Online identity crisis

So… *wipes dust off keyboard*… it’s been really quiet here lately, hasn’t it?
This blog seem to have been neglected for quite some time now.

I could blame it on being busy or something, but that would be lying. Actually; I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis.

I’ve been running websites since the early 90’s, and lots of different types of websites too. Fanlistings, pixel adoption sites, blogs… Heck, I even turned making websites into a career!
Needless to say, the Internet has changed a lot over the years and I have changed a lot. Lately I’ve been thinking about what I really actually want to do with my online life.

Most of the online communities I used to belong to has closed up shop and died. Many of my old blogging buddies seem to have up and left as well. And I miss them. Finding new circles to hang around and new people to befriend isn’t all that easy. The Internet is a vast sea and you can easily sail for weeks and months without finding an inhabitable island.

It doesn’t help that nowadays most people seem to only be interested in promoting their “brand” and creating niche blogs that are more like businesses than personal journals.

Which sucks.
If there’s one thing I hate it’s how everything has to be monetized now. What happened to just having fun and making friends?!

/rant
Sorry about that. *clears throat*

What it boils down to is: what do I want?

Is personal journal-style blogging dead? Should I try to find a niche to stick to?
Do I really want to blog at all? Should I just have a portfolio with art and websites I’ve made?
Should I strive to create a more mature and professional online presence?
Do I even need to have a website? Maybe I could just stick to social media like so many others?

This is what I’ve been trying to decide these past months.

And here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Yes, I most definitely want to have my own website.
    After all this time NOT having one would be like chopping off a limb. Call me old-fashioned, but Instagram alone isn’t enough.
  2. I want to keep blogging.
    If nothing else, I like having a record of what I’ve done over the years. It’s fun, and I don’t think I need any more reason than that.
  3. I most definitely do NOT want to be “serious” or professional or anything of the sort.
    I’m silly and geeky and I curse a lot and I honestly don’t want to talk about my job outside of the office. If I’m going to blog I want to blog about nature, fantasy movies, my pets, and where I went for vacation. Websites in general might be my career, but blogging is my hobby and should be treated as such.

    (Also, I misspelled professional as “pornfessional” like 3 times before I got it right. Let’s take that as a sign.)

  4. I want a new domain name.
    This isn’t something new, I’ve been thinking about giving up Rockwitch.net for a while. Well, since I got the invoice to renew the name and instead of “sure thing” I thought “eeeh”. Rockwitch has been my online hub for over 7 years and it’s been great. I still love rock n’ roll and I still love witches, but I feel like it might be time to move on.

    I want the new domain to have my name in it, I think. It may not be the prettiest or most original name (Karin is really common, at least in my country) but it’s mine and I will have it for the rest of my life.

Well, there we are. Turns out I won’t stop blogging, but I will be moving.
The new url will be announced as soon as I figure out what it is. :P

In the meantime: happy Christmas and new year and whatnot! Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and eat lots of deliciously unhealthy food!

Comments

  1. 16 December 2014

    Hee hee, I am still here. I don’t blog a lot, but I do. We just have to remain strong to our roots, lol. I don’t know what I would do without seeing your beautiful self & Zappo, of course. *I still say one of these day I am going to come steal him, lol* (Thank goodness you know I am teasing you with that one).

    I don’t know what I would do without my own site. I enjoy having it just so I have a space to host my own images, talk about me, & do whatever I want to do online without having to follow someone’s rules and/or guidelines. Though, I highly doubt I will ever give up tigerwhispers (spent 3yrs thinking of it before buying the name, lol)

    Keep us updated so that I know where to come stalk you at, lol.

  2. 16 December 2014

    Yes Karin, please don’t stop blogging! Social networks just aren’t the same, at least to some of us. I’ve been moving back toward getting more personal, since I have a job for the money-making part. I still follow you! :heart:

  3. 16 December 2014

    Your little rant there is exactly why I insist on calling my website my online journal instead of a blog ;) There was a period where it felt like all the blogs I followed went through a change from being something fun to being serious money-making business, and I couldn’t keep up. I didn’t want to keep up, I wanted to keep my little pixel on the interwebz where I could do whatever I wanted without having to worry about followers or sponsors. And sometimes, like this year, that means ignoring it for months and months and months. It’s just part of my online life, but the interwebz won’t get rid of me that easily :D

    I’m happy to hear that you want to keep writing as well, I enjoy reading your posts even though I’m sometimes a bad visitor that forgets to comment ;)

  4. 16 December 2014

    I’ve been having these same thoughts. Ever since i tried making my blog more of a ‘platform’ than a journal i write even less than what already want much. Time to Jumpstart our own bandwagon of online journals! I think :)

  5. 17 December 2014

    I love and agree with everything you’ve said here. I am not a huge fan of the “professional” blogging world. I write for myself. So I have a place to vent and brag and simply get my words out of my head. I may not get many visitors or comments, but that is definitely not the point. I don’t feel like it is an obligation and I love that. Looking forward to see your new blog!

  6. 17 December 2014

    Instagram and other social networking sites definitely aren’t the same as blogging, and there is nothing wrong with keeping a personal blog kind of site, either! :) I’m actually cleaning out my old entries and placing them elsewhere, where no one else can find them but me, and starting fresh because I was kind of having a bit of a moment like you are in this entry. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, even thought of cancelling my domain just due to other people bothering me or me not sure what I really wanted, but I changed my mind. Please keep blogging, I love checking in over here whenever I get the chance, and do let us all know what your new URL will be! :D

  7. 17 December 2014

    I’m glad to see you still being part of the online community Karin.

