Facebook just announced they want to host your blog. Oh great news! Not only do they want to drive news outlets out of business, you can bet the small guys are going to struggle with this as well. They seem to be focussed on the big news operations so far but you know it’s just a question of time before they unroll this feature out to every “page” owner.
It’s called digital sharecropping.
When a creator builds a website on their own, they own the website and all the content.
When a creator builds a property on a site they don’t own (Facebook, Youtube, Medium, etc) then they’re at the mercy of the property owner.
But this is the way things seem to be going.
And frankly, I don’t see a way forward around this given the power of Facebook and Youtube (and others).
On the surface there are two options
You can 1) stay independent or 2) you can go with the big boys and their dictates.
But I’m thinking of a third option
Or, as I’m going to explore, you might be able to combine the two by publishing your own work on your own site and then republishing it on Facebook or Medium with a link to the original published post. This link (including the date stamp) tells Google which is the original and which the copy.
This “may” allow readers to choose (current readers will choose the most convenient – Facebook) but also allow Google to rank your content on the search engines so that non-Facebook searches will continue to deliver traffic.
Advertising on Facebook
Naturally, once Facebook has your content, they will want to charge you to share it to your audience just as they do now with sharing links. “Boost this post” offers will abound.
And in conclusion ladies and gentlemen
This ain’t your grandmother’s Net anymore. It’s owned by the big boyz. This is the same thing that happened when Walmart took out the downtown stores.
And the same thing when the big breweries took out the smaller, when the bigger…
You get the picture I’m sure.
But also consider that smart specialty retailers and craft breweries are thriving.
The challenge now
The challenge now is to create interesting and compelling content that draws people away from these big sites.
To be the craft brewery of the writing and creating world.
My decision about Facebook’s content grab
I’ll go with option three above for the near future.
And remembering that led me down another few thought trails. One of those trails was a system described by Roger James Hamilton in a free ebook (Amazon link — not affiliate) Read the first section and I believe there’s a link in there to take the quiz to discover your own approach to the world.
I Have A Creative Approach To Life
My approach to life is a syncretic mix of discovery and new. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand I have what he calls a “creative” approach to life. It’s not that I am a creative/writer, it’s that I look at the world as a playground and want to explore it.
If you’ve watched the movie UP, you’ll understand the concept of “Squirrel!” If not, see below. All somebody has to do with me is point me to something new, something bright and shiny, say “Squirrel!” and I’m off to play. In Hamilton’s terms, that’s a creative.
This happens to be a perfect attitude for a freelance writer.There’s very little I’m not interested in (at least for a short period of time.)
What Readers Think Isn’t My Problem
But to sum up, what any reader thinks of me isn’t my problem. In this case, she owns the delete and unsubscribe button and I trust she used both.
That’s all by way of saying you get to live your own life. You get to take on your own challenges or avoid them. But at the end of the day, your life is a sum of your decisions and attitudes.
My life is full of challenges, lessons and insights.
I’ve started writing in a new genre and am reading, researching and having way too much fun with it.
I’m continuing researching Alzheimer’s and Fitness topics
And that doesn’t include my normal reading objectives — there’s somewhere around 45 non-fiction books (mostly history) waiting my attention after two months of being on a restricted reading level due to some eye issues. (I’ve just ordered two new non-fiction books — one on current American politics and one on a history of the Ottoman empire.) Or the ebooks and websites… Or…
My attitude to life is that it’s to be learned. And there’s so much to learn — it’s like being a kid in a candy store.
It’s not to stick in one groove.
It’s not to live in a way to gain any reader’s approval.
In short, I’d do this stuff and write about it even if nobody read it. That’s my attitude. And that’s my life.
So it doesn’t matter what that reader thought. It doesn’t matter whether she thinks what I do is inconsequential.
What matters is what I think.
What matters is what my attitude is and how I answer the important questions.
And that my friends is all any of us have in the end.