Dying on the Vine: Don't Build Your Brand On Borrowed Land

What are the stars of Vine saying to themselves these days? 

Don’t build your brand on borrowed land. 

Twitter announced recently that they will be shutting down Vine, the 6 second video sharing platform “indefinitely”. But what becomes of the stars that Vine made? Well, some of them have gotten internet-famous enough to have parlayed their multiple 6-seconds of fame into work in independent film, cable, TV, advertising, or are taking on longer-form projects than Vine allowed. Apparently, millennials, just like Bumbles, bounce. (Sorry for the pre-Thanksgiving Rudolph reference…)

But there are scores more not-so-stars who will be hung out to dry. Those with hundreds or thousands of followers cultivated and nurtured over years of posting video content snippets. All them will go poof very soon. 

It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. Think of all the individuals, bands, companies that poured blood and sweat into MySpace internet-eons ago. The volume of content being generated is larger than ever and the pace of change is faster than ever. So when change comes, having your content host and your associated following disappear can be a painful wake-up call. 

Building an email list, a documented following that is independent of any specific platform is the gold standard of content developers, marketers and entrepreneurs. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to get folks to give you their email address. Twitter knows this and is happy to shackle you to it’s platform. It makes gleaning the emails of your Twitter followers all but impossible. 

When Twitter goes belly-up, and it will eventually, all those retweets, hearts and follows won’t mean dookey.

The only thing that will matter are the personal networked connections you have made. The ones where you know each others email addresses. And those you might have, dare I say it, talked to on the phone.

While it’s pretty safe to say that email will be around for while, in cyberspace nothing lasts forever. So when the current circus folds up its tent and drives out of town, you won’t want to find yourself standing around still dressed like a clown.


photo credit: el toro @ flickr.com