The Case for Digital Sharecropping
What do you think of when you hear the term "sharecropper?" Most of us picture a ragged farmer toiling under the hot sun on some conniving landowner's acreage. As the term suggests, sharecroppers shared a portion of their crop with the landowner who retained possession of the land being farmed.
In the post-war South, cash-poor landowners may have controlled the land, but they no longer had workers to cultivate it. Hired hands required wages even if the crop failed, so potential income remained out of reach. Landowners needed the sharecropping arrangement in order to produce a prosperous harvest.
So what does this have to do with the Internet?
Some folks see platforms like Facebook or Blogger as landowners controlling much of the Internet's vast and fertile ground. In order to reap the Internet's riches they need workers and it makes better business sense to get someone else to share the risks in return for a promised share of the rewards.
That means small business people are the ones toiling under hot fluorescent office lights on websites owned by someone else. We provide the content, the links, the traffic to make their websites grow and flourish. In return, we get a share of the crop as marketing exposure for our own businesses or in affiliate ad revenue.
While our contributions are essential, those powerful platforms set the share proportions to their own advantage and could change the rules or kick us out completely if they choose, much like an 1860's landowner. You can make a strong case against digital sharecropping.
Digital sharecropping grants the smallest businesses access to some incredibly powerful Internet platforms, and you should definitely take advantage of them, but spending all your effort on someone else's farm isn't logical. Invest in a nice website of your own as well for greater control and the start of your online empire.
After all, that's why they call them "domain" names!
Need to launch or re-launch your website? Want suggestions for supporting your site with social networking platforms? Contact us today. Were happy to help!