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The importance of owning yourself (digitally)

Over the last few months, Stephen Downes has made several references to the importance of owning your own domain. I fully agree. The contributions that I make to blogs, social networking services, and Twitter are under the control of the organizations that build and develop those tools (but I host my own sites/domains for posts/discussions as well). Generally, companies need customers, so they try to walk a line of creating a space of trust and attempts to commercialize efforts (and legal issues as well). Trust is needed in order to foster a growing network. However, sometimes things like this happen: Google deletes music blogs.

For a detailed exploration of trust, see We are Media. Do we Trust Media?. The focus is more on peer-peer trust, but does consider the low levels of trust with media companies as well.

One Comment

  1. Brian wrote:

    I agree with your overall point, owning ones own domain and other elements is an important element of modern identity management. And we shouldn’t be naive about the motives of the companies and organizations that want to leverage social media for profit.

    As a long-time enthusiast of music blogs in all their many incarnations…

    …it’s worth noting that the anonymity allowed by the free services like Google’s Blogspot is more or less essential for many of these music blogs to function. If other services follow the lead of Google (I think has been cracking down on similar sites for some time), moving to a self-hosted model is not really an option… Because even if the domain registration is masked, ultimately if you want to get decent web hosting a credit card is required. And that means somewhere down the road law enforcement can make a better case against your legal liability.

    Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

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