December 14, 2016

All your best content may now be considered fake news

fakebook Chris AbrahamIt’s time for you to really invest in your own personal or professional social platforms. As lines are being drawn, it’s time to make sure all your hard-wrought creative work lives on your own blog or website instead of on someone else’s.

While we both know you’re not a purveyor of so-called fake-news, if you’re not a proper J-school-certified and verified reporter, you might end up on the wrong side of the social media content filter.

Fake news has been in the real news recently. In order to protect their readers, Facebook and others are considering filtering out the fake from the real in order to slow down or even stop a proliferation of willful and wanton deceit.

At least that’s what they say they’re doing. Looking at it another way, this could be the beginning of a process of licensing and verification that will separate the proper journalists and reporters from the bloggers, propagandists, anarchists, marketers, and dirty, dirty affiliate marketers.

If I were conspiratorial, I might fancy this as an aggressive hearts-and-minds land-grab by the mainstream media to sell more papers and cable subscriptions, and to train us that nothing but traditional mainstream media can be trusted (and in a post Smith-Mundt Act world, who can we trust?)

No matter what your expertise, specialization, experience, or contributions, you may very well end up on the wrong side of the filter.  I won’t go so far as to call this censorship, but it surely is an aggressive business plan, a last-gasp push by so-called traditional and trustworthy fact-checkers.

I, myself, have been working very hard to make sure that I have published and copied as much content as I can find — and still consider relevant circa 2016 — to my corporate and personal platforms, Gerr.is and ChrisAbraham.com, respectively. I do this to make sure I don’t lose track of them and to make it easy and simple for Google, you, and me to be able to access them well into the future.

In fact, I always copy these articles over to my Gerris Blog and my Chris Abraham Blog the day after I post them, just to make sure I keep them close, though I always make tribute to Biznology whenever and wherever I cross-post anywhere.

Currently, Gerris Corp runs on Squarespace, which isn’t ideal; however, Chris Abraham runs Plone, an exceptional CMS/publishing platform for sharing content online. When I finally port Gerris over to something, it’ll probably either be to Drupal or WordPress.

If you’re not already experienced with blogging/publishing platforms, I would always start with WordPress.

Even if your raison d’être isn’t extreme like Breitbart, relying only on sites like LinkedIn, Medium, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Instagram, or Snapchat to populate and propagate your brand online puts a lot of responsibility onto the shoulders of platforms that are not only not owned or controlled by you, but might not offer you the best copyright terms.

What’s more, where’s all the stuff I uploaded and shared on Friendster, Utterz/Utterly, MySpace, and Orkut?

For example, the more than polarizing InfoWars.com, founded by alt-right political firebrand Alex Jones, started as a simple message board. While the topic is indeed extreme strangeness, their news isn’t fake, per-se, or intentionally deceptive. It’s consistently painfully earnest, but I honestly believe those folks, including Jones, are true-believers.

Like Coast-to-Coast AM, these alternative news sites reflect very accurately the hearts and minds of their readers.

Now, as a direct result of the firestorm that has erupted against the firebrand, news, content, media and information are allegedly being filtered out of reddit and Facebook. They’re taking it so far as to copy all of their videos and films off of video-sharing sites like YouTube just to make sure, no matter what. No matter how filtered against their sites and properties social networks, search engines, and social media might become, their core membership, readership, viewership, and subscribers will always be able to access content directly, hell or high water.

This has actually been a boon for sites like these. While they still share their content as promiscuously as possible across social media, they’re really just doing this to expand the brand as best they can. What they’re really doing is working to convert — to train — their core audience to go directly to their sites instead of going to Facebook or Twitter to get their alternative news.  They’re basically doing exactly what the New York Times hopes you’re doing every morning: setting your browser homepage to your favorite, though filtered, site.

After you’ve sorted out your content, content-delivery, and audience, you can actually avoid browsers and social networks completely by commissioning your own site-specific app for Android and iPhone — it’s really become affordable and deceptively simple if you’re just trying to create an app that will update, download, and nicely render your site’s content. You can be just like the Washington Post.

Mainstream media has been fighting irrelevance since the early 90s. The real bloodbath started in 2009. Information wants to be free and newspapers, basic cable, and broadcast radio and television rely on subscriptions and advertising to support their top-heavy and laborious 19th century business models.

Blogging leveled the playing field when it came to producing news for readers. There has always been zero barrier-to-entry when it came to blogging, at least when it came to your particular niche.

And who knows? In a few high-profile instances, consumer-generated media sites have been able to rise to become bona fide feared and respected news sites in their own right.

Via BiznologyChris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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