I understand the need for provocative statements (heck, my last post here led off with “Experts are Useless), so perhaps I should not be quick to judge the statement “You won’t need a website by 2015!” However:
A friend brought this Tweet from the recent Inbound Marketing UK Summit to my attention. As someone who preaches, along with my colleagues, that owning your own online content platform (such as a Web site or blog), this statement seemed patently ridiculous; a bold, unprovable statement made by someone trying to get attention, à la the folks five or six years ago who claimed that “print would be dead in five years.”
Of course, I don’t know the full context of the statement this Tweeter gushed about, so I won’t be too harsh without that knowledge. However, the statement taken alone is, of course, silly.
On the other hand, there is one way to predict you don’t need a website in 2015 – perhaps you don’t need one now.
Sure, non-owned platforms are a great place to put “owned media,” the content you create. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube work wonderfully; but what happens if any of those go away or become undesirable? An acquaintance in one of the Facebook groups I frequent asked that very question recently, as he wondered about old MySpace content in an age where he is focusing on Facebook. If he can do that successfully, what then when there is no Facebook? Move everything again?
Taking this to a higher level; what you do need is a place you own– maybe not your web site (or blog), maybe it’s something else – but it’s something that you own, where you have control. Here is a quick, not-at-all well thought out list of things you might need:
- Web site (let’s keep that here, shall we, even though it’s 2015 and everyone has flying cars, orgasmatrons and food synthesizers)
- Online store (maybe you don’t call that your “web site.” I love semantics, bring it on)
- Your bank account (this may or may not be via an online store, but getting people’s cash directly? Who needs a web site, content or even a product? Well, ok, a product might be necessary)
- Your ego (There. it’s ok to use Blogger)
- Your phishing database (see: “Bank Account,” above)