Bringing back the personal

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I’ve heard wisperings about the death of blogs lately. More and more we see our favorite writters fading into the ether. This begs the question, what next? What do we do with the barren ghost towns that once thrived on eager readers making sure their cache was cleared before stalking their favorites.

Personal sites should be cornucopias which chronicle our lives. They should be open sketchbooks crammed with a maze of twists and turns. We should be able to post without shame or regret things that later on demonstrate our progress. I want to browse sites like Chris Glass ( which feels like a time capsule where I can rummage around and get a sense of someone’s life. It’s incredibly motivating to see his travel logs, journal entries, photos and favorites. All neatly packaged with thought and purpose. You can tell this site not only serves his audience, but seems to play an important role for him.

I think it’s obvious that 2007 is a turning point for blogging but it’s also a chance to question what we should strive for in a personal site. Social networking seems to have decentralized our lives and allowed us to stray farther away from our personal sites, but thanks to API’s we’re beginning to gain back some centralization. We really shouldn’t shackle ourselves to the output of an API, nor should we restrict ourselves to “dynamic content” that comes from a CMS. Most of us are highly skilled in HTML/CSS and we shouldn’t fear one off pages and designs. I remember the days of updating my blog via HTML, when I had something to show I didn’t ask how it was going to live in a CMS, I just threw it up.

With this in mind I don’t exactly know where Playground Blues is headed. There is a lot of data that I’m collecting that I haven’t figured out how to share or even if it makes sense to share. I am, however, eager to explore the Art of maintaining a personal site and in the coming weeks I’d like to discuss this more along with some of my concerns regarding digital preservation. Stay tuned.