Since the public web's birth in 1991, we have seen so many companies come and go.
Yahoo! GeoCities in 1994 was a popular web hosting service that let people create and publish websites for free and made it easy to browse such user-created websites by their theme or interest.
In April 2009, the company announced that it would end the United States GeoCities service on October 26, 2009. There were at least 38 million pages displayed by GeoCities before it was terminated.
In the year 2000, the place to be was mp3.com. Every musician would keep all of their music and fans there. A few years later, it was gone. It shut down — all music and fan lists deleted.
In 2005, it was MySpace. Again, musicians kept all of their music, photos, and fans there. A few years later, it was gone. Not shut down, but basically moot.
Today, it's Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify. Just like GeoCities, mp3.com, and MySpace, people again acting like these websites are everything and keep all of their creations like photos, music, and fans there.
But someday, they might also be gone. Not too old story, Google discontinued Google+ On April 2, 2019. Once again, everything is gone!
Don't depend on a company. They come and go.
Think long-term. You're going to be creating stuff, building business, making fans, and building relationships for the rest of your life — much longer than these companies will last.
Have your own website, blog, or online store. Instead of sending your customers to some company's site, send them to yours. Get everyone's direct contact information, so you don't have to go through a company to reach them.
Many Creators, Freelances, and Small businesses use Facebook, Instagram, YouTub, and similar social media websites to store their things and gain business. It's foolish.
Your website, your email id should be the definitive place to get everything you create. If you put your stuff on some company's site, have it should be secondary. Putting your things on other company's sites is ultimately to bring them to your website. That way, you can use the popular networks without depending on them.
But not having your website or email address is disastrous.
Only rely on open standards that aren't owned by any company — like email and the web.
Create your branded email id on your domain name than using Gmail or any other free email service. Gmail.com is not your business domain name; it doesn't talk about you. It talks about Gmail.
And nothing is free in this world; Gmail is also not. When you use Gmail, you trade your data privacy with Gmail. When you receive an email, Gmail reads it, Gmail decides whether it should go into the SPAM or Social folder or Promotion folder or Inbox. The same is when you are sending an email to someone, there is no guarantee they are getting your important email in Inbox.
Why Gmail decide it for your business? It should be you.
Learn how to update your website. Don't depend on someone else to do this for you. Learn how to add new products or services, or videos to your website and how to make any changes. Use some simple CMS or learn some basic HTML skills.
It's your business; take control of every aspect of it, including your website and email. Don't be handicapped when interacting with the world.
Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash