Own Your Identity

Recently on Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow pointed to this quote from John Scalzi arguing that writers needed to register their own domain rather than use Facebook:

So, let’s go back to 1998. You’re a new writer and you want to establish a permanent residency online. Which would be wiser: Having your own site at your own domain, or putting up a site at GeoCities? It’s 2001, same drill: Which is wiser: Having your own domain, or creating a site on AOL servers?

2003: Your own domain, or a Friendster page?

2007: Your own domain, or a MySpace page?

(Hindsight is a useful thing.)

And now it’s 2011 and the choice is one’s own domain or a page on Facebook. Guess which I think you should do.

Even worse is the strange trend of people deciding that Google+ makes for a good blogging and identity platform.

I tweeted that this holds true for scholars, creative professionals, knowledge workers, and anyone else that requires an online presence (are there any areas of our economy and society where you shouldn’t have an online identity?). The problem with proprietary networks like Facebook and Google+ is they want to hold your content, which works against the durability, quality, and sustainability of your online identity.

Refuse to give up control over your identity. Own it.

17 July 2011 · @jaheppler