The Seductive Power of the Dark Side [Rented Land]

For years, John Battelle, entrepreneur, technology innovator, and the founder of Wired, drilled into media and marketing professionals the idea of NOT building your content house on rented land.

As recently as two years ago, he clearly stated that “if you’re going to build something, don’t build on land someone else already owns. You want your own land, your own domain, your own sovereignty.” Why? Simply put, once you publish on someone else’s platform, you do not own the subscribers or assets associated with that content. Even if you build followers or fans on that platform, it doesn’t give you the right to communicate with them.

John went on, “Trouble is, so much of the choice land; the land where all the ‘people’ are; is already owned by someone else: by Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Apple (in apps, anyway). These platforms are where… the people are, after all. It’s where the headwaters form for most of the powerful streams on the Internet. It’s tempting to build your brand on those lands… but my counsel is simple: Don’t. There’s plenty of land out there on the Rest of The Internet. In fact, there’s as much land as you want, and what you make of it is up to you as a publisher.”

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