. Compare "https://gen.medium.com/my-9-months-on-the-road-with-fan-bingbing-chinas-biggest-movie-star-df6b7a8463b3" to "https://outline.com/S2bwAY". I could find an article about the same content on a different site by searching for terms in Medium's URL. The same is not true for the condensed version provided by Outline.
    Why not just use Firefox's reading mode?

    9 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I think your opposition makes sense in general, but Medium is such a bother that I don’t feel any guilt.

      I think your opposition makes sense in general, but Medium is such a bother that I don’t feel any guilt.

  3. [4]
    Elronnd
    Link
    You can likely install a userscript which will automatically rewrite medium links to outline. Per @deimos, it's highly unlikely to happen in the site proper.

    You can likely install a userscript which will automatically rewrite medium links to outline. Per @deimos, it's highly unlikely to happen in the site proper.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Sadly, I have no ability to write such a script.

      Sadly, I have no ability to write such a script.

      1 vote
      1. Bauke
        Link Parent
        I just made one with customizable whitelist (located in the sidebar), you can find it in my userscripts repo if you wanna look at the code or if you already have GreaseMonkey or similar installed...

        I just made one with customizable whitelist (located in the sidebar), you can find it in my userscripts repo if you wanna look at the code or if you already have GreaseMonkey or similar installed this link should prompt it to install (else you gotta manually copy it).

        The domains you add will match the entire link so if you add an entry that's just a it will replace every link topic's link that contains the letter "a". Any links that are replaced also get the topic icon replaced with a pink/cyan gradient circle and the topic source replaced with "outline.com".

        If you discover any problems feel free to PM me or just reply here. :)

        6 votes
      2. unknown user
        Link Parent
        There is a Firefox extension named Redirector with which can rewrite URLs using regexps or globs. Edit: from the link in @Bauke's comment it seems that you can use an url like...

        There is a Firefox extension named Redirector with which can rewrite URLs using regexps or globs.

        Edit: from the link in @Bauke's comment it seems that you can use an url like outline.com/https://medium.com/... so it should be possible to use Redirector for this.

        3 votes
  4. [2]
    NaraVara
    Link
    If you're using Safari on Mac or iOS you can force it to always open medium.com links in Reader Mode, which eliminates many of the big frustrations you're talking about in exchange for maybe 1 or...

    If you're using Safari on Mac or iOS you can force it to always open medium.com links in Reader Mode, which eliminates many of the big frustrations you're talking about in exchange for maybe 1 or 2 new--but mostly minor--ones.

    I also have this bookmarklet called Kill Sticky Headers that I wish I could bind to my scroll wheel for how often I click it. It does exactly what it says on the tin and it's amazing.

    4 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I only use Chrome both on Linux and iOS.

      I only use Chrome both on Linux and iOS.

  5. Sybil_Fleming
    Link
    I thought of a couple solutions that you could implement on your own to make reading articles from medium less annoying: Use ublock origin on medium mode to block all javascript and third party...

    I thought of a couple solutions that you could implement on your own to make reading articles from medium less annoying:

    1. Use ublock origin on medium mode to block all javascript and third party requests on medium.com (this has the side effect of blocking full images and charts from loading)
    2. Use the redirector extension to automatically redirect medium urls to outline. I've made a sample redirector that you can import. (Copy and paste the text into a json file, then import in the extension)
    3. Scrape the medium link using Wallabag or another archiver
    4 votes
  6. sron
    Link
    Medium can be annoying. It seems that every interesting article you find is a Premium one, and you can only read three a month. But as pointed out to me, Outline might not stay around forever (how...

    Medium can be annoying. It seems that every interesting article you find is a Premium one, and you can only read three a month. But as pointed out to me, Outline might not stay around forever (how do they meet the costs of hosting the service without ads?). Finding the original source, and an archive of it, would be much easier with an original link compared to Outline's bitly-style alternative. Maybe someone who knows what they're doing could make some sort of browser extension to forward every link to Outline or a web archive.

    I get why you want it, but for the longevity of the content posted here I think it's best to stick to the original links.

    2 votes
  7. Dogyote
    (edited )
    Link
    Have you tweaked ublock's advanced options? I've found that you can disable scripts and end up with a nearly text only webpage.

    Have you tweaked ublock's advanced options? I've found that you can disable scripts and end up with a nearly text only webpage.