I just made a change to the site – I’m now including my posts to flickr and twitter to the home page. I’m sill trying to figure out if I can include them in the archives (should be possible, right?) but in the meantime, this will do the trick. I’m posting this partially to share the news – now it won’t look like I never post – and also to test it out and make sure all the loose bits have been tightened up properly.
Jeffrey Zeldman Presents : The vanishing personal site
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.
Now that’s pretty darn insightful. Zeldman mentions Jody Ferry’s site specifically, and it’s a great example: a home page, and then links that take viewers OFF the site.
I’ve been posting more photos to Flickr than I have to my family galleries. I spend more time on FaceBook – mindless distraction that it is – than I do posting on my own site. And I just joined Twitter, for reasons that I don’t know that I fully understand. To what end? I’m not sure.
I see his point – websites used to be all about capturing eyeballs and keeping them on your site. Then people started selling adverts, and it was even more important to keep those visitors coming in and staying in – or leaving through your adverts. Now, with the advent of all these more interesting services, and the ease with which they can be used, more people are just taking advantage of that ease and moving their content elsewhere. Why try to build your own photo gallery – or install someone else’s – when you can just point people to your Flickr collection? Why post regularly when you can Twitter? Well, that’s not quite the same, but it’s similar.
I myself discovered del.icio.us and have all but stopped using the bookmark feature in my web browserS. Why? Part of it is the ease of having my bookmarks so easily available – especially from the multiple platforms and browsers. It’s also a lot easier to find bookmarks when I need them – I tag everything going into del.icio.us, sometimes over-tagging them, but it’s really easy to find stuff now – rather than spending 20 minutes trying to remember the name of a site, I go to the page for the tag that I believe is the right, and I usually have the link right there.
What does this all mean? I myself have been farming work out to others – and didn’t think too much about doing it. Due to the nature of the internet, and the way my account is setup, my photos are public, my Twitters are public, and most of my bookmarks are public. Do I care? Well, sometimes I wonder if I’m sharing too much. But at the same time, I haven’t done anything to lock down my family photo gallery – although it would be trivial to do so. I make an effort to keep my bookmarks private when it’s not something I want shared with the public. I can do the same thing with my Flickr photos – and have done so in the past. Twitters, well, I guess that’s more than a bit like this blog – I can, and do, self-censor. If I didn’t, life might be more than a little awkward.
But where does it all lead?