September 23, 2011
The death of the personal blog has been coming for some time it seems, but with the addition of Facebook’s new Timelines feature, is the death nigh?
I had a brief chat on Twitter with my friend, Chris Ennis, about the implications of Timelines to personal blogging during Facebook’s f8 Developers Conference. It’s not so much that personal blog content is dead, it’s that that content will reside on Facebook, rather than on your own blog. This concerns me for two reasons.
First, if we heavily depend on Facebook’s Timelines to share our lives, what happens if Facebook decides to change profiles again? What happens if they decide to terminate that feature later on down the road? What happens if Facebook goes down?
Second, what becomes of our digital footprints when we die? Derek K. Miller who sadly passed away recently continued to share his life on his personal blog, which is built on Movable Type Pro and is being managed now. But if we don’t own the content and arrange for it to be managed, what then?
I presented at BarCamp Nashville a couple of years ago about this question, about preserving our digital legacy. If we store our digital lives on free services like Facebook, Tumblr, Posterous, etc. What happens if these services go away one day?
I’m not saying that we should not use the above great services, they are great. Tumblr rocks, Posterous’ recent changes are cool too, and Facebook… at first I wasn’t thrilled with the Timelines feature, but I think it’s going to be fun to explore our past in such a visual way. I’m already getting a kick out of seeing my history on foursquare using 4squareand7yearsago.com.
The thing is, will people just be posting their content to Facebook? Or wil they be personally blogging (on their own hosted blog) and feeding Timelines with that content? I expect it will be the former.
I want my content available to my kid’s and their kids after I’m dead and gone.
What’s your plan for your blog? Or is this the death of the personal blog?