I’ve noticed that the internet has changed a lot over the years. When I first started this website ten years ago it was kind of a novelty. The idea of a personal blog hadn’t really caught on yet and back then blogs weren’t so easy to create. There were no such things as WordPress or Tumblr to make it easy on you so when someone got online it really was a significant achievement. Getting a site up and running required some technical know-how and most people didn’t bother.
When I first launched this website it got a lot of traffic. Because it was rather unique, friends and classmates posted thoughts, comments, and left me feedback. Yay! But that personal interaction has steadily decreased with the advent of Facebook and the other social networks. Conversations and posts that back then would have appeared on a blog are now exclusively reserved for the big social networks. It’s really all about connectivity and attention span. Someone who posts on Facebook will have lots more EXPOSURE than posting on a blog. And really, when you have to manage three, four, or more online accounts + email, there’s not much incentive or attention span left to ALSO view Joe Schmo’s blog. So I would say it’s been disappointing to see that conversation disappear from my site. I’ve enjoyed all the latest technology trends and tools that have made it easier and more fun to get a website online. But getting people to interact with your particular site is the hard part.
I think the key is adapting to the times. Instead of competing with the big social networks it’s better to USE them to your advantage. That’s why I post links to Facebook. That’s why people can comment on this site via Facebook. I won’t ever steal or capture the conversation that is happening on Facebook, but the more Facebook friendly my site is the more likely people are to interact with it. The rules have changed and you have to adapt to stay in the game.
But I hope that there will always be room for personal websites and blogs. More and more people are online because of Facebook and the like so that’s a good thing. Those who WANT to create a personal and unique blog still can. The big social networks may have taken over, but there will always be room for us creative types. Here’s to the little guys!