It has been over a year since IGN shutdown MyIGN and with it the home of my blog. It was no surprise as the writing was on the walls. I had already revived my ten years old Blogger site to act as a backup. It served me well but the experience of losing my IGN blog left me wanting more. I wanted more control. I wanted something I could archive on my own. I wanted something no one else could shut down.
As IGN started to die down I started to think of places to move my blog to. There are plenty of social media sites out there but I was not really drawn to any of them. Sure they offer ease of use and big audiences but they also have their limits. Facebook Pages require you to pay for exposure. Instagram only lets you post photos and videos that meet their requirements. Twitter only gives you 280 characters. No matter who you go with you are limited on what you can post and how. Even hosted websites from the 90s offered more freedom.
Looking at the internet now makes me feel old. I can remember making websites on Angelfire and Geocities. They were simple but they taught me HTML and other basics. In those days your coding skills held you back more than your host. Then came MySpace which made it easy for anyone to post content online. I never used MySpace but it opened doors for a lot of people. It did not last, however, and many people moved on to Facebook. Facebook tried to end the era of being anonymous online with a “real name” policy. This caused many internet refugees to flee to Tumblr. Just last month Tumblr started to ban adult content leading to another mass migration. With so many people at the mercy of their Social Media Masters wouldn’t it be nice to be free?
Here is another way to look at it. Website owners have their own domains and rent or run their own servers. It is like renting or owning property you can do anything you want on. Facebook is like renting space in a mall. They provide the space and basic tools but you can not do anything beyond that. Instagram and Twitter are like the kiosk in a mall. You’re limited to cookie cutter options and have little control. Social Media sites are easy to use but this comes at a cost.
Not to long ago I was offered a virtual host for training. I have played around with running web servers before but never a real website. It is not as hard as it seems. Anyone can run a virtual PC with a Linux OS and practice all they want. The next step is to get a host and a domain. Much to my surprise none of this was very hard. I was even able to load up all of my post from Blogger. Now I have a server that I control. I can load any software I want on it. I can back it up, archive it, or even move it freely.
I use to think you had to be special to have a website. Social Media seemed good enough for posting content online. After seeing so many people lose so much to Social Media sites they could not control I’ve decided to start my own website. If blogging has taught me anything it is that something is not special unless you make it special. With that, I am proud to welcome you to ssj3fox.com!