I create content: I write, I shoot photos, and I create music. I also make the occasional video.
I want an online location where I can keep up with all my content, and my interaction with others.
My website – a WordPress blog I self-host – the one you’re reading now – is the only place that truly gives me the control I want over my content. With my blog, I can
- Create text posts with any length or formatting I like
- Upload photos at any resolution with my choice of viewers
- Upload music for download or insert Soundcloud or Bandcamp widgets
- Interact with my guests using comments or Disqus
- Integrate 3rd party content from other sites that offer feeds
- Maintain 100% creative control over the look, feel, format, and style
The problem is – and it’s a biggie – is that the now-dinosaur-like “blog” format is completely isolated from social media. If I post something here on the blog, a few dozen people will see it. Nobody really reads my blog. But if I post something there, on Google+, a few hundred or even a thousand people might see it. It might even go viral, and millions of people might see it. On my blog, there is a next-to-zero chance that any content will go viral.
Of course, I can do what Guy Kawasaki does: publish on my blog, and link back to my blog from social media. But by failing to bring the content actually into the social media stream, I’m losing a lot of potential readers.
Or I can do what guys like Robert Scoble do: post everything everywhere. Scoble is ubiquitous. I don’t know how he can keep up with it all. In the memorable words of Mick Jagger, “I just don’t have that much jam.”
Alternatively, I can migrate to the available social tools instead. I can post my text diatribes over on Google+, but I have no control over the formatting and the layout is terrible for anything longer than a few paragraphs. I can also post my photos there and that works, mmm, OK, at best. I can’t post music, but I can share videos (a terrible situation) if I upload them to YouTube first. I can interact, which is probably the best feature. But I have zero creative control over the look and feel of my content. And I can’t integrate with 3rd party tools like Instagram, Twitter, Tripadvisor, or Hipster where I also create content.
So I end up with most of my most important content – my long blog posts and my music – hosted outside Google+.
What I really want – what someone needs to figure out – is how to have my cake and eat it too. Allow me to have my content on my blog – give me full creative control over it – but also allow me to interact on my blog through social media.
Alternatively, allow me to do everything I can do with my blog on a social media platform: customize it, post anything on it, and integrate anything into it.
The closest thing out there, actually, is Tumblr. Tumblr offers a social platform that is rich in content and customization and strong in supporting “viral multimedia.” The two problems Tumblr has are:
- Almost zero support for interaction – the only real interaction on Tumblr is sharing others’ posts, and
- Almost zero support for long text, since 99% of the content on Tumblr is visual. It just doesn’t work well for long posts, like this one.
Let’s figure this problem out together! I know I’m not alone. What are you doing to combat this problem?