Saturday, January 29, 2011

Home bases and Outposts

Recently I have been thinking about how social media and hosted content relate to the organization, a companies internet presence and personal projects. This has come up for two reasons; 1. thinking about the brand and community building for a client and 2. because I have started my OpenPhD. What's important is where the content gets hosted within these realms; do you have it on a company or personal website that you are in control? Or do you put it on a shared service like facebook, wikipedia, blogger, etc... This decision is well articulated in the idea of home bases and outposts.

For organizations / companies the home base is important so you don't lose control over your content and your brand. Content stored elsewhere can be moved, more easily copied and deleted. The policies around your content are not yours, they are the policies from the shared service. Putting content on the shared service makes sense when you are wanting to attract attention and drive traffic back to your own site. Usually, the content put on the shared service is a copy of what you have stored on your own site(s). Essentially the outposts attract attention and drive traffic back to your business (or home base).

For myself attempting the significant endeavour of an OpenPhD needs to have an online presence I have control over the content, how it is referenced and the ability to add and alter the software features around my content. This was apparent when I wanted to use delicious to bookmark my readings and references but couldn't reference delicious bookmarks in my Wikiversity profile due to the platform not supporting JavaScript. So, in the end I will build up my personal website to be my home base and refer to all other locations as outposts.