The other half of the conversation is the functionality provided on Medium. If people want ‘annotations’, they can use things like Hypothes.is, if they want to provide the options to link, they can add fragmentions, while there are many themes that provide similar look and feel. To be honest, I think that Hackeducation.com is one of the cleanest reading experiences.
Although third-party applications make it ‘easy’ to sharecrop, the question is at what cost?
Medium, Twitter, Facebook and others are edge services for your content, they are the platforms where you will find — unfortunately — more readers that on your own URL. Your platform is the origin.