Personal website

Bring back personal blogging – The Verge

Personal website

In the beginning there were blogs and they were the original social web. We built community. We have found our people. We wrote personally. We wrote often. We are self controlled and linked to each other so newbies can discover new and good blogs.

I want to go back there.

The Web 1.0 landscape looked very different from the Web 2.0 experience we are used to today, and personal weblogs or “blogs” were a big part of Web 2.0 development.

Back then it was very easy. You can sign up for a free site at GeoCities, Yahoo, Blogger, Diaryland, or a number of free hosting sites that will allow you to set up your blog, get started with a WYSIWYG editor, and send your thoughts out into the world.

For those who are a little more adventurous, you can buy an actual domain name, pay for website hosting, and do it that way.

Whichever model a person chose, they would type their long and short thoughts into a screen and send them out into the world to be consumed by the masses – whoever those masses were.

Social media didn’t exist back then, so all of our discourses on various topics took place on our personal weblogs, and the discussions took place in the comments section of those blogs. It was a golden time.

People were much more connected to each other

People were much more connected to each other. There wasn’t much anonymity as anyone could look up your WHOIS information and see who actually owned a blog. Trolls were simply banned from your comments section, never to be heard from again.

When Twitter first came out, it started out as a “microblogging” platform, where people posted short, frequent messages, as opposed to the longer, personal posts that we published on our blogs. It too evolved, like those things, and now it’s the hellscape we immediately loathe but can’t leave alone.

Watching the demise of Twitter led by Elon Musk has made me nostalgic for the days of personal blogging. The demise of Twitter with the current erosion of legacy media has led me to think that we need to bring back personal blogging with a vengeance.

The number one reason personal blogs need to make a comeback is a simple one: we should all be in control of our own platforms.

If what’s happening on Twitter hasn’t shown it, our relationship with these social media platforms is tenuous at best. The thing we use to build our popularity today could very well be destroyed and wiped off the internet tomorrow, and then what?

What happens to all the content you’ve created? Where will be the archive of all your funny memes and jokes? What happens to all those selfies that made you feel cute but later didn’t delete them?

The answer is we don’t know because we don’t control Twitter (or Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or TikTok). If any of these companies decide to permanently discontinue their service, there would be nothing we could do about it.

Owning your content and controlling your platform is essential, and a personal blog is a great way to do that.

The best blogs gave us a glimpse into the life of someone we “knew” online. Good storytelling coupled with a lively discussion afterwards kept us coming back day after day for more.

Twitter threads just aren’t enough – and neither will Elon’s alleged plan to allow that to happen Tweets of 4,000 characters (I swear when I see everyone Tweet 4,000 characters, that’s an instant block).

Personal stories on personal blogs are historical documents when you think about it. They are primary sources in the annals of history, and when people look back to see what happened in our lives during that period, you want to The New York Times or Washington Post Are you telling your story or would you like the story to be told in your own words?

People built entire communities around their favorite blogs, and that was a good thing. You could find your people, build your tribe, and discuss the things your collective thinks are important.

We’re in a time now where people are coming to the internet looking to be the worst possible version of themselves, and that’s an ugly sight. Reclaim the power by creating blogs and setting up comment moderation (it’s relatively easy for both WordPress and bloggers).

Trolls only thrive in an environment where they are allowed to roam freely, and that is most social media. There are many tools you can use to keep these people out of your comments, while still allowing those who value your words, thoughts, and content to share in a community of your own design.

Take back the power by creating blogs

That’s what the social web was all about in the first place, and it’s something we urgently need to revisit.

Ultimately, we don’t know what will happen next with Twitter or any of these platforms. We don’t know what changes Web 3.0 will bring to the Internet. We know that we will all still be here, sharing our thoughts, talking about anything and everything, and wanting to communicate with our people. Personal blogging is the easiest and quickest way to do all of this.

Buy this domain name. Make space on the web. Tell your stories, build your community and talk to your people. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t need to duplicate an area that already exists on the web—in fact, it shouldn’t. This is your creation. It’s your expression. It should reflect you.

Bring personal blogging back in 2023. This makes us, as a web community, all the better.

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