I think the more correct term is Vanity Site but Selfie Site seems like an amusing title. I was expecting that a quick google of “vanity site trends” would turn up some obvious downtrends as social media continues to take hold of the interwebs. Amusingly, I learned instead that “Sinks Are Impacting Countertop Choices” which seems reasonably intuitive to me.
The main reason I registered backamp.com back in 2007 was due to a dull education session with a work buddy. “Dude, you have to get as short of a domain as possible“. He was right of course, so perhaps some day I can sell backamp.com for enough to pay for a few decades of domain registration and hosting.
Anyhow, once you own a domain name, you may as well do something with it. If you know just enough to be dangerous (me), you cobble up some HTML and load some photos to your host. I had fun for a few years writing an annual web Christmas card, with photos and stories (way more work than writing/mailing Christmas cards), but it felt less laborious, plus I still have all the old files which don’t tend to yellow or need postage. Email and increasingly ubiquitous broadband were a big deal in the early/mid 2000s.
Then, three things happened:
HTML is pretty approachable for many people. CSS introduces some abstraction and complexity that makes hand coding a bit less fun and more complicated. Facebook (and other social media) made reaching an audience simple. And mobile added platform complexity (hey, wait, CSS is here for that!)
The point is, publishing “stuff” on the web became (and continues to become) both harder and easier. Harder to roll one’s own but easier than ever to use a platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr et al).
And to me, this is where WordPress comes in. A WordPress.com account and a likable theme can take you to Web 3.0 (whatever that means) without being an actual software developer. And for those (like me) with the inclination to fiddle with some bits but not REALLY develop anything, one can build a website/blog/e-commerce/channel/social whatever with a not unreasonable amount of effort.
So, why am I talking about this? Because I’ve nearly cancelled my hosting four or five times. WordPress.com provides a LOT of what someone might need to build whatever.
But I keep on keeping Backamp. Because domain names are pretty cheap and I still have hosting needs for BeenThereBikeTours. (Which also runs hosted WordPress)
“The chief cause of problems is solutions” — Eric Sevareid