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.
But I’m also considering that content on the Net isn’t a profit centre for me anymore.
Ads on my gardening sites generally pay the hosting costs while ebooks are the profit centre. My fiction sites have a similar function.
Whichever way individual creators go, it’s an interesting world out there.