Finding a home for your content

I’ve been blogging on WordPress.com for over nine years and I’m very happy with my decision to become both a WordPress.com user back then, and a WordPress.com (Automattic) employee in 2015.

One of the reasons I love WordPress.com is that it built upon the WordPress open source software that provides users with full control and ownership of their content. Content on WordPress.com can be easily exported and used elsewhere, including on your own WordPress.org self-hosted site if you choose to.

That’s why I choose WordPress as a home for my content. I know I’ll always control and own that content in WordPress.

But having a home isn’t enough. People consume my content in various ways besides just visiting my blog. That’s where I use channels to distribute my content.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Email are all great channels for your content. But your content shouldn’t live there. You shouldn’t make a channel your home.

I cringe when I see people I know writing articles directly on LinkedIn. They’re writing content in a channel.

Imagine that a few years ago you thought Google+ looked promising and decided that you were going to make Google+ the home for all your content. Everything you wrote would live on Google+. How would you feel about that decision today?

Imagine last year you that decided you were going to make Medium the home for all your content. How would you feel when you found out that they have no real business model and they just reduced their staff by about a third?

As DHH, who ironically uses Medium for his content, recently said:

If you’re a publisher on Medium, I’d dust off the contingency plans none the less.

I’m obviously rather biased, but speaking from over nine years of personal experience, WordPress.com, and WordPress in general seems like a pretty good bet as a long term home for your content.

Channels are ephemeral (as we’ve seen with so many failed social networks) so just use these to your advantage to promote your content, but don’t use them as a home for your content! You’ll regret this later on.

Did you know that WordPress.com (this blog) automatically publishes to my twitter account, my Facebook page, and to my LinkedIn profile? All without me doing a thing 😊

 

Oh, and did you know we’ve just announced our WordPress.com Medium importer which I helped test 😉

 

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

5 thoughts on “Finding a home for your content”

  1. I’ve had a post sort of like this moldering in my drafts for a couple weeks, as I write a series about blogging in honor of my blog’s tenth anniversary. Ten years ago the choices were WordPress.com, Blogger.com/Blogspot.com, and LiveJournal.com. WordPress.com had the best UI so that’s what I went with. And then over the years it blossomed into a community, and the functionality increased and improved. I got very lucky when I chose WordPress.com.

    I have a pipedream in the back of my head that after I’m empty nested (just a few years away) I’ll step off the management-go-round (I’m Director of PM and QA for a software company in Indiana) and be a happiness engineer for Automattic!

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  2. WordPress was good until I tried out some static site generators, like Jekyll, Hexo, Hugo. The sad truth is WordPress is very slow… Personally I prefer static site, clean and fast. Would you gonna give it a try?

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    1. If purely after speed these look good. I’m after other things like publishing automatically to all my channels, publishing from apps on my phone, image scaling, responsive design themes, comment and spam management and stats. How do you handle all these for statically generate sites?

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  3. That’s a great post, I loved the channel vs home metaphor… Indeed in the past Google+ looked promising to me and several people (e.g. Guy Kawasaki) were saying that it was the way to go. Looking back, I would regret it a lot today. Thankfully I chose a self-hosted WordPress instance.

    Like you, I publish on my “home” and let the bots push it to channels like Facebook, Twitter and others. For that I use IFTTT. Simple to configure, works as a charm.

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