Why so empty?

For years — since approximately 1999 — I've had a Web site and, in general, been enthusiastic about the Web. I posted links to Del.icio.us, events to Upcoming, photos to Flickr; each of those services were great at decentralization and integration, and I loved them for that.

The Web has changed, of course. It'd be strange if it hadn't. Those services were bought and killed, along with their data. Flickr still exists but focuses on being a destination instead of integration. The Web grew up, cut its hair, got a job. Hey, so did I. The Web grew excited about centralization, ownership, silos, user accounts. (Hey — I didn't!)

Stop me if you know this one: the Web exploded in popularity. That's rad. What once seemed like a few people reading a thing, and what once seemed like a relatively small group of nerds putting high effort into content, is now everyone, all the time, shouting into the ephemeral, manufactured fog.

Previously: I'd post something, my friends would see it, maybe a few strangers would stumble onto it, it'd get discussed in IRC channels, mailing lists, other blogs, and there it would remain, a part of the library of documents that makes up the Web. As it aged, more people would trip across it.

Now: if I post, it affects my SEO. Mostly strangers see it. As it ages, fewer people see it. Do I post to my Web site, to Twitter, to Tumblr, to Facebook, to the silo of the week? Which audience is appropriate? In which circles will it affect my reputation, and in which direction? Will the governments of the world care?

This isn't the Web I signed up for, and my Web site no longer has relevancy to the current Web.