Earlier this year I wrote about my thoughts on blogging and content ownership and I wanted to expand on it with the perspective on a type of publishing that’s becoming popular, aggregation sites.
Sites like hackernoon are gaining in popularity and for good reason, they are a great way to get content to a wider audience than just through your own blog (generally speaking). But there’s also a risk factor that I think people don’t realise with this and it’s something that I have been caught with, and that’s the lifetime of these sites.
A number of years ago I pushed some content through an aggregation site that was affiliated with the company I worked for at the time. I found it very useful to help grow my own online profile as the company had a greater reach that I did.
But life carried on and I left that company, stopped publishing through the aggregation site and basically forgot about it.
That is, until last year when I was trying to recover my old posts. One piece of my digging landed me back on the aggregation site and I noticed something weird, the site was very different to when I was involved, very different indeed. Now over the years since I left that company they changed some of their focus, the devs came and went and all the people I worked with had moved on. As a result the site was no longer important to them and the domain had lapsed.
So what seemed to have happened was someone had purchased the lapsed domain and decided to create their company blog on it, but also restoring all the old content.
And now we come to the issue that I have, to the causal reader it would appear that I had been contributing content to this company, a company I’d never been affiliated with. This is something I’m not cool with. Ultimately it was something I rectified with the new site owner pretty quickly, but that may not always be the case.
And this is where we end our cautionary tail. I’m not here to say don’t use aggregation sites, they care very valuable for getting your reach out beyond what you might normally be able to achieve, but go into it with open eyes. What is the license of the content that you’re handing over? Have you thought about what would happen if the domain lapsed and someone else took it for their purposes?
At the end of the day this is your IP, be sure to own in.