On redesign and egos

Thinking about redesigns for a couple of my sites, this one and BGSUsports.com (although in the case of the latter, it’s more of a “continuing design”…I like the look of it, I just have to get the content going). Unfortunately, I’ve hit a rut. It seems that where personal blogging still exists, it has changed from when I got into this mess seven years ago.

Back then, the goal was to find something to write about that was interesting enough to you or at least a close circle of friends or strangers. The pitfall was becoming what I always remember one blogger calling “a cheese sandwich blog”, as in, “I just ate a cheese sandwich for lunch.” Because, really, who cares? Apparently, everyone cares, because Twitter was born.

But I digress.

After awhile, blogs started to turn into ways for people to make money with minimal effort (or at least say that they made money) and PageRank, SEO and Referrals were all the rage. But I just kept chugging along. Felt pretty proud of myself for that.

Of course, as you can see, I’ve spent a whole lot less time here in recent years. As I posted sometime during this latest sabbatical, I partially blame a new (three years ago) position at work that has me working on web content all day, Facebook and Twitter as the reasons to not have to blog anymore. Things are just easier a sentence at a time.

Yet now, I’m determined to change that. I want to write more. I want to design stuff for me again. I want to use this new-fangled iPhone I’m tied to for at least two years to share more, without sharing a lot more. I want to go back through my linked blogs and see what is there, what is gone and what has changed. Seriously. It’s been years since I’ve regularly, or even not-so-regularly read blogs that I once clicked at four times a day, in case something had changed.

So really, let’s do this.

But where to begin? What should the “blog of today” consist of? How do I combine the mobile me with the desktop me and try to make a 36-year-old married guy from the Midwest seem interesting, especially in this age of “ME! ME! ME!” online.

Again, let us pause for diversion time…

Maybe I’m a different breed, but I’m about done with the “personal brand” theme. Perhaps I’m jealous that I didn’t get on the bandwagon of shilling people for $$$ with the idea that you have to stick out on the Internet. I get that there are a lot of people into marketing and PR and, especially with web-related jobs, there’s a ton of freelancing and you really do need to get noticed. But nine times out of ten, personal branding tips and practices make you come off as an annoying douche. Yep, said it.

Now, possibly misguided rant aside, what needs to be on a page about me, for me and to get me back rolling in the world I once knew? What is the best way to implement various forms of social media into a somewhat more static site without it looking like a mess of links, a patchwork of blah or a sad attempt to regurgitate all my online information in one spot?

Coming from so far out of the loop, what are essential components of personal sites anymore? Do people even have personal sites outside of marketing themselves or their skills?

Seriously, any and all tips are more than appreciated. Let’s see if I can’t do this by, say, 2012? ;)