As you can see, I have a new website. I recently discovered that my parents own ericachampion.com, with the forward thinking that someday I might be famous and need a website. I'm not famous, of course (except among a select group of elite individuals), but I figured I could still have a website. I've been thinking lately about a web presence. It's not a necessary thing; I don't think I'll ever make money off it, but I do spend a lot of time on the internet, and it's my preferred way of keeping in touch with people I don't get to see very often.
In fact, that's why I started a blog in the first place-- to stay current with distant friends. Not really. I started my first Diary-X blog because I needed a writing outlet and my hands are more comfortable typing than writing. But I sold to friends as a way for your friends to know what you're up to. And I think it has worked out that way quite well, for those who maintain a blog.
And then came Facebook. I joined rather early, I think, because the two undergrads in my lab pestered me to do so. I didn't use it until I got connected to people and we began a superpoke war. I would never say I was "hooked", but I did enjoy the stalker aspect, and how easy it was to find out who was doing mundane things. I think the real value in Facebook is how easy it is to use and how many people use it. Isn't it frustrating when you can't find someone on FB? Like they dropped off the earth? It's almost like you can't be their friend anymore, because you have no way to contact them, if not through their wall.
Their recent privacy issues are troubling, but aside from that, I've never liked the Facebook mission. They want you to connect with friends, but how many of these people are really my friends? In deleting my account, I discovered that I could purge about 2/3 of my FB friends without really missing them. The rest I can contact in other ways. I may not be inundated by pictures of their toddlers, but I think I'll survive.
I left FB because it's a sloppy firehose of status updates. It doesn't tell you anything real about anyone, and its most useful aspect is as a tool for stalking (that is, looking up people you don't know anymore, to find out if they've gotten old, or fat, or married). I don't want my FB page to represent me on the web. Here at ericachampion.com, I have complete control over the content and design of my online identity.
Of course, I have some tweaking to do. Eventually you'll find not just my blog (long content), but also short content (status updates fed by Twitter), selected reading (shared links fed by Google Reader), and a static bio/contact/links page. I hope you like it.