My first home page on the web was through my college. There wasn’t much you could do with a home page back then. In order to digitize photos, you had to actually scan them. No one I knew had a digital camera back then. But, I’ve been building Web pages since the mid-1990s. Even though I’m not Expert at building them, I do have a good idea of what works, and of upcoming trends.
I was reading my feeds the other night, and saw an article written by an old friend of mine, Jeffrey Zeldman. If you’re into any kind of Web design, then you know who he is. His article on April 27th, called The Vanishing Personal Site. I want to share the beginning of this article with you:
Our personal sites, once our primary points of online presence, are becoming sock drawers for displaced first-person content. We are witnessing the disappearance of the all-in-one, carefully designed personal site containing professional information, links, and brief bursts of frequently updated content to which others respond via comments. Did I say we are witnessing the traditional personal site’s disappearance? That is inaccurate. We are the ones making our own sites disappear.
This is a change that I’ve been recognizing and have talked about in the past. When I mention that “brand is becoming increasingly decentralized”, this is what I mean. In my new blog theme, I have a Social Me area, where I link off to other places where you can find me on the Web. That is more important to me, than to you… the people who follow me. I want to archive what I’m doing, what people are saying, and what’s going on in the world around me. This is a great way to archive all of my user-generated content.
As you begin to create more videos, more audio and more text… if you’re not keeping track of your own content somehow, you are not doing yourself any favors. It’s great to have accounts on many different places. But if you cannot at least direct people back to you somehow, by having your own personal space to keep track of it all… you’re potentially losing yourself and your identity.
Registering and hosting a Website these days is easy, and inexpensive. Heck, you can register a site using GoDaddy, and use coupon code Chris1 to save 10%. I use WebAir for my hosting. You can get some good pricing by using my name, as well.
I think that yes, the personal site is vanishing. It doesn’t have to, though. If you’re using a theme or structure that allows you to aggregate all of your social places. This is why I did this for myself… and all of you. Now people will be able to easily find you, and everything will be aggregated into one point.
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