POSSE: How To Own Your Social Media Content

POSSE - Publish on your Own Site, Syndicate Everywhere
An old concept is regaining prominence, reminding us of the true essence of the open web. This concept, called POSSE (Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Everywhere), has been around for a decade, and it champions a simple yet powerful idea: the internet should be a place where you, the content creator, have control over your digital presence.

The fundamental principle behind POSSE is that you should publish your content on a website that you own, rather than relying on apps or social media platforms that can change or disappear at any moment, taking your content with them. Instead of being subject to the shifting rules and algorithms of platforms, your content is syndicated to various channels, making it accessible to a broader audience.

Distribute Blog Posts To Social Media

The idea of POSSE is not new, with enthusiasts exploring its possibilities for years. In a POSSE world, everyone owns a domain name and maintains a blog. The definition of a “blog” here is quite broad, referring to any place on the internet where you share your content and others can consume it. When you wish to post something, you publish it on your blog. This content can then be distributed across various platforms, ensuring maximum reach and impact.

Your lengthy blog post may be divided into segments and posted as threads on platforms like X and Mastodon. Moreover, it could also appear on Medium, Tumblr, and your LinkedIn profile. If you share a photo, it might be directly uploaded to Instagram, while vertical videos find their way to TikTok, Reels, and Shorts. In each case, your post is presented natively on the platform, often with a link back to your blog, which becomes the central hub for all your online activities.

Your Thoughts Effortlessly Find Their Way To Any Audience

When executed correctly, POSSE offers the best of all posting worlds. Why should one have to choose which network to publish on when the ideal scenario is to post it once on their domain, allowing it to automatically appear on various networks with their own network effects? Your thoughts should effortlessly find their way to all those places.

POSSE makes perfect sense, both philosophically and logistically. Philosophically, it aligns with the principle that you should own your content and have a centralised home on the web. Logistically, it simplifies the arduous task of managing multiple identities across numerous platforms.

POSSE reiterates the importance of content ownership and provides a practical solution for creators to maintain control over their digital presence. As the internet continues to evolve, POSSE reminds us of the power of the open web and the need for a return to its core principles.

There are some tools around already to implement POSSE although none is perfect.

First of all, your Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress, allows you to publish content on your own website and automatically syndicate it to various social media platforms using plugins or built-in features.

Then there are specialist services like Bridgy, that connects your website to social media platforms. It allows you to automatically publish your content on these platforms when you publish it on your website. This form of automation you can also achieve with Zapier. If you’re comfortable with web development, you can build custom scripts or plugins to syndicate your content from your blog to social media platforms. IFTTT (If This Then That) is another web-based automation service that can help you set up “applets” to automatically post content from your website to various social media platforms.

Like most professional bloggers, you can use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to automatically share your blog posts on various platforms. Social media platforms often support importing and sharing content via RSS.

Micro.blog is another service that simplifies POSSE for bloggers. It allows you to publish short posts and have them automatically shared on social media platforms. Typeshare is a so called social blogging platform that acts as a content hub connected to social networks. This service syndicates your content to a variety of sources immediately after publication. Typeshare focuses on what the creators call atomic essays. These are 250-word pieces that center on one idea or topic and pair with an image. The service also provides analytics to help improve your content strategy.

These tools and methods vary in complexity, and the choice of which one to use depends on your technical expertise and specific requirements. The key idea is to publish your content on your own website and then use these tools to distribute it to social media platforms, maintaining ownership and control of your content while still reaching a wider audience.

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