Well I finally got into Google + today, and aside from being a certified viral hit, there isn’t much I can say about the site. I have seen a lot of Milwaukee locals already logging on for a tour of Google’s new social network. Though there is a lot of enthusiasm here, it has nothing on people like Kevin Rose who have shut down their blogs and taken up shop in Google +.
There have been quite a few reactions to these sorts of announcements, but I only found one that spared the histrionics for a clear and concise argument on why you should own your online presence, and that is from Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper. The answer is actually pretty clear, though Google +, Facebook, Twitter, or the half a dozen other networks that allow you an easy publishing option, none of these are your own.
Though he takes to the next level that you should own your own domain top to bottom, and control your branding, he does have a point. Not everyone should be looking to invest in web hosting and a long-term contract with a registrar. However, you should be aware that today’s flavor of the week is tomorrow’s old hat. You can be sure that there are brand managers inside Facebook learning that painful lesson as we speak. You don’t want to be the last person stuck on any network wondering why your work doesn’t seem to be getting a response.