Platforms are changing, evolving, iterating more rapidly than ever. With great change comes great disruption as people move from place to place. Familiar, stable locations suddenly become unstable as mass migrations occur. With that in mind, your home base is now more important than ever. It’s the one thing under your control, the one thing that is as stable and as predictable as possible in turbulent times.
Remember MySpace? So many people, so many companies, sunk thousands of hours and dollars into building out their presence. Companies launched million dollar campaigns to drive traffic to MySpace pages. Bands abandoned their websites in droves to set up MySpace pages. All of that marketing, all of that effort, and today MySpace is a digital foreclosure, with the same weeds and abandoned properties look of the worst neighborhoods.
Right now Facebook and Google+ are battling it out for mindshare and marketshare. Tides of battle will swing back and forth as each network seeks dominance over being the social network of record. This creates turbulence among your customers. Today’s most avid Facebookers might be moving to Google+ or vice versa. The audience you’ve come to rely on today in one network may suddenly be on a different network tomorrow. With this much migration, with this much uncertainty, home base is all you have.
What is home base?
- It’s the website you own and operate.
- It’s the domain name that you bought.
- It’s the content you wrote that is exclusively yours.
- It’s the mailing list that you encourage people to sign up for at every opportunity.
- It’s the discussion forum that you moderate on your site.
It’s the places you have under your control, the audiences that you manage, the only stuff that is truly yours.
If you’re not growing home base, you’re leaving yourself to be a casualty of war between the major powers as they battle for social media dominance.
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Simple and sweet. It’s why I’ve made sure to make my site as social media independent as possible. I will not let people log in except through my site’s login apparatus. The idea that any of these sites may fold rapidly is the simple reason I will not rely on them for basic site features on _my_ site.
Totally agree with your take on the current ‘platform wars.’
Engaging your community in the space that you control has never been more important. Looking at Facebooks’ current changes I suspect that they will confuse a large proportion of their audience who already seem to be getting tired of being sold.
Likes aren’t translating into loyalty.
Time to return to the fundamentals of transparency and building trust via offering value to community members.
I had (potential) clients in front of me just this morning and had to explain this concept to them. OWN YOUR SH*T is exactly how I put it. With FB’s new changes Fan Pages seem to get even less ‘wall time’ than before so making sure a business does not have all it’s resources in one place – especially a place they don’t own / control – is more important than ever.
Well said Mr. Penn…
You are so right about this Christopher. Everyone on the Internet needs a home base. I think this also applies to the bloggers on hosted platforms like Tumblr, WordPress.com, and Blogger.