Why a personal website matters

One of the few reasons to remain active of social platforms is that it’s so convenient to quickly share your work. It’s not about a handful of Likes – it’s about the mere possibility to share what you’ve created.

I’ve filled sketchbook after sketchbook over the years, and sometimes it seems all they’re good for is filling up the bookshelf and collecting dust. Sketchbooks aren’t ideal for physical exhibitions by default or format. Few exhibitions I did, and while the idea still appeals to me, it’s a lot of work for an oftentimes meager outcome – not even talking about selling work, but just for people to show up. Hence social media is treated as the convenient, if lazy, shortcut to have a permanent personal exhibition.

But this comes at a cost. First and foremost, it’s a moral dilemma. Let’s not beat about the bush: The practices of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Co have been shady for a long time. Their leaders promise betterment and change every now and then, but we all know the sinistre reality: It’s not going to happen. Or at least not in the thoroughness that has been promised, and that we deem necessary. We moan and groan about it, but are sluggish with actions.

There is a sense of necessity among my peer: If you are a musician, a visual artist, a graphic designer, you have to be present on these platforms, despite every objection. Otherwise – you’ll never be able to reach your potential audience, your prospect client, or land your the next big record deal. New platforms arise (Diaspora, Ello, Mastodon to name a few), and some of them seem to have a more profound ethos. But while we can wish and hope for the best, there is simply no guarantee that they can uphold that ethos and withstand the test of time and masses. We’ve seen other platform rise, fall and fade, and no matter how good a platform currently behaves, it’s a very unstable foundation to build your social house upon.

This is the exact reason why it might be a good idea to run your own website. John Maeda has published a video series covering this exact topic much more eloquent. And while I am not fond of Wordpress (seriously, just use Kirby instead.), I think his observations are spot on. So without further ado:

Own your stuff & make your own website!

July 2019