I’m thinking of building an area where I can share short notes (blog posts) with readers of a service. I’d like to have a small community of sorts. My question has to do with the domain and search engine optimization. Given that I have limited resources (time), should I create a Facebook fan page for the group (which would have a facebook.com URL and not my desired domain), or go for a personal install of Wordpress on myowndomain.com and try to build up my own website? Thanks for your input.
In my opinion, this question can be answered in many ways based upon your level of experience in coding with Wordpress. Both Facebook and Wordpress are valuable options and it is my belief that you should do both.
If you’re short on time, start out with Facebook and suggest the group/page to all your friends. You can always go back and create a Wordpress site, although I would say doing it this way makes for a little more work (depends on the type and frequency in posting content). I’ve posted a few thoughts for you to chew on as starters, knowing there is way more that you can do to fully optimize both. But this should get your mind going…
From a long-term view, I recommend using Wordpress just due to the ownership of your data and building your search and page ranking via your personal domain. This is a big ‘what if’, but suppose Facebook goes under, then how to you retrieve or own your content? Big ‘what if’ but, you never know…. Just something to think about. I would setup your wordpress blog and start posting your notes – you’ll need to start the timer and try to get out of the Google search/index sandbox. The sooner you start, the better. Also, Wordpress has some out of the box SEO plugins and themes you could use/modify based upon your level of expertise. Also, definitely look into the Facebook developer tools/plugins/apps so you can add Facebook functionality to your blog.
From a short-term view, my experience has been that Facebook pages help sites get indexed faster. I use Wordpress as my hub and Twitter and Facebook as my spokes to the outside world. Because both Twitter and Facebook are highly trafficked sites, I stand a greater chance to have my Wordpress blog indexed sooner rather than later if it were standalone. But I typically setup my blog first and then use an automated rss service to post my blog posts to the Facebook page. And just like that… a Facebook community has been birthed and hopefully some of the users venture over to the website.
As an example, check out a personal project of mine at http://dailyoverflow.com. I’ve not fully optimized the site like I should, but I had this up and rolling within a few hours and it’s working quite well.