John Battelle fondly remembers “the way it used to be”, and goes out on a limb:
I believe that the personal-site-based essay is making a comeback
I won’t say that I totally disagree (after all, not only is remediary precisely what he’s talking about — but also: why else would I have registered personal-blogs.com? ), but I think he is overstating the significance of personal diaries. Sure, expressing yourself (rather than letting facebook, twitter, et. al. censor your ideas) can be a very “social” activity and it also fosters personal growth, insofar as writing ideas down can be a good way of clarifying them.
I find it comforting that when someone with a truly unique point of view has something important to say, they often return to their own site to say it there.