One can make all types of arguments for which is better, having your own private networks or using more public social networks, ads or no ads, privacy or not, etc. Looking at it from another perspective, let’s say from a freelancer, things become a little more clear. Private networks for your creative activities and public or social networks for sharing or promoting them. And that’s it, there’s really no confusion, they are what they are. Here’s a more detailed review to support it.
Private Networks for Creative Activities
- No Ads: The business model is through subscription, similar to other tools one uses to do things, such as using a desktop application or web service.
- Lots of Privacy Options: As you’re the customer, what you share and who you share it with is completely in your control. Which is perfect when sharing something new creations, when some of rough edges still need some polish.
- Customer Support: If you’re using a network or tool to do things and there’s a problem, it’s can be critical to get fast support. As you’re the customer, providing quality support is the easiest thing we can do to help grow, such as through referrals. A slam dunk, no brainer for any business and their customers.
- Useful Apps, No Games: If using a network to actually do things, you want productivity and multimedia applications. Making lists, organizing projects, planning events, sharing photos or music recordings, etc.
- Quality Feedback: On your own network, you’re sharing it with people that you already know and trust. So when you share one of your new creations, they’ll be able to give feedback knowing a little better where you’re coming from and what you’re trying to do.
Public or Social Networks for Promotion
- Lots of Ads: The business model is advertising, such as if you want to advertise your product or service, that’s the place to go. You can promote on your own as well, but since it’s supposed to be for friends and family, you don’t want to be selling them stuff all the time, better to do it in the more formalized way or in a different area.
- Limited Privacy: Even though options may be set up to constrain it, new features are released constantly and unless you babysit it regularly, all your content will be public sooner or later. If looking at the site as purely promotional, no big deal, that’s the point, getting publicity.
- Limited Support: At least from a users perspective, probably different from an advertiser. That said, as a user who cares? You get to use an entertainment service for free, see some ads every once in a while and if there’s a problem, no big deal, there are dozens of other places for entertainment or socializing. You didn’t pay for it anyway, no loss.
- Lots of Games: Whatever people like to do for entertainment, playing chess, checkers, solitaire, hearts, civilization games, etc, it’s where some of your ads might end up.
- Random Feedback: Share something on a social network and who knows the responses you’ll get. Could be crickets, support, anger, from people you know well, not so well, or not at all. If they don’t know you and give negative feedback, you can’t take it personally as they just may be the wrong audience that happened to bump into what you’re doing. If you’re just showing an ad on the network or using it purely for promotion, no worries as they say, any publicity is good publicity, even negative at times.
In conclusion, they both have their place depending on your purpose or intention.