Hugh Macleod is a well known cartoonist who has a blog by the name Gaping Void. Here is an excellent and thought-provoking post from last month:
Earlier today I told everybody on Twitter and Facebook, that I’m leaving Twitter and Facebook.
Because Facebook and Twitter are too easy. Keeping up a decent blog that people actually want to take the time to read, that’s much harder. And it’s the hard stuff that pays off in the end.
Besides, even if they’re very good at hiding the fact, over on Twitter and Facebook, it’s not your content, it’s their content.
The content on your blog, however, belongs to you, and you alone. People come to your online home, to hear what you have to say, not to hear what everybody else has to say. This sense of personal sovereignty is important.
And as I’ve said many times over the years, Web 2.0 IS ALL ABOUT personal sovereignty. About using media to do something meaningful, WITHOUT someone else giving you permission first, without having to rely on anyone else’s resources, authority and money. Self-sufficiency. Exactly. [...]
Read the rest of the post for more of Macleod’s reasoning. It’s interesting to read the various responses around the web to the post.
I admire Macleod’s idealism. In general I’m inclined to agree with his points about Twitter and Facebook. They are companies with their own objectives and although the services are free, we should think about if we should use them – and how. (Incidentally at the time of writing Macleod appears to be back on Twitter but let’s ignore that and focus on the advice.)
I wouldn’t recommend Macleod’s advice for everyone in every case but I would say that it is of particular relevance to artists and creative people who ‘create content’. As always it comes back to the nature of your set-up and what you want to achieve.