A not so Svbtle reminder to own your words

It’s been a big day for both Medium and Svbtle — yet I refuse to use them, or any other hosted platform, as my main blog.

I think it is important to own your words both figuratively and literally.

Today, Svbtle gave me a great reminder of why I hold this opinion.

In their Open for Everyone announcement, they let slip a paragraph that should frighten writers everywhere:

We’re working on a way to guarantee that your written content will remain available on the web for at least five years.”

After I tweeted my amusement this section was hastily deleted, and no wonder! That’s not a guarantee, it’s a warning.

How about instead I host my own work, keeping it available until I fall off the chair?

Don’t get me wrong, Svbtle and Medium are both gorgeous platforms. They also allow you to re-post work from your original site and possibly get it in front of a new audience.

But for consistent, serious publishers I fail to see the incentive to write something original on either platform.

They get the traffic from your hard work, and if their ship sinks, they are taking you and your archives with them.

The blogging world doesn’t need another Posterous fiasco, and I shouldn’t need to worry about switching platforms every other year.

Setting up your own site is ridiculously easy these days. WordPress (.org), Ghost, and Jekyll are all great options.

In short, I still wish both teams the best of luck, but I want to warn curious writers about what they are actually getting into when they decide to let someone else own their words.

Your favorite Italian,

Gregory Ciotti

PS: For those asking, I run 90% of my sites on WP Engine (aff), obviously hosting WordPress.

PPS: For added absurdity, I published this on Svbtle too.

About the author: Gregory Ciotti is a marketer and (embarrassingly infrequent) writer. Previously, he led content marketing on Shopify’s growth team and was executive editor on the communications team.