I’m going to try to do more writing and contribute more posts here this year. I’ve been circling around this notion for the past several months, buoyed in part by all the turmoil at Twitter. My motivation was given an additional boost by this article on The Verge that reminisced for the Internet days of old when folks had their personal homepages on Tripod or Geocities, where you could control your own voice and, most importantly, your own content. Where people were sharing thoughts and quirky stories that were longer than 140 characters, and where these communities were actually communities and not the hell-scapes that many social media networks have since become.
The biggest reason personal blogs need to make a comeback is a simple one: we should all be in control of our own platforms.
If what is happening on Twitter hasn’t demonstrated it, our relationship with these social media platforms is tenuous at best. The thing we are using to build our popularity today could very well be destroyed and disappear from the internet tomorrow, and then what?
What happens to all the content you have created? Where will the archive of all your funny memes and jokes be? What is going to happen to all those selfies you felt cute in but didn’t delete later?
The answer is we don’t know because we don’t control Twitter (or Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or TikTok). If one of these companies decided to shut down their service permanently, there would be nothing we could do about it.
Owning your content and controlling your platform is essential, and having a personal blog is a great way to do that.The Verge
The Verge article hit home for me because in the early 2000’s, I felt such a sense of engagement and discovery as the web was maturing, as “new” technologies and capabilities such as CSS, and RSS were enabling such neat things to develop online, and new communities like Flickr (remember them! Wow, did they miss the mobile boat!) were transforming how we interacted online.
For me and this site, it has actually been going since 2003 although it has never had a huge following, probably in part because I need to do a better job of being consistent in the frequency and volume of my posts. I aspire to compete with Jason Kottke, Andy Baio, John Gruber and others, to name a few. And I know I have a long way to go to get there. I’m going to try to find quirky stories, unique items, and do my best to share my ‘mildly opinionated’ thoughts on some of the things that are shaping our society these days. And we’ll see where it takes us.
What I have thoroughly enjoyed these past few years has been how a small community of fans and enthusiasts has developed as a result of all the Desktop Wallpapers that I have created and shared on this site over the years. I started that journey 6 or 7 years ago when I became frustrated with all the terrible looking wallpapers that were out there for the sports teams that I follow. In addition, I fell in love with all the wonderfully quirky and simple wallpapers on the site Simple Desktops and thought, I could take that aesthetic and apply it to my favorite sports teams. I then noticed that the teams in the English Premier League had really interesting uniforms/kits and thought it would be cool to mimic them but on computer wallpapers. And from there, it exploded. So if you are new to my site and community, check out some of the galleries of wallpapers that I have created and download whichever ones you find compelling.
And with that, I’m calling it a night and going to watch some TV and/or movies.