Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why you should blog

Here is a post I wrote a while back due to the backlash about my boring stint as a tech blogger.

I started this blog two weeks ago with the goal of making an app and keeping a record of it. I don't have a lot of friends who are technical and who find my first posts dry and boring. The truth is that they probably are a little dry and boring but there is one thing I have that they dont. I own and control my content! If there is one thing that prompted me to blog it is that reason.

You are making others rich
People these days are pouring hours and hours of time into Facebook and other social media sites. They are writing comments and posting things about their day and what they like. Facebook is more than happy to provide the space for you to do that. Why would they spend millions of dollars to keep up servers so you can talk about your day? One word, advertising.

With each "like" and each profile update you give them a more complete picture of yourself, where you go, and what you buy. Facebook has this kind of personal profile on over 500 million people. A friend of mine got a facebook ad to market an event he was doing. They let him target people with details like: 20-40 year old, male in Topeka Ks. That is pretty specific. They are making money just by you going on their site to update your status and since their ads can target people more specifically they are able to get more people to click on them.

Not only do they use this kind of information for ads on their site they use it to give information to other companies about what kinds of people like what kinds of products. We are willingly creating very precise information about what we will buy and what it will take for us to buy it.

You don't control your content
Have you ever thought "Hey it would be cool if I could have all of the info I have put into facebook?" You can't. There is no easy way to get your data off of facebook. Why is that? You technically still own it but they dont want you to take it. Your content is valuable and so the entire goal is to make it easy for you to create it but hard for you to do anything else with it. If they make it that hard for you to remove your content it must be more valuable than you think. Even dry content like mine.

So why would you spend hours and hours building content for others to benefit from when you can:

Benefit from your own content
I am not blogging for money right now but if I wanted to I could turn on ads and make money off of the traffic I generate. I would make the money and not some giant social media company.

Control your own content
People switch blogging engines all of the time. They can do this because they manage their own content and it is easy to export and move it around. You also control how it is presented to others.  You can express yourself beyond the words with cool styles and pictures.

Link to your content
Have you ever had someone link you to a cool facebook status update they did a year ago? No. That is because people don't think about what they put on social media in that way and there is not really a way to do that. Social media programs are black holes where we throw our words never to be seen again.

Facebook is great and a perfect for keeping in touch but anything beyond that is giving money to a multi-billion dollar company. Who would want to do that?

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