I've been quite inspired recently by finding a ton of cool personal websites and wikis and thought I would share my views on how freeing it is to make your own:

@ritualdust Very nice article.

I don't like this phrasing: "Don’t bother looking into static site builders or deployment services until just uploading your files on your server is too much work."

[until just] is tough.

Don’t bother looking into static site builders until your website has grown enough that manually uploading your files becomes too much work.

@neauoire +1 on excising "just", makes tutorials & similar resources so much more welcoming :tealheart: (also excellent article!!!)

@cblgh @neauoire totally agree, I still catch myself using it in those contexts, thanks for pointing that out :3

@cblgh @neauoire I might go over it in a couple of days and add more resources and definitions to make it even more accessible to newcomers, I feel that we are privileged of having worked with the web early in our lives and it might not be so obvious how to start working with it now ~

@ritualdust @cblgh we've known the web when it was simple, some people who never experienced it can't even picture it.

@neauoire @cblgh exactly, it must look and feel really overwhelming now with everything being an "app" and cloud hosting and all that stuff

@neauoire @cblgh looking up "simple web hosting" returns pretty abysmal results, most are super complex cPanel typo hosts, the others ones are like "first step: create github account" 🤦‍♀️

@neauoire Unfortunately, when the web was simple, it also was pretty unreachable to a load of people with less skills and training. We failed to make it accessible while keeping it simple. 😔

@ritualdust @cblgh

@z428 @neauoire @cblgh yeah, hopefully, that can change with this kind of revival, I've been learning and applying a lot of new accessibility things recently ~

@z428 @neauoire @ritualdust @cblgh @pixouls This statement is true, but I’m not sure the situation is better now, as opposed to just bad on a different axis. Given the way every tech is deployed, certain types of “accessible” (e.g. screen readers) were much better back then. It often feels like we’ve made creation more accessible but consumption less, which I’m not sure is a good trade.

@a Well... get your point, am torn here. Do you think it's better to make consumption easy but leave production / publication of information only to people who are _technically_ trained? That feels quite a bit like the middle-ages where writing / copying books was knowlegde and skill reserved for a small elite. I always considered access to far-reaching (global) "writable" channels as one of the best thing digital technology could possibly do for people.

@neauoire @ritualdust @cblgh @pixouls

@z428 @neauoire @ritualdust @cblgh @pixouls Ideally, you want both reading and writing to be easy and accessible. But to the extent you have to make a trade off there, I think it’s important to remember that there are a lot more readers than writers, and that there’s a power imbalance (decisions writers make are pushed onto readers).

@a Hmmm... yes, but I'm unsure here. Is the fact that there are more readers than writers not at least to some extent also caused by the fact that writing is (also technically) more difficult than reading? I don't completely disagree, but I think we should strive to get technical complexity out of the writers way. Like: Does a writer have to still know about IP addresses, markup, styles, ... in the 2020s? Or should a writer be an expert in ...

@neauoire @ritualdust @cblgh @pixouls

@a ... a (most likely non-technical) special field of "knowledge" and be able to use technology as a tool without having to think too much about it? I feel there's still too much tech knowledge required here if you don't want to sell your soul to the large corporations.

@neauoire @ritualdust @cblgh @pixouls

@a (Coming back to this, just as an idea: Sometimes I think we would need way less "server/hosting-centric" stuff, in example, and way more stuff like #ssb or true P2P/decentralized technologies where end users could just write and gather whichever "content" they see relevant on their devices and have easy, reliable, secure means of sharing this with whoever matters to them, up to a "global public".)

@neauoire @ritualdust @cblgh @pixouls

@ritualdust @cblgh @neauoire As someone who frequently abuses the word "simply," I can vouch that "simply" is another word that needs exorcism. It's tough when you've been indoctrinated through years of glossy ad copy, though.

My technique, assuming that I even remember to follow it, is to try and write the page as you normally, informally would. Let it sit for a day or two. Then, do a search for words like "is", "simply", etc. 9 times out of 10, the sentences they appear in can be phrased better without them.

@vertigo @cblgh @neauoire that's a good approach, i'll try to keep that in mind :)

@exquisitecorp thanks! I'm very fond of it, the same way I would be of a rock collection or an old book ~

@ritualdust have you looked at Gemini? That was quite a rabbit hole.

