As our small businesses are so personal to us it makes sense to keep control of what we put out in the big wide world.
You may have seen recently that Posterous is being closed down by Twitter, who acquired the platform in March 2012. I rather enjoyed using Posterous. I posted quite a few of my photos there, mainly from my walks around the countryside locally. I was disappointed that my content was under threat.
However, Posterous has offered us a back-up solution which I have taken up, and in fact I have transferred everything from my Posterous site to a WordPress.com blog, which is here. It needs work, but everything is there.
Now people might say that as another “easy” blog platform which I don’t own, that WordPress.com blog is still subject to the whims of the business which owns it. Well, firstly, I trust them to act in the best interests of their customers, and secondly, I have bought the domain through the owners, Automattic and if something terrible happened to their company, which I am sure it won’t, I can take my domain elsewhere as I did with onourbikes.com. It is still a WordPress site of course, albeit WordPress.org one, but the domain is mine and the site is backed up.
My ex-Posterous WordPress site is not a business one, but it does illustrate that we need to own all our material and content. My own opinion is that we need to own the domains of all our websites and blogs. If we use a platform such as WordPress.com, then it gives security to own the domain for $18 a year or so.
It is true that I have a blog on Blogger.com because it is convenient to post my opinion about tax issues there rather than on my main business website, which is all about content to help clients and to attract prospects.. However, from experience I know it would be easy to extract all the content via a back-up or directly onto a WordPress.org site because I have done it already.
Just do not take it for granted that everything you think you own will be preserved in aspic forever unless you really do own and back up the domain where it sits. Keep your ear to the ground for what could happen to all your other stuff, because you are just paying the rent if it is on someone else’s platform. Just because I pay the rent on Flickr doesn’t mean all my photos are not saved and backed up securely.
I think we need to keep our business stuff and all our original material in places we own. If we really cannot own them we must pay the rent for a space we can have backed up properly. Don’t lose it.