Do You Own the Content You Create Online?

I tend to prefer blogging over participating heavily in sites like MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter, but hadn’t put much thought into why that is.

Luckily, I no longer have to since Brian Clark from Copyblogger nailed it:

Are You Someone’s User-Generated Content?

For me, there’s really no appeal in spending a lot of time creating “user-generated” content via a social networking application. That’s like remodeling the kitchen in a house you rent.

Exactly. Why should I spend time creating content within a social networking site when I can just as easily – actually more easily – create content on a property I own and control?

What happens when a social networking site dies? Or, more realistically, continues one but my firends and colleagues have moved on? Can I easily retrieve my content? If I publish blog posts to MySpace, the answer is No.

Can you pull content that you’ve created in Facebook out of it? What happens to your WhereIveBeen or Cities I’ve Visited data? Do you have to start over at the next hot spot?

If you publish the same content to your blog or other site that you control, you don’t have to worry about starting over since you maintained control of your own data.

This is why I’ve been a lazy Facebook user for the past year. I simply syndicate in headlines from blog posts I’ve written elsewhere rather than contribute content greater than status updates directly into the system.

If social networking sites gave me greater control over the content I create I’d reconsider. Until then, don’t expect much support from me.

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