So in addition to a philosophical waxer, parent extraordinaire, and novice storyteller I am a web developer, content strategy digital marketer… I invent new ways to make mistakes. Have I got a story and an offer for you?
What if I built a luxury island. On that island was millions and millions of wonderful apartments, free food, and the chance to meet people and live a comfortable life at no cost to you. Would you take the opportunity? Hey, I will help you move.
Now imagine that the fantastic all expense paid for island home of luxury is always improving. The staff is super nice everyone is listening. Then one day you get a notice.
We have installed cameras in every single room. We will be recording this only for advertising purposes. If you do not agree to these terms you are free to leave.
I like to think that most sane people would choose to skedaddle out of there even if it meant pain in the short term for privacy in the long. But let's say you don't. You decide that maybe if they don't share the footage it will be okay. So you let yourself become somewhat numb to the situation.
Several other terms of service come out. Suddenly you start to notice that the more in line with your fellow island dwellers you are the nicer your apartment is. Now let's say that people that you don't agree with are suddenly being downgraded to what might be considered the ghetto. Who cares it's not you. Heck, maybe you cheer it.
Now let's say suddenly you get a message from several that someone paid some money and got the footage from all of the cameras for … "reasons." You are outraged understandably so but you did decide to live there right?
Obviously, the island is facebook and any other social media platform you might decide to build your audience on. When you say build your audience on Facebook remember that you only co-own that audience. These platforms seek to offer you convenience in exchange for absolute data-driven power. You are their product. They influence your art. They convince you to dance a jig.
Here is the hard truth. What they do is business. It definitely calls into question some morality but in the end, what they are doing you agreed to by being on their platform. You enabled them all the while smiling about it.
So what is the answer? Well, the web is a place where you can own your own space. It will cost you some time, effort, and money. Which is why many, too many will fall right back into the trap once the system gets's done cannibalizing its last promised child.
Let's say you don't want to go back. Let's say instead of living on some luxury island owned by a supposed saint you want to instead have your own home on your own plot of land. Now at the risk of blowing up my own inbox, I will say this. For free and on my own time I will tell you how to set up something you can own. Don't get me wrong I won't be doing the work for you. You will push the buttons you will make the decisions, and you will learn but I would be happy to help.
Also published on Medium.