Other than the devastating news out of Oklahoma, the digital world is buzzing this week over the news that Yahoo has purchased blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Or as some are now referring to it: Yumblr. It is too early in this process to know what plans Yahoo has for Tumblr, but one thing is for sure: Tumblr will change. Tumblr subscribers will either embrace the changes or they will leave. In droves.
In March 2012, the headline was Twitter Buys Posterous. Many people speculated that Posterous would stay around; that Twitter only wanted the owners/management team but would leave the product alone. Alas, that was not the case. Posterous shut down May 31, 2013.
Tumblr and Posterous offered users a simple to use and user friendly blogging format. Something that the novice or casual blogger could use, customize the look and feel and create what they wanted without all of the “heavy-lifting” involved with a self-hosted website or blog. Sounds easy, right? Well, as with all things in life that sound too good to be true, sometimes free and easy is not the best solution.
What is one thing that the former Posterous and the “future unknown” Tumblr have in common? The users DO NOT own their content!! If you didn’t download a backup of your data from Posterous, it is gone. Forever. Will that happen with Tumblr? Who knows. Yahoo may keep it up and running and not change the platform at all. They may start charging for it or they could fill it up with ad space to offset the Billion Dollar purchase price.
The bottom line is this; you must own your content and protect it. Work with professionals to develop and host your website and blog. These are your thoughts, ideas and professional work. Own it. Protect it. Value it just like you do financials for your company. If you need suggestions on who to work with to build your site, contact me.
Now, if you are saying in your mind; “but John, what if I publish something and someone steals it?” Well, my first suggestion is you go after them! But before you even think about that, I STRONGLY encourage you, suggest, will drive to your house and twist your arm to read Erika Napoletano’s suggestions. I consume most everything Erika writes and last week was no exception. It came to Erika’s attention that someone was, in her words, “ripping her off!” She published two phenomenal blogs on her experience: If You’re Going to Rip Me Off, At Least Be Creative About It and On Stealing Shit. Check her blogs out, determine a plan to deal with it if and when it happens to you; because it will!
Your website should be your hub while using social outposts as way to build communities to support and engage. But before you do anything, build that hub. Build your website, own and protect your content.
That’s all for now. Let me know your thoughts!