My good friend Joe Thornley reminded me of an important idea I subscribe to. It’s simple.

In this age of social media, never underestimate the power of a website and a blog.

In almost all cases, websites and blogs are online properties you own and can control. You probably host them on equipment you own or rent space on. The contents of your site and blog can be easily backed up, restored and even relocated from one server to another (if necessary). As a bonus, you can design the type of experience you want users to have, right down to the organization of the contents, the navigation and search functions within your site.

These online properties are owned media, and should be at the epicentre of your digital ecosystem.

By comparison, powerful social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are great communication and engagement outposts (and amplifiers). They allow us to find and connect with others, interact on issues of interest and (let’s be honest) promote our websites and blogs. The platforms enforce constraints for a common user experience. Sites like Facebook have little or no search capabilities making it difficult to even go through our own content histories.

Making a social media platform your primary for content publishing activities can be very powerful in the short term, particularly with a time-fixed campaign. However, with sites like MySpace, Yahoo! Buzz, Google Wave, Ello, Friendster, and now apparently Google+ meandering their way to obscurity, individual social media platforms should not figure prominently into your long-term plans.

Your website and blog should.

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