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Are You Wasting Your Words? Who Owns Your Content?

By cecilyk |

I read the pictured quote yesterday and it punched me in the face. Okay, it probably didn’t have the same impact on you without the full context. So here goes: if you share your best stuff on social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, host your blog on Blogspot or Blogger or any site that you don’t own – you do not own your words.

Here’s more. This is what Scott Hanselman said in response to Tim Bray’s quote:

You are not blogging enough. You are pouring your words into increasingly closed and often walled gardens. You are giving control – and sometimes ownership – of your content to social media companies that will SURELY fail. These companies are profoundly overvalueddon’t care about permalinksdon’t make your content portable, and have terms of service that are so complex and obtuse that there are entire websites dedicate to explaining them.

This is truth. We are blogging less, and we are spending massive amounts of time on social media sites where we have no ownership or control. This is crazy, right?

I started blogging in 2004 when that was the only place to put your words online. I blogged on one of the few places you could blog back then – Typepad – and their terms of service stated clearly that you did, in fact, own your words written on the site. Now my blog is self-hosted, so my words are safe.

I’ve told bloggers for years, if you blog on Blogger or BlogSpot, you do NOT own your words. Those blogs can be shut down with no warning with no recourse for you to access your words (in other words, GO NOW AND BACK EVERYTHING UP – this post is a great resource – and then move your stuff to a self-hosted site).

But I haven’t thought much about what I write on other social platforms; no, I’m not an epic Facebook sharing genius (unlike my husband), and Twitter is not really what I’d call, well, WRITING – but the truth is that I do pour a massive amount of words onto platforms that I cannot search, download, or hell, even link to permanently.

Suddenly, this makes no sense to me.

I’m not sure what the solution is. But damn if it isn’t food for thought, right? Also, I have to admit: since I started thinking about this, I’ve noticed that the most successful bloggers – meaning the ones that still have substantial traffic to their sites – don’t, in fact, put a lot of time into the other social media platforms.

Definite food for thought.

What do you think? Will you move your blog or decrease the time you spend on social platforms?


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About cecilyk



Cecily Kellogg writes all over the web, including here at Babble for Voices and Tech. She neglects her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Read bio and latest posts → Read Cecily's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “Are You Wasting Your Words? Who Owns Your Content?

  1. Lily @Militaryfamof8 says:

    Thanks Cecily, for that bit of thought-snackery ;) I am on Blogger, have been blogging since 2007. I have always given thought to self hosting, but have been afraid to move over. I guess the fear of not being able to understand WP and being stuck forever! ;) Thanks again for the reminder to move my butt!

  2. Jess says:

    Whoa. I’m already self hosted but spend a lot of time on The Twitter. Once again, my friend, you have my wheels turning….

  3. Jenn says:

    I’ve wanted to pull back from social media a bit, anyway, just because of the time suck. Now I have just another reason to do it!

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