Why owning and hosting your own blog is good (for everyone) July 24, 2015 cliffski There was a time when blogging was new. I used to read this one guys blog practically every day. Sadly his blog and company is no more, but back then, when dinosaurs roamed, the done thing was to use blogger. Blogger got bought by google, and wordpress became popular, and over the years I ended up with this blog running on wordpress, hosted on my site. And here we all are. And I’m glad we are here. What I like about the fact that this blog is here, owned by me, and hosted on a server controlled by me, is freedom and independence. These are VERY important to me, and its surprising how little freedom of discussion we really have these days. I’m not talking about political censorship (of which, despite extremist rants to the contrary we have very little in the UK), but corporate censorship. The background of this site, the font choice, the images, and the words I type are all MY choice. This is what I think, unedited, uncensored, not restricted by the opinions of facebook, twitter, blogspot/google, youtube or anyone else. This is more important than it sounds. Recently my twitter page lost its custom background. Interesting, because this was a corporate decision by Twitter. I pay nothing to use twitter, so I have no say in this. If twitter decide to close my account, and cut me off from all my followers, there is *nothing* any of us can do about that. In a similar way, facebook could close my account (or yours), google could close my gmail account, youtube could close my youtube account, and so on. When you look around at all the people you know, and the way you talk to them, communicate with them, and stay in touch with what you might call a ‘community’, its worth remembering that that list of ‘friends’ and ‘community’ exists almost entirely at the whim of a scarily small list of corporate entities. This is also true of relationships with customers as a business. I have facebook owned facebook pages. Valve owned game community pages. Google owned Youtube channels. The only real direct connection I have with customers is my own forums (hosted by me) and this blog (hosted by me). Direct sales as a software seller are your insurance policy. Direct relationships with customers are also an insurance policy. Yup, its slightly more hassle to run forums and host a blog than just use existing solutions. But its a good idea.