At the beginning of 2023, I wrote in a blog post which I titled The Year of the Personal Website:
In the search for a permanent home on the web, more and more people are now rediscovering the personal website as a place to share and document their thoughts and publish their work. [I’ve written at length before](https://matthiasott.com/articles/into-the-personal-website-verse) about why this is such a good idea: Your personal website is a place that provides immense creative freedom and control. It’s a place to write, create, and share whatever you like, without the need to ask for anyone’s permission. It is also the perfect place to explore and try new things, like different types of posts, different styles, and new web technologies. It is your playground, your platform, your personal corner on the Web.
So how about we make 2023 the year of the personal website? The year in which we launch our first site or redesign our old one, publish a little more often, and add RSS and Webmentions to our websites so that we can write posts back and forth. The year we make our sites more fussy, more quirky, and more personal. The year we document what we improved, share what we learned, and help each other getting started. The year we finally create a community of critical mass around all our personal websites. The year we take back our Web.
And, looking back at 2023, did we deliver?
You bet. 😁
It all started with articles like Bring back personal blogging by Monique Judge for The Verge or the Bring Back Blogging project by Ash Huang and Ryan Putnam, who encouraged us all to get into the habit and publish at least three blog posts until the end of January 2023.
Throughout the year, fueled by the further decay of Twitter and the ongoing reshuffling of power on the internet, heaps of us indeed rediscovered blogging and started tinkering with their sites again. It was a joy to follow this development and add more and more sites to my RSS reader. If you want to get a glimpse of the richness of posts people published this year, take a look at all the replies to this question I posted on Mastodon: what were your favorite blog posts of the year?
All of this feels adventurous and exciting, but it also feels like we’re just getting started. There is still so much we can improve on our existing sites and so much we can learn about making our sites a central part of our online identities. There are still so many tools to be created to improve the discoverability of sites and posts and to connect our sites to each other and to the Fediverse, for example. And there are still so many sites to be built and blog posts to be written and published. So, how about we make 2024 the year of the personal website again? And, for maximum consistency, every year that follows? How about, from now on, we make every year the year of the personal website – and make the internet human, creative, personal, and weird again?
Here’s to a successful, healthy, playful, and fearless 2024. I can’t wait to see what you create.