A large part of the world went in panic mode yesterday.
At least those who are connected to the internet.
Because Facebook and Instagram were down.
For most of us, our lives and businesses do not depend on Facebook or Instagram. Still many among us went into a panic when we realized that we couldn’t access something that has knowingly or unknowingly become a part of our lives.
It’s crazy if you think about it.
And, what about many business owners and startup founders or creators like artists, authors, and musicians who have built their followings and communities on social platforms. For them, pain can be real.
What if the platforms went away and with it their audience. How scary is that?
The positive minded among us will think that Facebook or YouTube are so big that they will never go away. But before Facebook, Myspace was the biggest thing and it died. Same for what was considered big even before that. Geocities, Orkut anyone?
Even if Facebook is too big to fail what if it decides to lock you out of your account. What then. That is a possibility and it has happened to people.
We don’t need to be paranoid about it.
We should be smart about it.
Leverage the platforms while they are there to connect with your communities. Use them for distribution of your ideas and attract new audiences. But find a way to download your data. Also when you build communities – create a direct connection with your people. Email and phone are two ways that come to mind. Also, get your audience in the habit of engaging with you on your own platforms, starting with your own website.
Learn from those who have done it well like Amanda Palmer, James Altucher and many others who have leveraged social platforms to build attention for their work but have also created their business empires independent of these platforms.
It should not end here.
Think about your entire digital life and who controls it and do something about it.
Start before it is too late.
This post like most of my posts is also a note to myself.