We all know that it is going to happen. It’s not a question of if, but when Twitter will collapse. By the way: one day, Medium will follow. So will Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Or Mastodon.
Many people are now desperately waiting for their Twitter archives, hoping that they’ll arrive before all their content is lost for good. For those who were using Twitter primarily for ephemeral chatter, all this isn’t that tragic. But for others, all their posts, conversations, and connections on the social network were a significant part of their online identity. They are about to lose a place on the Web into which they put a huge amount of time, attention, and energy.
Especially if you are a designer, an artist, a photographer, a writer, a blogger, a creator of any kind, owning your work is as important as ever. Social media platforms might be great for distributing your content and creating a network of like-minded people around you. But they will always be ephemeral, transient, and impermanent – not the best place to preserve your thoughts, words, and brushstrokes.
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 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.
That’s why it warms my heart to read articles like Bring back personal blogging by Monique Judge on a site like The Verge or to add my site to projects like Bring Back Blogging by Ash Huang and Ryan Putnam, who encourage us all to get into the habit and publish at least three blog posts until the end of January. Oh, and if that’s important to you, as Chris Coyier notes, There Can Be Money in Blogging, too.
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.
I’ll start tonight.