There are more and more of us creating all kinds of content online. In many cases, this content goes a long way to defining who we are online. If someone wants to know what we’re about, a look at our content can be quite helpful.
What happens if that content disappears?
Well, as far as search engines and referrals go, so do you.
This is why it’s SO important to keep control of your content. I don’t mean from a copyright/legal point of view, I mean from an existance point of view.
There was recently an uproar when a podcast hosting service closed it’s doors. All the content on those servers became inaccessible. What if that was your content? How would I find you now?
It’s not podcasting, picture the same thing happening on any content site (pictures, blogs, bookmarks, video, audio, tweets, whatever).. if that host is gone, so are you. Won’t happen? where are all the hosts from 8 years ago? Some have survived, many have not. As we tumble through this economic uncertainty, are you going to rely on a free service to maintain your online existance?
Does that mean you shouldn’t use these services? Of course not, but PLEASE at least have a backup copy of your own, so that when that service does disappear, you’ll be at least able to republish somewhere and reconstruct your identity.
It actually goes the other way too – I work for a company that has a vibrant internal blogging scene on the internal network hidden from the planet. If one of these bloggers leaves the company, they become separated from the content they’ve created. I agree that the company owns those blogs, but if you are trying to use the blog to build your presence, understand the limitations of doing it behind the wall.
So how do we protect our efforts.. I don’t think I have all the answers, but off the top of my head…
- keep copies of your content! Don’t trust that podcastservicedude.com will be there when you need it, companies can shut down pretty quickly
- get your own domain, and try to have the links to your content target that domain. If your wonderful podcast episode on eternal happiness had a url like fredhappyshow.podango.com/3.mp3 .. It’s gone. Look into redirects so that the url refers to your domain, and your server maps it behind the scenes.
Do you have any suggestions for protecting your content?