Seasoned Digital Strategists (folks who have been in the online space for a long time, not just social) realize the value of having traffic come to the site as opposed to sending it out there. In a business environment, we spend millions in creating and developing custom web experiences that resonate with our audience — and then we send them off to our Facebook page. Why?

Why not drive them over to your site? In my past life, as Global Marketing Leader at IBM’s DeveloperWorks, we realized the value of social media and created experiences that bridged external and on-domain experience. We learned that our own domain can be as capitivating and social as any external social network. But it needed us to shift our marketing mindset to embrace social holistically. From advocacy programs to how we communicated our message. Frankly, the brand needed to become less about the brand and more about the community it served. It wasn’t easy. But we did win the Forrester award for being the best in Social B2B space in supporting our community — on our own domain.

This allows us to serve community no matter if Twitter, Google+ or Facebook go away or morph into another network.

Copyblogger’s Sonia Simone has called it out.

Digital sharecropping is a term coined by Nicholas Carr to describe a peculiar phenomenon of Web 2.0.

One of the fundamental economic characteristics of Web 2.0 is the distribution of production into the hands of the many and the concentration of the economic rewards into the hands of the few.

In other words, anyone can create content on sites like Facebook, but that content effectively belongs to Facebook. The more content we create for free, the more valuable Facebook becomes. We do the work, they reap the profit. Same story with Twitter, Xing and other networks.

The term sharecropping refers to the farming practices common after the U.S. Civil War, but it’s essentially the same thing as feudalism. A big landholder allows individual farmers to work their land, and takes most of the profits generated from the crops.

The landlord has all the control. If he decides to get rid of you, you lose your livelihood. If he decides to raise his fees, you go a little hungrier. You do all the work and the landlord gets most of the profit, leaving you a pittance to eke out a living on.

Let’s think about that for a second.