    Just keep doing what you enjoy doing. ^_^

  8. 18 December 2014

    I feel like I’ve been struggling with this for five years. I hope this resolves it for you! :)

  9. 19 December 2014

    This is exactly what I’ve been struggling with as well… I changed my blog name, I changed the topics I wrote about… And got bored. It’s like the roots of blogging – personal journals online – have been forgotten and it’s all about showing how glam your life is, how much exercise you do or how fancy your daily meals are. But the wheels are turning and people are moving off the mainstream blogs; some of the bigger bloggers are getting less and less pageviews and less and less comments whereas us little guys are getting more popular and the personal blogging platform is slowly but surely growing again. I sure as heck welcome this change because I miss reading about people’s actual lives! :(

    • 21 December 2014

      You’re right. I would much prefer to read a blog about a real person’s experiences – not how well they can write so they can get more sponsor/affiliate bonuses. :)

  10. 22 December 2014

    I would say judging by the number of comments you got on this you have a number of people that would miss you a lot. I can certainly understand struggling with your online identity, it’s hard to keep it up day after day, week after week, month after month and so on. But it’s something you do for yourself not anyone else. Readers are just a plus I think. “If nothing else, I like having a record of what I’ve done over the years. It’s fun, and I don’t think I need any more reason than that.” I think this says it all.

  11. 22 December 2014

    I feel the same way! I make websites for a living, and I don’t wanna have to be professional on my personal blog too. I’m silly and I fangirl way too much, and I wanna be myself on my blog. I guess webdev would be my niche, but I already do that at work.

    • Karin
      16 January 2015

      Exactly! Many people in web development are very passionate about their jobs since it’s usually a hobby as well as a career, and they’re happy to devote all their time to that. But I agree with you that having it as my job is enough to get all the “webby” things out of my system. When I get home I want to do and talk about other things.

  12. 22 December 2014

    I know what you mean. I have been making websites since 1999, and a lot of things have changed since then. I used to be really active in the Anime graphics community, but that has pretty much died. The sites I knew back then are closed and the owners of them don’t make websites anymore.

    I don’t think the personal journal-style is dead though :) Most of the blogs I follow are in that style because those are the ones I enjoy reading. Social media is not enough for me either. I always have to have a website up!

    I hope you’ll share your new url here once it’s ready! I’d like to keep following you! Have a happy holiday!

  13. 26 December 2014

    Yes! Yes! I agree with everything, and I actually just before Christmas deleted my site because I felt so frustrated over this thing (which isn’t the first time). However, i have come to the conclusion that I do want to continue blogging about daily life. Maybe I just need to stop trying to find new blogs to read, because that’s usually what discourages me, when I see how very few personal blogs there are out there these days.
    Well done on not quitting.

  14. 28 December 2014

    I completely understand and can totally relate to this blog post. It’s so refreshing to see that somebody feels the same way ^_^

    I am glad you will continue blogging, you seem like such a lovely girl – and I’m sure the new domain name will be just as pretty! :heart:

    • Karin
      16 January 2015

      Aww, that’s sweet. Thank you <3

  15. 31 December 2014

    I feel exactly the same! I used to be part of so many great communities online, but they’re almost all gone right now and those which are still here have way less members than they used to :( And with all the people gone and websites so many great things got lost too and even archive.org doesn’t help to get it back :( I often go back to early 2000s Polish fansites about The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter – they were so popular and amazing and had a great content as well, but none of them is online anymore.

    • Karin
      16 January 2015

      Guess the only social part of the Internet these days is social media. :/ It’s sad, but there’s still some “old school” bloggers and communities around! We just have to find them :)

  16. 1 January 2015

    I’ve been there.

    In 2010 I made 15 blog posts, in 2011 only 10, in 2012 only 8! I even let my domain jebelle . net expire which I regret now. I thought I’d never blog again but, in 2013 I had 93 blog posts! I decided I can’t and don’t want to live without a personal domain, it’s been with me too long, just like you I think it’s so nice to go through the archives and see what I posted 8+ years ago…

    Now I just blog for me, I think nobody reads my blog but I’m doing it for me so I don’t really care. It’s just nice to know I have a little space on the web where I can blog everything I want to :)

    Happy New Blog Year! Oh, and Karin is a common name here too ;)

    • Karin
      16 January 2015

      Having a personal archive is a real good reason to keep blogging. It’s so much easier to remember things when you can go back and look at the entries, and an online journal is SO much easier to shift through than a paper one.

  17. 3 January 2015

    I’ve been through similar crisis and I still struggle to stick to a niche. A bunch of my old online friends from an old MB are either no longer blogging or I just don’t talk to them anymore. I miss the days when personal blogging was the norm.

    • Karin
      16 January 2015

      I hear you, and I agree. It’s sad to see whole communities deteriorate.

  18. 4 January 2015

    Would you believe that you and I are in the same boat? I keep looking at my blog and thinking about my lengthy posts. No one reads them anymore. It is more about beauty, fashion, healthy, etc. Anything to promote something. I still like writing my posts, though. It gives me some place to rant and talk about things I just want to talk about.

    We were friends on the Qbee, so hopefully, we can stay friends through our journals? Keep it up for I love coming to see what you have to write about/

    • Karin
      16 January 2015

      You described it perfectly: anything to promote something. But just because the trends change doesn’t mean we have to, right? If we don’t care about profits and treat it as just a hobby we can blog however we want.

      Of course we can stay friends! Isn’t making friends one of the main reasons to have an online journal in the first place? <3