We’re happy to announce that we made it: We moved all our new articles from Medium to our own servers; now using the blog framework Hexo to show you our content in a new layout. Moving this blog was the first job of our new frontend developer Ivan, so a big round of applause to him, please. 👏
Why did we move? The main reason was control. When we asked “Is it possible to do x on our blog?”, the answer was almost always “No” when we used Medium. Now the answer is almost always “Yes.”
Here are the advantages of the new blog in detail:
We can offer a better commenting system. On Medium, comments are weird: You immediately create a new story when writing a comment. And you need to create a Medium account to write a comment in the first place. On our new blog, we will make it possible for you to write comments with Schnack. It’s a tool that my colleague Gregor and the guys from webkid created in their free time. With Schnack, you connect to your Twitter or Github account to write a comment. We hope you’ll like it – if not, please let us know why.
We let you play around with all charts on this blog We embed lots of charts on this blog – to explain what to pay attention to when creating them, or to show off a new chart type. In our new blog, all these charts will have a button ✎ Edit this chart when you hover over them on your Desktop computer. It will open the Datawrapper tool in a new tab; bringing you directly into the creation process of this very chart. Go ahead and change aaall the things. (It’s a copy, so don’t worry about destroying the actual chart on the blog.) Try it here:
We have more control over how things look Charts are visual, and we care about looks. On our new blog, we can embed our charts and images with many different widths. We can have aside text like the one to the right. We can make text smaller or greyer. Everything we want is possible, and that feels pretty good.
We could quickly pack our stuff and leave. We now write all our blog articles in markdown: A standard formatting language that’s understood by many blog frameworks. If we don’t like Hexo anymore at some point, we can just take our articles and import them to another blog framework quickly. (Getting them out of Medium was a hassle.)
We understand better what you want. What topics are most helpful for you? How did you find us? We were not blown away by the sparse Medium analytics (e.g., it’s impossible to find out where readers come from.) So now we’ll use Piwik for our blog, as we do for our website.
We have extra space for little notes here!
We will miss the social network on Medium (e.g., the way you can recommend articles). We will also miss the simple interface that made it possible to drag images into articles. Now we have to insert our images the markdown way: ![image text](/img/thisisapicture.png). But after thinking about it for a while, we decided that the advantages outnumber the disadvantages.So welcome to our new, old blog! If you want to know more about the authors and our new categories, hop over to the ”About Us”-page. Also, tell us what you think: Do you like it? Should we change something? We’re happy to hear from you.
Lisa Charlotte Muth
(she/her, @lisacmuth, @email@example.com) is Datawrapper’s head of communications. She writes about best practices in data visualization and thinks of new ways to excite you about charts and maps. Lisa lives in Berlin.