Rachel Kaser over at The Next Web certainly thinks so.
Like it or not, social media provides an easy-to-use template that lets anyone make their personal information available — and most of those sites are a hell of a lot easier to use than even the mildest website creation software.
— It’s time to kill the personal website by Rachel Kaser for The Next Web
I can certainly see Rachel's point. With all the progress we've made on the web, the days of self-publishing means that you don't need to be tied to a domain or a way of publishing your thoughts online. Social media and blogging platforms make publishing online easy.
Where I disagree though is that while these social media platforms are easy to use, they require an investment of effort in order to be effective. In order to stand out you need to be publishing consistently and that requires investing time and effort in that platform. I'm just not prepared to make that investment in order to build my name when I can use a personal website.
Having my own website means that I'm only investing in the content at my own website and then optionally using social media to get my content out further. I not only control the content but I also having a simpler delivery method for people. I have a place where people can follow me without the pressures of social media timelines. You can visit my website or subscribe to my RSS feed. It might be less convenient than following me on social media, but when you consider that you can read my website in a less crowded environment, away from the timeline, then I think having a personal website is essential if you want people to actually read what you're publishing.