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You are overthinking this. He used Twitter and Medium because people follow him on those platforms.



>He used Twitter and Medium because people follow him on those platforms.

Of course, yes. That's where the audience is. I'm pretty sure we all know that. (A small nitpick -- Bezos actually didn't have any followers on Medium before his first and only Medium post[1]. Therefore, he could have directed the Twitter link to a blog his own domain "jeffbezos.com" but he chose not to do that.)

>You are overthinking this.

Yes I am! And I want others to overthink it too. The point of my comment is to dissect the topic of this thread "Always Own Your Own Platform" -- by using a prominent counterexample.

JB didn't follow Sean Blanda's advice[2]. He also didn't adhere to the POSSE guideline. Why?

("Because JB's followers are there.")

Let's try to break the infinite loop of nonproductive discourse. _Why_ are JB's followers on Twitter? Even if they're on Twitter, why does JB even _care_ about that? He could have just followed Sean Blanda's advice and posted to "jeffbezos.com" -- but he did not. Let's overthink the reasons why Blanda's advice was not followed.

[1] only one Medium article by JB: https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos

[2] https://twitter.com/SeanBlanda/status/1134076887821631488


Could you explain clearly what you are trying to convey? I don't think the Bezos example is very helpful since it's an outlier with a very specific situation.


>I don't think the Bezos example is very helpful since it's an outlier

He's an outlier in terms of being richer than Warren Buffet and Bill Gates but I would disagree he's an outlier in terms of the reasons for not following Blanda's advice.

I argue Bezos has similar reasons that many others have who also prefer to post on Twitter/Medium instead of "owning their own platform". Another example is Stewart Butterfield (CEO of Slack and cofounder of Flickr); he also posts to Twitter & Medium instead of owning his own platform. As a cofounder of Flickr, he's presumably self-educated on the tradeoffs of using others' platforms and yet he still chose to post on Twitter instead of his own "stewartbutterfield.com".

>Could you explain clearly what you are trying to convey?

The absolutism of "Always own your platform" is wrong.

The advice should be "Understand the _tradeoffs_ of using your own platform or someone elses's platform." -- It depends on your goals and going through the effort of "owning your own platform" to duplicate Youtube/Medium/etc may be a unnecessary distraction from your objectives.


All of these examples are almost non-sequiturs because these people operate in a different world altogether compared to the audience the article is supposed to target. They have their own huge things going on and are not waiting to make the front page of HN or any other metric relevant to a small scale user trying to make a name for themselves.

As the other user said I think we need a dose of Occam's razor in there. The posts went to Twitter and Medium because they're the relevant platforms du jour for this sort of famous person announcement. The employee in charge of social just put them there and voilĂ . I honestly doubt Bezos even gave a single thought to the finer points discussed here.


> relevant to a small scale user trying to make a name for themselves.

If you're small trying to become big, expending resources in trying to duplicate what Youtube or Medium does is often contrary to becoming big.

Mr. UnknownNobody hosting his own videos and writings at "www.unknownnobody.com" and charging a fee for access (as Blanda recommends) will severely limit his audience.

Blanda's simplistic advice only speaks in terms of the platform ownership. The more complex advice (but also more realistic) is that one can use others' platforms to build an audience so that he/she will eventually be in a position (recognition+money) to self-host a platform if that option makes sense.

E.g. There's nothing wrong with using Youtube to become a minor "youtube celebrity" and using that to launch into other non-Youtube things. (Patreon, real life concerts, etc.) Eventually, you may not need Youtube anymore. On the other hand, self-hosting videos with all the extra effort & expense may not be the best strategic use of time or money. Justin Bieber was discovered on Youtube in 2007. He becomes famous beyond Youtube. (Concert tours and tv.) In 2019, does he now own his own video server platform to stream his music videos? No. He still uses Youtube.

A lot of successful people don't own their own content distribution platform. They don't need to. Small scale users can learn from them to balance the tradeoffs. The "own your own platform" should not be an absolute goal. Instead, it should only be an optional strategy to further other big picture objectives.

>The posts went to Twitter and Medium because they're the relevant platforms du jour

If you read Blanda's website of advice, he wants to make those websites not relevant. ("RSS...blogs...original dream of the web") Therefore, Bezos shouldn't have posted his content there. (Notice that Blanda used example of VC capitalist Fred Wilson choosing not to post his content to Medium.) Bezos' response on Medium caused a media stir and it added more value to Medium. Blanda is advising people not to do that.

>I honestly doubt Bezos even gave a single thought to the finer points discussed here.

You really think he didn't seriously consider the ramifications of where to post his very public response to embarrassing penis photos? On the contrary, I think he, his lawyers, and his public relations team gave it a lot of thought. Maybe his lawyers and pr people made other suggestions and he overrode them but I think we can be confident he thought about the mechanics of readership of Medium. He cares about the perception of his message. It would've given a bad look to use his Washington Post (even though he owns it) as the vehicle for his personal counterattack.


I actually already agreed with most of what you said! It's just that you mentioned the audience problem, and I nodded my head, but then you seemed to have a further point relating to Bezos and others like him, and I couldn't figure out what you meant beyond that audience/disoverability problem. I understand your point now.


>, but then you seemed to have a further point relating to Bezos and others like him, and I couldn't figure out what you meant

Thanks for letting me know you tried to undertand my viewpoint. I think my earlier messages being confusion instead of clarity -- were caused by me not "showing all my cards". Allow me to go back to your earlier comment to explain further:

>All of these examples are almost non-sequiturs because these people operate in a different world altogether compared to the audience the article is supposed to target. They have their own huge things going on

I actually thought _I_ was one of the targets of Blanda's "alwaysownyourplatform" message. I don't have any huge things going on and _I'm_ in the audience he's trying to convince. But I didn't want my earlier replies to be about me or why I don't choose to prioritize owning my own platform. I figure nobody cares about my story. Therefore I chose to mention more prominent people like Bezos and Butterfield to avoid talking about me. The reasons they use someone else's platform would overlap with mine -- even though I'm not a famous person like them.

Unfortunately, I do think readers think I brought up irrelevant examples of people even though I was trying to emphasize their reasons for using Medium instead of their net worth. I don't run a big company but nevertheless, I also don't have an urgent business need to stream content from my own "www.jasode.com". That would be premature optimization and I have other much more important priorities than owning my own platform.

I think there was an unspoken underlying message in Blanda's plea that I didn't like. He seemed to be more concerned with weakening Twitter/Medium/Youtube rather than explaining how someone like me can use them as a stepping stone to other success. His messaging is more about harming the "big guys" rather than enabling the "small guys". I don't like simplistic advice that reduces down to platitudes rather than real discussion of tradeoffs and strategies of using others' platforms. His suggested idea of "build your audience on your own terms on your own website and charge them money" often means no audience at all.


I think that was jasode's point?




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