Like many of you, I built this site because I wanted an online space that was totally mine. I was in middle school in the early 2000's, the prime time for editing MySpace pages and Neopets. I was very active on I grew up with the internet, just before it got really bad. I remember when Facebook and Instagram first came online. At first, these social networks seemed so cool, and then, well, you know. During high school I spent the majority of my free time on Tumblr and Instagram. At least on Tumblr you had some creative freedom. As time goes on, the web is feeling less and less personal, yet we spend more time than ever on "social" networks. It feels like I'm slowly having my brain sucked out through a straw every time I open my Instagram app. I yearn, desperately, for the internet of my childhood. My friend told me about Neocities in early 2022, and I've been obsessed ever since. Being able to build a personal site from the ground up has been invigorating. Re-learning HTML has brought me an embarassing amount of joy. It is so much fun. I remember when I was in 7th grade, my aunt gave me an ancient notebook laptop, one of those ones with the swivel screens so you could write on it with a stylus, and I would stay up until 4 in the morning messing with my BB code on glitter-graphics and chatting on AIM with my fake boyfriend who lived in London (yikes). Dare I say I'm having just as much fun now working on this site as I was then.

Actually surfing the web for the first time since middle school has been really cool. I've come across so many intersting personal sites, weird art projects, web museums, fun utilites, and all kinds of junk that I would have never found had it not been for Neocities. Reading about other people's passion for the pre-social-network-monopoly-advertisement-hell-paywall-apocolypse internet has furthered my desire to dig deeper and learn more about the indieweb and alternatives to what most people consier a "normal" internet experience. I'm tired of being tracked, advertised at, using Google for literally every online service (email, maps, file hosting, word processing, etc, you get it), spending hours scrolling on instagram to only feel like I want to fucking kill myself, the list goes on. I know you understand. For the first time in a long time I'm having fun on the web.

I know my writing is sloppy and could definitely use some editing, but if you've taken the time to read this, thank you. Check back later, who knows, maybe one day I'll stop word vomiting into the Neocities editor and write something proper (and spellchecked). For now, here are a list of articles that are on the same wavelength.

Basic HTML is the New Punk Folk Explosion - by Zach Mandeville
"My dream is for people to drop out from these major websites, but stay online. Keep the urge for connection and sharing that makes social media so appealing, but satisfy the urge in individual, unique, wonderful ways. I want people to maintain personal sites in the same way they wrote zines. I want people to share homemade music through homemade social networks, and to create both just for the pure love of it. I want our personalities to come through not just in the words or links we share, but in the URLS we use and the code we write. I dream of regional communities forming online, based around organically grown web rings, and for idiosyncrasies to form in the aesthetics of our sites based on the communities we learned to code from. Basically, to bring back all the things that made the early internet so exciting and open and welcoming. It's a little bit harder, but that's part of the charm. It means the connections you make are intentional, and everything you create and share online will always be yours, because you made everything yourself."

Why I Have a Website and You Should Too - by Jamie Tanna
"Having a website and/or blog is not about being a web developer, nor about being a celebrity of sorts, but is about being a citizen of the Web. This may sound a bit grand, but that's the point - the World Wide Web is this amazing thing that was literally built for everyone. We need to make sure that we are all using it to its best, and owning a piece of it to show big companies that it's ours, not theirs!"

Fleeting Memories of Youth and the Increasing Impermanence of Culture: How will we remember our personal past in the future? - By Carl Svensson
"Thousands upon thousands of pictures to swipe through, none of them scrutinized for significance, none of them carefully selected for depicting important life events. Instead we're met by an overwhelming blur of everyday nonsense of our own creation: so many plates of food, so many daily outfits, so many sunsets and trees and beers and shoes and faces and cars and cities. In fact, do we perhaps approach our growing mountains of photographic documentation with a tiny, nagging sense of guilt? Guilt about what irrelevant or embarrassing minutiae we'll find in lieu of what we're actually looking for, or guilt about that we should, but don't have the time, to perform some culling? At least I miss the joyous anticipation a stack of newly developed photos used to invoke.
And how do we turn this into a meaningful ritual? It's the same swiping and searching we do for everything else these days, no different from the mind-numbing doomscrolling we torment ourselves with on social media. What associations does that bring about, when we reminisce about life and love the same way we dull our senses with mindless, temporary distractions?"

Rediscovering the Small Web - By Felix "Parimal" Satyal
"Most websites today are built like commercial products by professionals and marketers, optimised to draw the largest audience, generate engagement and 'convert'. But there is also a smaller, less-visible web designed by regular people to simply to share their interests and hobbies with the world. A web that is unpolished, often quirky but often also fun, creative and interesting."

Intro to the Web Revival #1: What is the Web Revival?" - By Melon King
"The Web Revival is about reclaiming the technology in our lives and asking what we really want from the tools we use, and the digital experiences we share. The Web Revival often references the early Internet, but it's not about recreating a bygone web; the Web Revival is about reviving the spirit of openness and fresh excitement that surrounded the Web in its earliest days."

My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be? - By Laurel Schwulst
"Today more than ever, we need individuals rather than corporations to guide the web’s future. The web is called the web because its vitality depends on just that—an interconnected web of individual nodes breathing life into a vast network. This web needs to actually work for people instead of being powered by a small handful of big corporations—like Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and Google. Individuals can steer the web back to its original architecture simply by having a website."