After reading this article Facebook owns your content. All of it. Forever, I am reminded of the virtual lack of control content generators have over their content online. This is one of the reasons why I am very careful with not only what I publish online — but where.
Here’s a breakdown of the services I use, how I use them and their “content ownership” policies.
UPDATE: As of 2/18/2009 Facebook has temporarily moved back to its former Terms of Service. More to come in the weeks ahead I’m sure.
I ended up moving my blog over to my own domain (which uses WordPress) for a few reasons. One, I host my own content so I have more control over it, including the ability to back it up. Two, I have more flexibility over themes and the look of the site. Three, my perception is that it looks more professional to have my own domain than one listed on someone else’s.
GA also has the ability to benchmark data. I have no problem sharing anonymous traffic numbers with Google, because I do feel that in the end it will only improve GA and other services that Google provides. If you’re interested in learning more about Google Analytics, read my basic overview of how I use Google Analytics for my blog.
I strongly encourage you to double-check the services you use and see what their terms of service and privacy policies are. At the very least, these legal notices will help you make smart decisions so you retain more control over what you’re posting. For example, since you don’t own the photos that you post on Facebook, perhaps you’ll think twice before posting original photos using their service.
Truth be told, I am nervous about Facebook taking such an aggressive stance. I wonder what will happen if we don’t address their new terms of service now? Will other content networks and social media sites follow suit?
Please note that I did not even broach the subject of RSS feed syndication in this post. There’s a lot of confusion about whether or not RSS feed syndication is copyright infringement or outright “stealing” of your content. When I have time to research the logistics on that topic I’ll throw a separate post together.
In the meantime, please double-check the services that you use and make sure that you are happy with the way they treat your content ownership. Whether you’re happy or frustrated, I invite you to throw a comment on this blog to share your knowledge and experience.