Excuse the slightly scary title but the point is valid – in times of web 2.0 (I even heard 3.0 this week), there is no way that you can be in full control of your website content anymore. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing though, surely it’s better to have more people contributing to and sharing your content that just you and Bob sitting opposite?
The fact is that if you try and create content that sits safely behind a wall on your website, for it to work for you people are going to need to easily access it. They are then going to want to a) share it by linking to it if you’re lucky or b) take pieces of it and make up their own blog that looks just like your with a couple of changed words. Do you get angry that someone has nicked your hard work or do you encourage users to share it and just ask that they pop a reference (linked preferably) to you and your site?
I’d go for the latter, you can’t stop people doing it, if the content is that great then let them spread it for you. You can even ensure that your name goes against it by using designs such as infographics with your company name or site link right next to the title or a bit of very important data. I say this because we’ve had our infographics used in presentations at conferences and one cheeky person just cropped our details out of it – should have placed them more centrally.
Make your content useful, bite sized and easy to share and although you’ll lose control over where it goes, at least it’ll be your strategic decision as to what is made shareable in the first place!