There is a saying that goes, “Don’t build your house on rented land”. In the simplest terms, this means don’t give control to somebody else just because you want to save a couple of dollars. Online the same is true and is what I want to talk about today. There has been example after example of people who left their business identity and ability to make money over to some other company. Why? Because it was easy and cheap or more often than not free.
There are examples after examples of people screaming crying developing ulcers because they left all of their intellectual property in the hands of a third party site. From people who thought they could just use social media pages to podcasters who one day woke up to find their feed didn’t work and they lost all of their audience.
Feedburner is a google property that has been used by Podcasters and bloggers alike since almost the turn of the century. Feed Burner started out as an RSS Feed Redirect and added features to help bloggers find out how many people were subscribing to their blog and when podcasts too off they added the ability to insert the needed RSS tags to the feed.
Well as time would have it Feedburner is still around but Google has pretty much left it sitting at the bottom of the toy bin. There have not been any big updates and hardly any small updates. Yet people still use this platform to keep a very inaccurate track of how many people are subscribed to their feed. Feedburner now chokes and binds up and won’t update as it should. If you are going to use Feedburner you have to mind it daily to make sure that your content is released.
The other problem is that coming to the surface. This is the tale of a podcaster who has has a show running to 11 years. Not once have they thought of getting off of Feedburner, because it has just simply worked. That is till they let an old domain laps and that domain was tied to their Google Apps account at one time. I am sure you are seeing where this is going. Feedburner is tied to their google apps account. A person who snatched up that account was able to take over that account. In essence wiping out 11 years of audience building. The hard work and care it took to build that community were simply gone.
Now I know that this show is talking about Google trying to get their show back and I am hoping they do. It is a great show and would highly recommend it. Yet this shows that when a platform is not updated there are bugs that don’t get fixed. These bugs offer the opportunity for your hard work to go fluttering out of the window.
If these folks had control of their RSS feed this wouldn’t be a problem. If this podcast hadn’t put all of their faith is an aging platform that hasn’t been updated in a while and hadn’t run their original RSS feed through this redirect they wouldn’t be worrying about their 11 years of work.
A little while after Facebook had opened its doors to the public. Facebook was starting to open the Facebook pages up to businesses and people also. Soon people were coming to understand the power of social media. Soon everybody had a Facebook page. The common comment was and visit our Facebook page for great deals!
All was good for a long time People were giving classes on how to properly build a Facebook page and grow a thriving community. People were being told they don’t have to have a website anymore. Facebook can be your website. Everything was sunshine and lollypops till Facebook decided they needed to make money. They had just become a publicly traded stock and to appease the stockholders Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have to generate money. How? Advertising, and with advertising, you have to entice people to shell out money to advertise. So Facebook dialed back the amount of exposure a Facebook page was able to get for free.
This was the dreaded algorithm. This piece of code still confounds social media managers to this day. What happened is this the reach that the pages had all of a sudden dried up. People who were able to make money from their Facebook pages all of a sudden were not getting any response at all. Their reach had pretty much disappeared. There is no recourse for losing that revenue stream.
If these people had their own website with their own domain name these people would not have lost nearly as much of their followers or their revenue stream. but they built their house of the rented land of Facebook and Facebook can change the rules any time they choose.
You may have heard about Blab. it was all the rage just earlier this year. People were again holding classes and singing the praises of this live streaming wonder that is Blab.im. People were again putting all of their eggs in one basket, so to speak. People were doing something that often is called amazing they were building huge communities. there was only one direction to go, up.
That is until August 12, 2016, when out of nowhere Blab was shut down. Wasn’t because it was not successful. Blab was considered wildly successful. but it was not what the creators wanted. So they shut it down and all of those communities that were created were instantly gone. poof! buh-bye.
Many people were again without their revenue stream yet some like Ileane Smith had a website, to begin with, and had a following with her Basic Blog Tips site. She then pivoted to began covering the other live stream services. But she is always pointing her audience back to her home base. Those that she lost were not part of her community.
Clues to Look out for
Has the platform you are using been updated in a while? You can find out easily if you just search around. FeedBurner hasn’t been updated and so if there is a chance of a bug or exploit. So if you are using an old platform know that there is a god chance that there are items that are broken in it.
If it disappears tomorrow does your audience? This is the big question if you can actually say yes then point your audience to your website. Build a following around your website. that way if something happens they can get the latest information as to where to find you. You can also set up a redirect to where you are going to be if that is your choice. The use of your domain name is limitless. The cost is nill 15 dollars a year. and your SEO actually goes up if you buy multiple years.
There is nothing worse than losing your customers all because someone decided to change the rules. You ned to have a home base for your fans and customers to visit. A central hub for information for your audience.
If you need help setting up a domain please let me know I can help you get a site set up for your customers.
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