Since Elon Musk completed his rumored Twitter takeover with a $44 billion price tag, I hope microbloggers have begun rethinking strategy.
How do you feel Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover? The day the announcement came out, a friend on Facebook said he shutdown his Twitter account on the spot. Others expressed reactions ranging from excitement, optimism, fear, trepidation to outrage.
I don’t have any immediate plans to shut down my Twitter account.
I’ll give the service a chance. I’ll stick around as long as the platform shows me respect. (Sometimes, showing respect simply means providing a reasonably safe environment where people can do what they do.)
I certainly have no expectation that Musk will pick up his phone and call me to see what I’d like to see. I don’t even expect Twitter to send out a member survey that any of the higher-ups would even read.
But how the service deals with the inevitable issues that are already being discussed might inform many of its users whether a continued relationship with the service might be worth it.
People will, as always, make their own decisions. They will, as the saying goes, govern themselves accordingly.
But here’s where we need to talk about ‘microblogging’
There are bloggers whose “blogs” are essentially a social media profile. They say they legitimately “blog” on services like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There are plenty of social media “influencers” who claim it’s their social profiles where they find all of their success.
But remember that Facebook friend I mentioned who already announced he’d abandoned Twitter?
Think about that for a moment.
Let’s say he were an “influencer” who did his blogging solely on Twitter rather than his own website. What would have just happened to his “blog”?
If he were a Twitter microblogger, would he have had to stay on a service he no longer wanted to stay on? Or would he have had to just decide to toss everything he’d previously posted?
Yes, I’m aware social media platforms — at least some — give users the option to download their content. But when is the last time you downloaded your content so you could then re-upload it elsewhere? I don’t know anyone who has ever done such a thing. It seems absurdly labor-intensive to me.
You never used Twitter? Fine. But you’re posting regularly on Instagram, let’s say.
Now suppose that Instagram pulls some kind of serious crap that somehow royally ticks you off.
Voilà! You’re now in the same boat.
So what do you do? If you decide you’re going to break up with that platform, what happens to that “blog”?
On the other hand, if your blog is on an actual website that you control, you can always direct your audience there for your content. Leaving a social platform might sting, but it won’t eliminate your online presence.
Blog on a blog, not on social media.
By all means, use social media to market your site. That’s a smart strategy to maintain.
But don’t put all of your eggs in the social media basket. If a social platform does something you don’t like, or if it shuts down on its own — remember Google+? — and that’s the sole place you “blog,” you’re screwed.
Let’s suppose someone invents a brand new platform tomorrow that becomes so big that it makes today’s current major players look like Myspace. (Remember them?) What are you going to do with your social media “blog” on one of those diminished sites? Are you going to start from scratch somewhere new?
If your blog is on an actual blog, you won’t have to.
You won’t have the “instant gratification” on a blog that you will on social media. I’m sorry, but there’s no real way around that. It’s life.
But you’ll have the longterm gratification of controlling the home to your content no matter what one social media channel or another does.
For a blogger, that’s a very important safeguard to maintain!