“LittleThings is one of several social publishers that built its business on distributed content, scrapping the once-antiquated need for a website. That’s perhaps changing, with NowThis launching a website in January after ditching it in 2015.”
What exactly happened to LittleThings?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg did a brainfart – and suddenly Facebook changed: The algorithm changed – again.
Facebook suddenly wanted now to show more personal connections in your news feed – and less publishers.
That change killed LittleThings.
LittleThings was a fairly prominent online publisher that published positive and uplifting stories. They had a huge flaw however: They relied heavily on Facebook: the “list” they built wasn’t an emailing list: – Rather; it consisted solely of Facebook fans.
The change in the Facebook algorithm resulted in a MASSIVE drop in the reach of LittleThings to their own community. – So much so that they were forced to announce that they would need to shut down.
Their site still appears to be online, however there doesn’t seem to be any activity. Their about pages and advertising pages are producing errors. It doesn’t look good…
They thought that websites were unnecessary and an old-fashioned concept.
They thought that Social Media was the answer: ‘More traffic, and free.
They thought that they no longer needed a website.
They were wrong, wrong, and wrong: –
As Facebook and other social media rose to a position of prominence and power, all the so-called “social media gurus”; who suddenly became “experts”, were out there proclaiming the importance of building up these huge communities on pages and feeds on Facebook, plus creating a page and building up tons of likes, etc. Many people did that; but over time the organic reach of these feeds, groups, and brands, dropped. – And it kept on dropping.
If you rely on Facebook for online-community-building, you’re at risk. – It’s that simple.
The Facebook-only-trading-model is now something like: PAY Facebook to help you to get more likes. – PAY Facebook AGAIN to get those people who liked your page to actually SEE anything. – Then hope that Facebook doesn’t change things around too much while you trade.
Clearly, such a business-model is both unsustainable, and is also under threat all the time.
Always keep in mind that, everything that you do on Facebook – you don’t own it. – It can be ripped away from you anytime. You put it on THEIR website and THEY become the owners of it. That remains the case across all of social media too. Yes they allow you to edit it, to enlarge upon it, even to remove it if you don’t like your own work. – But they OWN your content – because it’s on their website – and they can remove it – or remove you from THEIR website – any time they feel like it; for any or no reason.
The above is the case across pretty much all of social media. These social sites control most of the attention online. – But, with all these sites, you don’t own any of it. No matter how much work you’ve put in to gain those followers over X years of hard toil, and no matter how much you’ve paid to the social media gurus… It can be all be ripped away by the website’s owner at any time, by whatever means, and for any reason they feel like.
– So yeah it is possible to build up a business, a following, a fan-club even, on social media. – That’s been proved possible. – But now we’re seeing the result of relying on third-parties to do it on your behalf, for the smallest sum possible:
You want to have them host your content for free? You have to play by their rules, and they can re-write the rulebook at any time.
You might feel that you have to pay them to host and to show your content; but even if you do that, you still have to play by their rules. – They wrote the contract that you entered into in making the transaction.
The above doesn’t only apply to social media either; It also applies to free websites:
Yes your Wix website that you got for free, and that you spent so many hours on making it look wonderful… Is owned by Wix dot com.
Free Wix websites are a subdomain of the Wix dot com website, and Wix own all of them, and all the content on them. – The difference is that Wix probably aren’t really interested in the content, and will just delete it and/or remove your account – if they feel like it, at any time, and for any or no reason.
It’s much the same deal with WordPress dot com too: They host your website, they own the webspace – blah…
In fact it’s the same with any piece of webspace that you add content to but that you don’t own…
Which is why I created and own this and other websites…
It’s mine. – ‘End of. I pay a hosting company – currently SiteGround at time of writing – to rent me webspace on their servers.
I pay for my domain name of buggerallon dot tv, among others.
I use the open-source WordPress content management system (CMS) which is available free from wordpress.org as a framework for my websites.
I created my own theme from one of the default WordPress themes supplied by the WordPress team by developing it for my own purposes.
I pay subscriptions for services from third-parties, such as certain plugins for instance: I have an ongoing subscription to Gravity Forms, for example…
In short I PAY for it and it’s mine.
Yes my website could go down if my host suddenly goes down. – But that would be temporary: Even if the hosting company never recovered I’d just get a new host, and I make regular site backups.
(I’d be quite sad if SiteGround ever did go to the wall. – They’re rather good.)
If Facebook or any social media start messing around in any way; getting funny and being difficult – even going to the wall – I lose nothing!
– Well OK I could potentially lose everything I’ve got on Facebook; but I can live without that… And I could live without Facebook too: It would make things difficult maybe, but it’s do-able. – ‘Same with Twitter, Linked-In…
Important Note: You cannot build your business or its assets on services you don’t own and control.
The services’ owners can take whatever you build away from you whenever they feel like it: They can remove your material or indeed your entire account. – In truth it wasn’t even yours to begin with.
– Things like…
Facebook “fans” or “likes” or pages containing content that you’ve created.
Twitter followers that you’ve maybe built up over years of dedicated adherence to the social media network.
Instagram followers that you may have developed a business-relationship with.
You Tube-ers who might rate your carefully-created videos; plus the videos themselves and their content.
Those things are nice commodities – which invoke a level of social proof… But the thing is that you don’t own any of it. – By submitting it to whatever social network, you’ve basically given them equal rights to your content. The main point is that they don’t have to keep displaying it, and they can delete any or all of it whenever they feel like it.
The Value of Free
I realise the value of free: It’s a colossal value; but only to freeloaders – and/or in rewarding or enticing customers: Generally, though, ‘free’ is not a value; in fact it’s quite the opposite. – A lack of value.
(Which is why very little of my music is free… And you thought I was just tight: Ha-ha; I sell things that I consider to be valuable. Commonly I only give away stuff that is losing or has lost its value, or that had very little or no value in the first place… OK – and occasionally stuff that I just got fed up with too.)
This is why; dear readers, I’ve not tried to get something for nothing by going the freebie-route. This is why the more-important part of what’s happening with me, happens here on my website. This is why I use social media less and my website more. It’s also why I encourage all my followers to do likewise.
I have this website: On this website I can advertise and procure items and articles for your entertainment. When Facebook and all other social media is dead; I’ll still have this website if I’m still alive.
– Maybe it will be continued by third-party/ies after my demise? – You never know.
* If you were to start your own website; what would you do with it?
I know a place full of great ideas, as well as support, tutelage, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. – It’s called “Blog Marketing Academy”. –
I have just one more thing to add, in conclusion: Remember My Space. – The same, or similar, could happen to any social network, and probably will.
Have a good day; and don’t rely on social media too much. – Build something which will be yours, will last, and which is owned and controlled by you. When you do that; you can build your business securely upon it.