Not because of some hiccup or snafu.
But because your free blogging service decided you were doing something wrong and simply shut you down?
That’s what happened with Tumblr users recently:
The protections afforded by intellectual property law have immensely benefitted technology companies, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not sometimes problematic. From ridiculous patent lawsuits to reverse domain name hijacking, IP is often a means to questionable ends.
Unfortunately, when it comes to trademark, some companies are making abuse all too easy.
Case in point: Tumblr’s treatment of well-known Microsoft employee Danah Boyd’s account. Yesterday, Boyd reported that the popular online publishing platform provider revoked her account subdomain, zephoria.tumblr.com, and handed it over to an internet marketing firm called Zephoria.
Following a post on her blog at zephoria.org, Boyd, who commands quite a large social media following, was contacted by Tumblr.
The company’s CEO, David Karp, confirmed that zephoria.tumblr.com had been taken away from Boyd due to a trademark complaint. According to Karp, Boyd was notified by email about the complaint, but never responded.
According to Boyd’s account, Tumblr president John Maloney indicated that her Tumblr subdomain was transferred to Zephoria a mere 72 hours after the notification was sent.
Boyd isn’t the only being mistreated by Tumblr this way, either. If you read the article you’ll see this isn’t the only case.
You Can Always Ask for Your Money Back, Right?
Tumblr is also notorious for simply not working. As in the service is down.
How are you supposed to run a business site when people can’t reach it to do business with you?
Hey, you can always ask for your money back, right? Oh, wait… Tumblr is free.
Seems to me like the price of free is kinda steep.
WordPress Dot Come On
There’s always WordPress.com, right? Or, as I like to call it: WordPress.comeon. Here’s some of the complete lack of control you have:
- You can’t run ads on your blog unless you have massive traffic, and then you’re obligated to split the ad revenue with WordPress.
- WordPress states in its terms of service it has the right to run ads on your blog, and you have no say in the matter. For a business site, this means your competition could be showing up in the ads. Nice.
- You can’t change your theme much beyond whatever customization is allowed by the canned theme you choose. If you want any customization beyond that you have a pay a fee so you can customize the CSS of your theme. This isn’t terribly flexible and makes it difficult to get the branding and design you want for your site.
- You can’t install any of the thousands of awesome plugins available to self-hosted WordPress blogs which give you an edge with SEO, ecommerce, list-building, and many other important business objectives. You get what WordPress decides to give you and that’s it.
The problem with making a viable business site on Blogger is that it takes so much work to make your blog look like it means real business you may as well do it right and use a self-hosted WordPress blog. Consider:
- It takes the same amount of time to get a custom design (and Blogger designers are much rarer than WordPress designers).
- You have to hide that stupid Blogger bar at the top so you don’t look amateur, which requires a bit of custom CSS.
- You also have to hide it so morons don’t report your blog to Google as being in violation of the terms of service.
- Blogger comments look like total ass and you’ll need to replace them with a third party commenting system.
- You have no ability to really extend Blogger’s functionality like you do with WordPress plugins. You have no chance to do certain on-page SEO tasks, like write a meta description or edit your title separately from your post headline.
- Blogger has Google’s lame attempts at social media built into it which few people really use or care about unless they’re also Blogger users.
The word you’re looking for is sovereignty. As in, being sovereign and having sovereignty over your online business operations and marketing:
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory.
- Your domain
- Your DNS service
- Your web hosting
- Your blog installed, configured and designed the way you want.
The price of free isn’t worth it.
Image attribution: epSos.de