As you may have observed, things have changed around jonandnic.com…
Last week, I ran a routine update on our hosted WordPress.com installation, and it crashed. I had to download an FTP client and go in and re-upload some files manually to fix it myself. And just the bizarreness of that process — one that used to be second nature to me — illustrated just how much the web has changed. Once having your own FTP site with a symlink to a “www” directory was elite. Now its almost obsolete.
Then it occurred to me that its almost as bizarre to be managing my own WordPress installation, when the hosted solution has more features. Again, once there was a reason to do this — and a reason to host my own shared pictures folder. Now the “Cloud” solutions are better, easier and are managed by someone else.
Not only that, discoverability has been completely changed by Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn… all these other services that help you cultivate your online identity. We’ll probably always keep our own domain name, so that we can always have our own, easy-to-remember e-mail addresses, but even that e-mail is hosted by someone else. Once I ran my own Exchange server sitting on a computer under my desk. Now I use the Cloud…
And the last point, sadly, is that blogs aren’t what they used to be. I could probably count on one hand the number of people who follow Nic and I by going directly to our website. Most see us on Facebook, and maybe occasionally read a post automatically linked there by “Networked Blogs.” I will still keep a blog, because I’d still like to believe that there’s room on the ‘net for discourse exceeding 140 characters in length, but I’m just fine with having WordPress manage it for me.
I did manage to import the archive back to the point that I started using WordPress (sans categories, unfortuantely) — the older (eXpression) archives are, for now, stuck on a hard drive at home. Maybe I’ll post them on Azure at some point.
On a related note: if anyone knows where I can host a single page on the web for free, linked to my domain name, drop me a line!