I have a love/hate relationship with my personal website/blog. When I started this site almost 9 years ago, social networking wasn’t even in the vocabulary of the internet, and personal branding was a must have. Fast forward to 2012, and Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are ubiquitous, and Tumblr is a great turnkey solution. I purposely left out Google+ because like so many other companies, they are way too late to the party. This website is a labor of love, but a little more laborious as of late than loving. Running a personal website is a lot of work: Hosting costs, infrastructure work (DNS entries, SLR’s, dealing with the daily deluge of comment spam, bug fixes, trolls…*sigh*).
There are so many options out now, which also creates new problems: Store your content on one site, photos on another, and if you are a coder like myself, do we use CodePlex, GitHub, etc. for our code? How do we integrate all of these into one cohesive entity to brand ourselves now? And what about syncing all of our stuff amongst different networks? Sneakernet (aka thumb drives), or the pains that I’ve taken to enable folder redirection, offline file sync’ing, and my own internal SharePoint implementation, and paying out the nose for hosted Exchange Server for email/contact/calendar sync’ing amongst my literally dozens of devices?
There are just too many moving parts these days. Which brings me to “the cloud”…it’s so confusing to get the cloud to play nice with one another. Where one solution excels, it lacks in other areas. All of the solutions combined ALMOST solve the problem, but not one single one does anything quite well. We’re going back to the thin client days, where our computer is just a screen that displays information. Mainframe days if you like.
Sometimes I feel that all of this complexity has re-introduced us to the stone ages. Introducing all of these extra layers sets us back and makes more work than it solves. I spend so much time keeping up w/ disparate information sources, and my own infrastructure. So, the million dollar question is could there ever be one “site”/”network” to rule them all?
As computer professionals we have to brand ourselves. I guess what makes me a little sad is that it’s not the name that matters anymore, or the work you put into the branding. But, the amount of disparity makes things worse. I have a twitter account (@jaysonknight) which is pretty much read only, I rarely tweet. And the amount of info I receive in my feed is way too much to keep up with. Facebook, of course…but that’s mainly for personal stuff. G+? A joke. LinkedIn is the most valuable of all my social networks as it helps pay the bills w/ contract/job leads.
The internet has matured quite a bit, but is compounding the underlying issue: In the end, we just want to post content under one name. Whomever can solve that issue will be the next big thing. One domain, all content, and simple tools to enable publishing. I love the social networks, but I also feel they’ve set us back a bit. They’ve generified branding, and handcuff us to “their” way of doing things.