Are you building your own network on your territory?

A strange title, but let me explain.

When we all started out on the Internet we all built email lists, forums, a network on our own websites, our own domains and databases. Yet as social has become the dominant force on the Internet the trend is for individuals and brands to instead utilise third party platforms for building out their following. The conversations between brand and customer often now take place on facebook, twitter, or G+.

It’s hardly surprising this has happened, we all tend to follow the crowd and go where the people are, and we SHOULD. Added to that these networks make it simple, absolutely easy for us to sign-up and feed on the crack of the networks.

The trouble with all of this though is that we are at the mercy of these networks, in so much that the following points should be a cause for concern.

  • we don’t own the data
  • we can’t directly monetise the data
  • we can’t generally back-up the data
  • if the platform sells, fails, dies, we could lose our community

My advise is to focus on building your community on your own turf as much as possible and use these third party networks to funnel in traffic  to your own territory.

What’s your view?