In March 2008 I began to regret using so many different services to store and share different types of content like photos, tweets, videos, links. And so I began to plan bringing all of those services together on to my personal site.
I'm going to begin working on one service at a time, slowly bringing it all together, and giving each a home here on my site. I'll try my best to keep a log of my experiences doing each of these, jotting down why I'm handling it the way that I am, and asking for feedback as I find the best solution for me as I go forward.
I wanted to make my personal site the one and only place people would come to find the answer to "What is Colin up to?". And for a while, I succeeded. I had my photos, mobile notes, videos, links, etc. all piling up in my own personal WordPress installation. From a certain, geeky, "post-things-exactly-as-I'd-like-to" way it was Utopia.
That was nearly 6 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Most of the services I used then are gone; Ma.gnolia, Pownce, Flickr (nearly everyone I followed there has jumped to Instagram), Viddler (now for Business-only), Cork'd (long gone), and a site I used to write for called The Uber Geeks. All gone or no longer relevant.
The fact that all of these services have in fact gone away really shows how on-point my gut was. That posting everywhere simply wasn't a sustainable way of sharing if you cared about having control or access to all of the data that you tirelessly put the effort into getting online.
Frank Chimero recently looked back at 2013 and noticed, as I did in 2008, that he was sick of having all of this data in different silos all over the web:
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.
I like Frank's style so it will be interesting to see how, and if, he manages to do what I wasn't able to do longterm. (And I'd be willing to bet the way he does it will look nicer than what I did too.)
Why wasn't I able to continue? It mostly has to do with the network's associated with these services. Sharing a photo to my blog may have gotten a few eyeballs, but sharing a photo on Instagram or Flickr gets a lot more. But, there comes a time where you simply don't care about those sorts of things anymore. I'm pretty sure I've reached those times.