Web Development

Domain names and self-hosted content still important in a Web 2.0 world

Is the old mantra of having a dot com domain name for your business becoming less important as social media takes hold, or is it still a vital and centralised piece of branding that must simply evolve to keep pace with the changing nature of the Web?

Mashable published an interesting article this week titled Is Social Media Making Corporate Websites Irrelevant? in which it suggests the merits of directing people to a social networking URL instead of a corporate web site.

I can understand the lure of promoting more “sticky” sites, such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, over a staid corporate web site, particularly if the company has managed to create something viral or otherwise of enduring interest to users.

However, my general take on the issue is that it’s not wise to decentralise branding and content to third party sites that may either restrict access to members (Facebook) or could close down or suffer technical problems that subsequently offlines a big chunk of your marketing efforts.

Instead, create microsites using domain names that you own, pointing to content that you host. Yes, incorporate Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and whatever other social networking and media tools you see fit, but don’t rely on them outright.

If you want to direct people to Facebook, why not do it via a subdomain that you have control over. In any case, not many organisations have vanity Facebook accounts yet. What’s easier to remember: facebook.yourdomain.com or www.facebook.com/people/Your-Name/123456789 ?

Web 2.0 sites are certainly a lot more alluring than the average corporate site, but there’s no reason why companies can’t create (or outsource) their own compelling content that embraces the social web but doesn’t relinquish overall control.

What do you think?

Author: Andy Merrett

22 thoughts on “Domain names and self-hosted content still important in a Web 2.0 world

  1. This is a great idea of redirecting people to your social media network…they should do like this for not spending much time and effort..

  2. Yeah it does take time so you need to put in much time and effort into it. However the fruit of your labor will be visible in the months to come. If you do not have time to do it, then let somebody do it for you. Try outsourcing.

  3. If you have the time to do that than, you may as well take control of your marketing.
    It’s a lot more rewarding to build a mini network of site you own. By the time you have spent running around all the social networks within 12 months you can have total control of your outbound and inbound traffic without all those ads you find plastered all over those types of sites.

  4. you’ve brought an important point about having a centralised domain of your own, while mashable mentioned about a good point about decentralised branding for brand awareness to the rest of the world..

    It’s scary to see a social media website to close. But by not having to build our dedication over there, it certainly feels like we are not putting our best over there.

  5. If you don’t own it, you don’t control it. Use third party sites as much as they can serve your needs, but just remember, they can pull the plug on you at any time, for any reason.

  6. If you have the time to do that than, you may as well take control of your marketing.
    It’s a lot more rewarding to build a mini network of site you own. By the time you have spent running around all the social networks within 12 months you can have total control of your outbound and inbound traffic without all those ads you find plastered all over those types of sites.

  7. Best for companies to have a static website to serve as their “business card,” a blog to serve as their “CV” and microblogging for interaction.

  8. I really like the idea of vanity URLs. They are really effective in my opinion.

    For social networks that don’t have an easy to use URL (such as myspace) I just went out and created 301 redirects so that will take care of that.

    Very nice!

  9. I still believe in keeping a “corporate site”. For the reason you explained. I just need to own and control something.

    However I will strongly consider using the microsites you mentioned.

  10. I totally love the idea of vanity URLs for social networks that don’t have an easy to use URL (such as facebook). I immediately went and created subdomains and .htaccess files to take care of that. Thanks so much for the tip!

  11. Difficult to define these publishers nowadays, it’s all a matter of trust and reliable resources and benefit into maximum not just one side of coin policy that the advertiser has to follow!!

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