Imagine you are preparing to speak at a large conference. You’ve spent weeks preparing, assembling the perfect presentation, and anxiously awaiting the moment you step to the podium.
Now imagine that mere moments before you open your mouth, a fellow attendee jumps up, grabs a microphone, and starts giving their own presentation.
This is exactly what happens to brands like yours on the social internet every single day. If you want to build an online platform, you need a home base where you and you alone hold the keys.
The Gatekeepers Are Gone
You may or may not know the names Guglielmo Marconi, Alexander Graham Bell, Philo Farnsworth, and Tim Berners-Lee, but together these men invented the pillars of 20th-century media: the radio, the telephone, the television, and the internet.
You certainly know the names of modern internet media pioneers like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey, whose respective contributions gave us Amazon, Paypal, Facebook, and Twitter. But if we say the name, Justin Hall, you might likely respond with a resounding, “who?”
And yet, Hall invented one of the most important platforms of the internet age. On January 22, 1994, from his dorm room at Swarthmore College, Justin Hall hand-coded the first blog site using HTML.
Since 1994, more than 505 million blogs have been published on the World Wide Web. Today, we mostly take this medium for granted—but blogs are at the center of a cataclysmic cultural shift that has occurred over the last 25 years.
A thousand years ago, there were a handful of powerful gatekeepers who directed which information was spread all over the world. Want to share your opinion on how to make the world a better place? Get in line for the King.
Five hundred years ago, Gutenberg’s printing press took the gatekeeper count from a few to a few thousand—but with the dawn of the personal blog, 7 billion people became their own gatekeepers overnight.
Today, everyone has a voice. Not just the voice you’re born with, but the voice that scales infinitely online. If you have anything you want to say, no one can stop you. People may or may not be interested, but you don’t need anyone’s approval to publish an anecdote or manifesto online.
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Control Your Own Medium
Unfortunately, some people seem to have forgotten that—adopting new gatekeepers like Facebook, YouTube, or Medium to publish content.
Shared platforms are phenomenal for reaching new people (more on that in a future issue) but there will always be a missing element of ownership and control when another entity holds the keys to your content.
You need a platform of your own. These are the three leading reasons why you need an independent Home Base on the internet:
- A Home Base Provides Ownership. Like your own storefront or the front door of your house, this becomes your headquarters—the place where you conduct commerce and welcome guests, where you hold the keys.
- A Home Base Provides Curation. Your website is uniquely yours, and the content you curate serves to paint a more complete picture of you and your brand.
- A Home Base Provides Customization. This is why we recommend you launch a self-hosted WordPress website (using a domain like yourname.com). WordPress is the industry standard, powering nearly a quarter of websites online today―and it’s much simpler to build and customize than Justin Hall’s HTML site.
The gatekeepers are long gone. The whole world is within reach. All you have to do is open the door to your independent Home Base.