Welcome to My “New” Website

It’s time for a new website, and a new philosophy behind my website.

Functionally, the website isn’t much different from the previous iteration. The styles are a little bit different and things are a little bit better organized. But under the hood, I’m still using Hugo, my favorite static site generator. There isn’t some crazy technological change or a massive, ground-up redesign.

But my approach to the website is going to be very different. A kind of sad realization I recently made is that the personal website is just about dead. You’ve probably seen these kinds of websites a lot–if you visit someone’s website these days, most of the time it will be a blank white (sometimes black) page with a photo of them, one sentence about them, and 3-5 links to their social media accounts. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get a handful of blog posts (with the last one written three years ago).

My old website with only a few links to my social media and nothing else"
My old website. Yes, this was the only page on the website.

Personal websites are dead because all of the actual important content anyone posts is on a different website. You don’t upload photos to your website any more; you upload them to Instagram. Random thoughts? Twitter. Your resume? LinkedIn. Some personal websites have taken this to its logical conclusion and now just redirect straight to their Twitter or LinkedIn account.

At the same time, some of the most fun I have on the internet these days is exploring the few personal websites still out there. Usually these are websites that have been around for ages and have so much random content you can spend days reading it all. My favorites are the ones that aren’t just a list of technical blog posts they’ve written. Instead of just talking about their career, the best are those that share about their life, their weird hobbies, their philosophical musings, books they like, or the random black-and-white photographs they’ve taken.

I get it–it’s more gratifying to post on a social media where you can immediately see how many people “like” or “view” your content. I’ve definitely done the same with my YouTube. But there’s something about having a personal website that you own and control and can present however you like that seems so much freer than any other social media.

What to expect

So going forward, I’m going to start to fill out my website. In the past, I’ve done the same thing as others and basically used my website as just a “Linktree” clone for people to find my various presences online. But I’d like others to do the same as me and actually have an interesting place to call home on the web. So I’d better start by “leading the way”, in a way.

I know, this is getting to be a cliché of the personal website–a redesign and a commitment to start “posting more” only to never touch it again for the next year. But I’ve grown so disillusioned with the modern web that I want to contribute to actually making it better instead of just complaining about it.

There’s a lot of people lamenting the state of the web, but not a lot actively participating in making it better. So hopefully, in some small way, I can help to break the cycle.