I think personal homepages are going to be the next big thing on the Internet. Seriously, hear me out.
When the web was new, pretty much everyone got themselves a Geocities or Tripod account and set up some kind of web site. That's what's so new and special about the Internet: anyone can have a web site. Not everyone can have a TV show or a Radio show or a Magazine column. Plus, web pages can reach even more people than any TV show or Magazine can.
Then, all these companies figured out they need web sites. All you heard about was eBusiness and dot-coms and how the Internet was changing business (though nobody knew how, exactly). So the Internet started to get all corporate.
Now, "suddenly", personal web sites are big again. I'm mostly talking about blogs. But what's really special about blogs? The fact that one person can easily get a site and start writing, and build an audience, even more readers than some newspapers out there. That's pretty crazy.
The whole nature of the web makes this possible. It's totally leveled the playing field. Anyone can do good on Google without spending a cent. Good content thrives on the Internet. You just have to contribute something valuable and people will find it.
Okay, so web sites with pictures of cats aren't so interesting or revolutionary. But personal doesn't have to be boring. This site is a personal web site. It's about web development, but it's just my take on it. Stuff I've figured out, thought about, and so on. It's my personal contribution to the web development world.
So when I say personal, I mean individual. I mean that one person by themself can do bigger things on the Internet than they can in real life. They can publish a book. They can sell (or give away) their music. They can make movies. They can create a popular comic strip. They can start groups. They can start businesses. They can run a huge business just by hiring and outsourcing to other people on the web. And these other people can just be individuals too, doing the same outsourcing themselves.
There are a LOT of people who don't have web sites yet. And all of these people have special interests, passions, talents and things to say that are just hiding away. Soon, these people will make pages (whether on MySpace, blogger, LivePages, or something else). They will start to open up and share their hidden talents with the rest of us.
Everyone benefits from this. The more information and entertainment on the web, the better. The Good Stuff will rise to the top, and the more available, the better the Good Stuff gets. And, of course, the people making the Good Stuff will benefit too. This will just make more incentive to make Good Stuff, and you can see where this is going.
So what can you do? Get out there and contribute. Don't be shy. Get your drawings, pictures, movies, stories and rants on the web. Help your friends and family to do the same. Do what you love, do your best, and do it in public. Your audience will find you.