Suppose you rely heavily on Flickr, Facebook, Picasa etc. as a way to display your portfolio. Suppose one of these sites goes bankrupt or just decides to change its business model or decides it doesn’t like your content? Suppose this happens with no notice…here one day gone the next?
What would you do?
Suffer – that’s what.
There’s a simple way to solve this problem. Host your own images on your own website or blog then link to or seed these other services, particularly those that are social media in form and function – and you get the best of both worlds.
If you control where your images reside, how they look, what can happen to them, you don’t have to worry so much about onerous terms of service agreements or financially-challenged sharing sites.
I am NOT saying you should avoid the pay sites. To the contrary, I think most of those – particularly those that have been around for a while, are reasonably safe bets. I don’t think they are as safe as hosting your own work. But I am more concerned about the free sites and social media sites.
In either case I do think it’s a good idea to have a place of your own to host your images. You can always refer traffic to the other sites. By making sure that your potential clients, visitors and customers START at your site – you control the flow and the conversation. You also offer yourself at least a modicum of protection against overnight account deletion, business model changes and the like.
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