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Thread: The Death of the Website

  1. #1

    The Death of the Website

    There's been articles on this, but I thought it was worth reviewing. When I started my Facebook page last year to begin to promote my comic, I thought of it as "this will be good enough until I get my website up". Due to a variety of factors, my website kept getting put on hold, while my Facebook page flourished. I still don't have a website, and I see the Facebook page as central now. This is the shift. The old website model for promotion is fading while social media and apps are emerging as the dominant model. Part of the reason for this is convenience and the growing ubiquity of smartphones. It takes too much time to navigate through a ton of website addresses that you want to follow, now that you have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Amazon, dedicated apps, and their brethren. Point and click, and you're there. Commenting, posting, sharing- all immediate. And more and more you don't need a million separate sign in accounts and passwords - Twitter or Facebook will do. Even webcomic creators are fleeing their own sites to rely on webcomic social sites like Drunk Dunk and InkOutbreak.

    Smartphones are the future of media because everyone will have one and they will take them everywhere. Websites are just not convenient for smartphones. Social media and apps are. Lots of comics are switching to the new model, but some new entrants I see are still trying the old model, with a website as the center of their work. These sites are harder to find and how many readers will they reach? With Facebook you can sell and promote anything on your site. There's issues with Facebook for sure, but if reaching potential readers is your goal, then social media is where the efforts need to go. The question is how many do you use - it can quickly get time consuming.

    I'll still do a website because they have their uses, but I'm not going to worry about the complexities of Wordpress. Google Blogger will probably be just fine and you can still have a dedicated url. The benefit of the website is that you can share more information and share it how you want to. Facebook is still limited in that aspect.

    On a side note, I'm hoping Absolute Write starts allowing users to sign in with Twitter and Facebook. One less password and it makes it easier for the writing community to connect. I think if it wants to survive, it will have to adapt.
    A satirical epic about the metal band Satanic Hell, trapped in a theocratic Texas.
    Out now on Comixology & PDF. Twitter: Grigoris. Blogging about making comics at ZenoTelos.com

  2. #2
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    1. Wordpress is no more "complex" than Google.

    2. Websites absolutely are all about smartphones; that's what the HTML 5 move is all about, and why everyone from Amazon to Zoho are jumping on the HTML 5 schema.

    3. If you own a Website you own the data; not so much with social networks. It gets tricky. Use Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to your Website--which you own, and where YOU own the user data.

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  3. #3
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    1. Wordpress is no more "complex" than Google.

    2. Websites absolutely are all about smartphones; that's what the HTML 5 move is all about, and why everyone from Amazon to Zoho are jumping on the HTML 5 schema.

    3. If you own a Website you own the data; not so much with social networks. It gets tricky. Use Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to your Website--which you own, and where YOU own the user data.
    What she said.

    Pop social media sites have a convenience aspect, but they are definitely an all-eggs-in-one basket situation.

    I don't consider myself a techie, but I have worked out WordPress and have built blogs for myself and others with it (on our own sites, not on WordPress' site). It's not hard. I'm also learning HTML5, which is way more fun and less fussy than earlier HTML.

    If you use nothing but Facebook and you get good results, that's fine. But personally, I would be nervous about all of my presence relying on a single other entity, particularly one with privacy issues.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Medievalist View Post
    1. Wordpress is no more "complex" than Google.

    2. Websites absolutely are all about smartphones; that's what the HTML 5 move is all about, and why everyone from Amazon to Zoho are jumping on the HTML 5 schema.

    3. If you own a Website you own the data; not so much with social networks. It gets tricky. Use Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to your Website--which you own, and where YOU own the user data.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    What she said....

    If you use nothing but Facebook and you get good results, that's fine. But personally, I would be nervous about all of my presence relying on a single other entity, particularly one with privacy issues.
    I agree that throwing everything into social media that you don't own is risky and that it is good as a complement not a replacement. Which I why I will still use a website and perhaps HTML5 will increase its usability. It just appears right now that social media trumps the individual sites because of their ease of access and connectivity. Some sites flourish, I know, but for many - and especially newcomers - its much more challenging to attract attention to a site when most of the content can be accessed on a variety of social media sites. With HTML5 perhaps these differences will become less as the two become more intertwined.

    I tried Wordpress a couple years ago and it was a huge headache - I spent more time on trying to figure out how to manipulate the themes & appearance and remove viruses than on the content. Each theme had different parts buried in different sections - not at all intuitive. I actually would like to use it in theory because of what I see and read about it, but it was not easy to design the site I wanted. Perhaps I'll give it another try.
    A satirical epic about the metal band Satanic Hell, trapped in a theocratic Texas.
    Out now on Comixology & PDF. Twitter: Grigoris. Blogging about making comics at ZenoTelos.com

  5. #5
    empty-nester! shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I've already experienced setting up a website with the old html, so I don't think I'd have a lot of trouble with this new one. I might have my website link on Facebook or some of these other places, but I'm just not into that stuff. Too many other things to occupy my time, and I'm really not sure about various security issues. And frankly, I'm not that interesting anyway.
    Je suis Charlie

    "It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

    Passion is easy; commitment is hard.

  6. #6
    When a person sees my comic on facebook, or imgur or tumbr, those three sites get paid for my work. When they come to my site, I get paid. Simple enough. When facebook pays me to provide content for them, maybe I'll reconsider.
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