Should We Replace Facebook with Personal Websites?

We look back to an era before Facebook to find out.

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Jan 7 2019, 9:36pm

Original image via Shutterstock; illustration by Jason Koebler

As a freshman in high school, in 2002, Motherboard's editor-in-chief Jason Koebler made a personal website called, ingeniously, “Jason’s Site.” It had a news feed, an “about me” page, and an email mailing list for people to receive updates. It had a section for photos, a guestbook, and a “friends” page that was literally just a list of all of his friends. With its jagged fonts and scrolling text, “Jason’s Site” might not seem like more than a relic of its time. But as he pointed out in a recent story for Motherboard, it’s important to note one thing: Jason owned the information posted there. His data could not be monetized, there was no targeted advertising, and it didn't belong to Mark Zuckerberg. On this episode of The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast, we talk to Jason about how personal websites and emails can replace most of what people like about Facebook—namely, the urge to constantly post about their lives online.

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