Make A Website Already!

I am loving that more people are getting excited about making websites. I still am.

I’m not only the Hair Club president, but I’m also a client

– Seymour “Sy” Sperling, President, Hair Club for Men, 1980s

I am all in. I’ve maintained this website for two decades. I’m excited to see energy around the beautifully simple idea of self-publishing.

They take on the responsibility of keeping it running, maybe there’s a domain name for $20 a year. Maybe a hosting service that costs some money every month.

But it belongs to them. Their creative work can’t be shadowbanned or hidden. Their expression can’t be suppressed unduly. Their username is their domain name and if they maintain it, it’s theirs. When the next service comes out they don’t have to scurry to get the new one.

They don’t have to be feel morally complicit with a service that pays Nazis to be Nazis and fails to invest in adequate moderation. The failure to do that can result in real world harms like stalking and harassment and even murder.

Websites can be a far better and more personal way to be. There are many challenges to scaling the world in this way, but I’m excited for the opportunity of it.

Fútbol is life!Websites are life!

Anil Dash points out:

it’s been remarkable to note that Tom Coates’ blog post on Threads’ meeting with community members, along with Johannes Ernst’s own take, are the definitive perspectives on the way that the industry titan is trying to engage. Both were informed by their direct participation in an otherwise closed-door meeting, with a completely different context than the usually carefully-manicured press events that are used to brief journalists about a product.

…because Personal blogs are where tech news happens.

And it need not be making news, it it useful to refine your thoughts. Tracy Durnell, last year talked about the value of regular writing on ones own website–blogging:

…a blog post needn’t fit a formal format. A lot of blogging really is ‘talking through ideas’ in text, in real time — the thinking and writing happen together. (Or at least it is for me, though I’m sure it’s not the universal blogging experience 😉) Even when a post is edited before publishing to center a specific conclusion reached through the drafting, a tenor of curious exploration or earnest passion often carries through.

Blogs are a platform for normal people.

And for those of us who write about our day to day lives, it’s as simple as Cam Pegg quoting this perfectly titled post: Make a Damn Website, and I’ll do the same:

By centralizing not just your content, but yourself, on these sites, you rob yourself the opportunity to be more authentically you. In addition, a peer or competitor might appear next to you. It may not be great for you to have your competitor one click away from your own profile.

I don’t want to be misunderstood, because having outbound links to friends is great. But those links should be at your own discretion, not determined by an engineer writing a relevance algorithm at one of these third party websites.


the idea here, rather than focusing on an aesthetic or specific designs, is to get out of the notion that the web has to be a bunch of lists of texts, links, and inline images. you don’t have to be a designer or be particularly creative to make your webpages have more personality.

think about your real-life hobbies and interests: what outside of work do you think people would be interested in? that thing you just thought of that surely people won’t be fascinated by: that’s exactly the one that folks will flock to your website to look at.

So Make A Website Already!

four comments so far...

love this. Both the sentiment as a rallying cry, and also your writing style that connects so many disparate thoughts.

But mainly love feeling the validation. My inner monologue is saying “hey, I’m not imagining this, right? You’re seeing this too, it’s not just me? That things are heating up and gaining momentum.”

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