The future of the personal site

‘Tis the time for introspection, and this year we all seem to wonder about the future of online publishing — and in particular, what role the personal blog will play going forward. Jason Kottke kicks us off with The blog is dead, long live the blog:

Instead of blogging, people are posting to Tumblr, tweeting, pinning things to their board, posting to Reddit, Snapchatting, updating Facebook statuses, Instagramming, and publishing on Medium. In 1997, wired teens created online diaries, and in 2004 the blog was king. Today, teens are about as likely to start a blog (over Instagramming or Snapchatting) as they are to buy a music CD. Blogs are for 40-somethings with kids. […]

The primary mode for the distribution of links has moved from the loosely connected network of blogs to tightly integrated services like Facebook and Twitter.

Even though I don’t want to believe Jason, his words ring true. And that bugs me, because I really like this site (which I haven’t called a blog for a long time, but hey, semantics). After a few days of overthinking things, Frank Chimero came to the rescue with Homesteading 2014, in which he explains his plans for his own site going forward. The whole thing is worth reading because it’s a great summary of the problem with endless content streams, but here’s the key part:

I’m returning to a personal site, which flips everything on its head. Rather than teasing things apart into silos, I can fuse together different kinds of content. Instead of having fewer sections to attend to distracted and busy individuals, I’ll add more (and hopefully introduce some friction, complexity, and depth) to reward those who want to invest their time. […]

So, I’m doubling down on my personal site in 2014. In light of the noisy, fragmented internet, I want a unified place for myself — the internet version of a quiet, cluttered cottage in the country. I’ll have you over for a visit when it’s finished.

Count me in. The strategy resonates with me, and besides, I don’t want to see the “blog” die.