NinerNet Communications™

Corporate Blog

Beware the walled garden

30 September 2011 23:59:24 +0000

There’s an interesting article on the website of The Guardian entitled Facebook accused of removing activists’ pages. It’s particularly interesting to read in light of the post I made back in February referring to an article entitled Navigation Nightmare.

Having a website shut down is not a new experience for many people. Reasons range from the technical (you’ve exceeded your bandwidth allocation for this month) to the political and censorial. However, it’s always possible to move your website to a new web hosting company if you’re dissatisfied with your current hosting company.

Not so with “walled gardens” like Facebook.

If Facebook closes you down, this is probably the situation in which you’ll find yourself:

  • You won’t have a copy of your website. (Yes, a Facebook group, page, profile, etc. is a website.)
  • You won’t have access — even temporarily — to back up your data.
  • Even if you have managed some sort of back-up in some form, what can you do with it?
  • You’ve lost your address, the one where everyone knew where to find you. All links to you will be broken, and there’s nothing you can do to fix them.
  • You’ll lose your “friends”!

If your web hosting company shuts you down, this is probably the situation in which you’ll find yourself:

  • You have a copy of your website and database. (You do, right?)
  • Unless you’ve engaged in outright illegal activity, you can probably talk to an actual person at the hosting company and arrange temporary access if you need something.
  • You point your domain to a new hosting company.
  • You upload a copy of your website.
  • You’re back in business. Some people might not even have noticed that you were down.

Facebook and other walled gardens serve a purpose. Just don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, especially a basket that is not yours!

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