Are individually designed, personal websites going the way of the dodo and most grown-up child TV stars? I remember when Goosehead.com, the jam-packed personal site of a teenage web ad mogul, was held up as the sort of thing to strive for. So I got me some Dreamweaver and a few other programs and learned to roll my own. Ten years later I have two original sites left and they feel like dinosaurs.
I’ve been thinking it might be time to stage my own extinction event. Not only is it tempting to leave those two huge topic sites static as I devote more and more time to social media places, but my Dreamweaver version is medieval and I can barely get my FTP uploader to shove things into the Web folder to update. My latest update was managed only with the help of some patient Gate.com techie in Pakistan after Fetch refused to play.
It would cost me a fortune to update all my software, not to mention the crusty old G3 beige PowerMac that runs it. And then there are the hefty web hosting fees. Why pay when I can post strange creature stuff on MySpace and everything else right here for free with great ease? And the social media pages make it easier and easier to individualize their art and info designs.
Other people have been thinking this way too, a quick search on my speedy PC laptop told me. A two-year old post by Steve Rubel, for instance, declared that the future is not in web sites but web services, and he correctly predicted the FB and Twitter booms. Most of the blogs I read regularly are on sites like this one or Blogspot. I do get traffic on my personal sites but I doubt they are driving enough book sales to pay for themselves.
What’s the verdict ? Are personal websites outmoded? Should I be arranging for some cyber-asteroid to smash into my Beast and Weird pages? Or do I let them die their own slow deaths, outrun and outsmarted by the ever-evolving new species on the Web?