It’s yours — own it

Summary — Anything you post on a 3rd-party platform — Huffington Post, Medium, Facebook, wherever — should also be published on your own platform.

Look at today’s news about Yahoo! (2017-01-09) — they’re selling (to Verizon), rebranding their parent company (to “Altaba”!), and CEO Marissa Meyer is out.

It’s easy to forget, but exactly 10 years ago today (2007-01-09), Steve Jobs announced the iPhone (which went on to be the most successful product in the history of products), and Yahoo! was at that time considered important enough to deserve a spot on that stage. Fast-forward 10 years and Yahoo! is a punchline. (Maybe leaking 1.5 Billion user accounts and “forgetting” to mention it for a couple of years has something to do with that, but Yahoo!’s been irrelevant a lot longer than that.)

Platforms come and go

Even huge, household-name platforms disappear. They don’t have to fail to fail you, either.

  • business models and priorities change
  • Communities evolve — the trolls move in: ask Twitter
  • Companies go out of fashion — remember MySpace?

These companies don’t factor-in your interests when they play Risk with other people’s money.

But don’t they own all of the eyeballs!?

Sure, publish your essays, tutorials, experiences, stories, photos, and videos elsewhere! There’s nothing wrong with that. It may even help build an audience. But remember: you’re not their customer, in most cases they didn’t even pay you (even though you’ve helped feed and grow their brand, which is worth millions or billions to them), and they do not have your long-term interests at heart. Keep high-quality, offline copies of everything you publish (especially visual media) and hedge your bets. How?

Own it

You have a website. Use it. Own it. Own the domain. Own and publish your own content. It’s all you. Make it yours. Don’t just give it away for free.