@dokoissho barely, i know it's there waiting for me to fall into it haha

@ritualdust In terms of what you describe in your article about web sites, it checks all the boxes.

@dokoissho i’ll be sure to go have a little trip there then!

@ritualdust i got into the personal website rabbit hole about a year ago and i haven't looked back since. to be honest, the modern web is overrated and gentrified to the core where you have to accept cookies for everything ever as well as dealing with a load of bloat.

i'm glad i got into this rabbit hole, but i wish i was around in the 90's (2001 baby here, now 20 years old) so that i could have experienced the early days of the web instead of experiencing it through second hand nostalgia.

@rozina glad you went there, it is really bad indeed, I work as a software engineer making some of these apps for a company and it's draining my life force haha, it's so bad also how capitalism pushed everyone to become a "personal brand" and try to sell something. If there's resources or websites that helped you get into it without that previous knowledge feel free to share, I'd really like to make it as accessible as possible to new people :)

@ritualdust it sure is bad, and i don't really fancy becoming a personal brand, not to mention monetising hobbies because capitalism.

one of the things that helped me get into it was this essay: as well as browsing the brutalist websites website for design inspiration and reading books about (specifically internet art by rachel greene)

@rozina @ritualdust Hey, I was 20 in the 90ies. And I was lucky to have a computer and internet at home.

The closest thing I find today of the experience of the 90ies web is to go on the hidden network. And look for websites there. They take a while to load. And you don't know what you're gonna get. The way to navigate is to hop from one website to another (no good search engine on the dark web) and hope to find a good page that lists to a load of other good sites.

@xuv @ritualdust ah i might give tor/the dark web a try at some point

@rozina @ritualdust I was around for the late 90s web and I think it's really easy to think too fondly on it. Things could feel pretty bloated then, too, because most average users didn't have high-speed access. Sites had less interactivity, but there were plenty of web 'zines ( was my favorite then). Digital cameras didn't exist, so even a picture of yourself was a bit of a feat. Probably the nicest part was that lynx worked with everything.

@roadriverrail @ritualdust ah i think nostalgia of any kind makes you see the past with rose coloured glasses

@rozina @ritualdust A little bit, yes. There's a super valid criticism that "the capitalist Web" has fundamentally gone the wrong way and that "browser as an applications platform" has sacrificed openness, community, accessibility, and many other things. We should want to take those things back. But we should also remember that the 90s Web required technological skill to be a part of, which was itself also undemocratic, and that bloat always scales to what technology will endure.

@roadriverrail @rozina @ritualdust 16 years old me without any computer classes/prior knowledge figured out my way through geocities, and put stuff online. I wonder what the equivalent of that is today, and if could have figured it out.

@neauoire @rozina @ritualdust 16 y/o me used Tripod and there was definitely a lot of editing HTML by hand. But even moreso, there was also the challenge of finding a local ISP (I learned one existed through the BBS community, which required technical skill to navigate), getting set up with them, etc, and getting Windows 3.1 and later Win95 rigged up for dial-up networking. I don't think we can use ourselves as measures of ease of access in technology.

@neauoire @rozina @ritualdust Likely the equivalent of a personal Geocities page today would be something like or Squarespace. Or just having a Twitter feed. A Twitter feed and an early Geocities page actually have a lot in common.

@roadriverrail fwiw is a thing. afaict it's the closest we've got today to a modern geocities.

/ @neauoire @rozina @ritualdust

@epilanthanomai @roadriverrail @neauoire @ritualdust i've been using neocities for about a year now and it sure does feel like the modern day version of geocities

@ritualdust I love this! I currently have a somewhat fractured homepage—there's the static site I'm working to build, and the WordPress blog that I've lived on for 10+ years. I like the idea of consolidating down into a much simpler website, but all the blog backlog is hard to grapple with.

@ritualdust I love all of those things. Am about to set up my own.

@ritualdust another great tool that came to mind is, feels very much on the same vibe as yr article :)

@cblgh yes! thanks, I've been stumbling upon more and more websites made with this :)

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.