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A personal website 🏡

I’ve recently spent some time building this personal website and blog.

My home on the Internet.

This is my place on the Internet, where I get to write what and how I want.

I’ve designed it to consist of a set of cornerstone pages.1 Each page covers one aspects of me or what I write, and follow a pattern which you can find on many other personal websites as well.

A place to call home #

I’ve had multiple websites over the years, even before registering this domain in 2003.2

Why do I spend time building small websites at the edge of the Internet which few people will actually visit? Well, I guess I want a place to call mine. I am tired of the blandness of social media where everything look just like the thing next to it.3 Where algorithms decide what you get to see, trying to maximize your “engagement”.

I want it to feel personal. When you visit my site and read what I write, I want it to feel like me. Will I have fewer visitors than if I went all in on maximizing visibility on various social media platforms? Absolutely. But it feels better to me. I want to control how what I write appear. I want to express my thoughts in a format where it is not squeezed in between ads for a yoga retreat in Spain and a post about 10 things you must do to be successful.

Another advantage is I can choose how I treat visitors. No login is required to read what I write. I will not add trackers that follow you around on other pages. I will not force you to accept a lot of cookies (I don’t have any). I will not sell any information about you to a third party. I don’t even collect any information!

Relying on large platforms to publish your writing is also a risky proposition. Ultimately you do not control your content, it is hard to move somewhere else, and there is a small but real risk that you will lose it. As an example, it is not uncommon to hear stories about people who get their Google accounts permanently terminated because they took a picture of their kid bathing naked. Or long thoughtful LinkedIn comments silently getting deleted because the original post author did not appreciate its content.

Another path #

So what can you do instead? Create your own space! There is another Internet than what you see through Facebook, TikTok, or LinkedIn. There are millions of personal websites and blogs out there.4 More like what Internet used to be, before social networks used every trick in the book to lock you in to their walled gardens. Personal webpages are to social media what the rebels are to the Empire in Star Wars. 😊

Do you have a personal website? If you do, please let me know! I’ll be your first reader. If not, why not give it a shot?5

  1. Thanks to Glyn Normington for the inspiration. ↩︎

  2. Remember GeoCities anyone? ↩︎

  3. Though I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the human feel of Mastodon↩︎

  4. Ye olde blogroll is one of many lists of personal websites. ↩︎

  5. Some advice for those who think blogging feels scary. ↩︎