Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn Us

If you create or write on the Internet, you’ll want to read and understand recent posts by Fred Wilson, Ben Thompson, and Seth Godin, three writers who have worked hard, sentence-by-sentence, to earn the trust and respect of a legion of readers.

Many of the brightest and best writers / thinkers / businesspeople / educators / leaders I know read every word that Fred, Seth, and Ben post online.  So when they converge on a topic, as they recently have, I think it’s a triangulation that matters.

Wilson’s post urges writers to own their digital writing instead of giving it away to other people’s platforms.  He references a Tweet wherein he crystalized his message, quickly and without punctuation:  “You have to blog on your own domain. medium, facebook, linkedin, huffpo will do what are in their interests, not yours. i have been doing it every day for 15 years this year. feels great to own my archive, my brand, my content, myself.”

Thompson’s post is the most complex, but it hinges on an important belief: “The story for media is for all intents and purposes unchanged: success depends on building a direct relationship with readers . . . ”

Godin’s post is an open letter to Google advocating for the rights of bloggers to be able to deliver their content and for readers of blogs to be able to receive that content.  “Google and Facebook,” he writes, “are now the dominant middlemen for more than 85% of all online advertising. Along the way, Google has also dominated much of the email communication on the planet.  You get all the money but I think you need to up your game in return.”

The posts are linked below.  Given that these three are all circling around the same essential lessons, it would be tough to say that we weren’t warned.

Fred Wilson’s “Owning Yourself”
Ben Thompson’s “Facebook’s Motivations”
Seth Godin’s “Please Don’t Kill the Blogs”

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