My interests include pretty much everything made in the late 90s / early 2000s, like music, movies, film, instant photography, the vintage web, but also hobbies like drawing, skating and surfing (though I suck at these last two lol).
Why this website?
Why not a website where I can upload whatever I want?
See, I started using Wordpress, but after messing with it some time, I just felt it was too professional - focused on online business and people who make blogs with the exclusive urge to earn money. The visual editor was... boring: all the themes looked the same way. I wanted something more personal.
Then I came across with Neocities: a portal of personal websites - and here is the important thing - that felt creative and unique.
In the late 90s and early 2000s, before social media came around, it was very common for people to create their own websites only using HTML - that's it. No CMS, dependencies, setups or additional stuff.
Some people used a WYSIWYG HTML editor, like Microsoft Frontpage, to avoid messing with code, and then they uploaded their site to a hosting service, like Geocities. I even played around with Frontpage when I was a kid!
The Web was seen as a journey - Netscape, a popular browser in the 90s, featured a rudder as part of its iconography; the Internet Explorer "e" icon simmulated a globe, giving to the user the feeling of going on a journey; expressions like surfing or browsing the Web were used... People entered websites and looked around, rather than coming for something in particular. Imagine it as if you were visiting someone's house and you wandered around the rooms (the pages of the website). They visited a lot more sites than today. They didn't just check an endless scrolling feed filled with a ton of ads and recommendations. They browsed the Web.
After opening this site in Neocities, I started learning some HTML (used for displaying content in a page) and CSS (used for determining the appearance of the page) to build it. Things like the Neocities tutorials, MDN or W3Schools are really helpful. I used a code editor (VS Code), an image editing program (Photoshop) and a web browser (Firefox). Also, a basic WYSIWYG HTML editor like this one is useful to write simple texts without writing tags.
Additionally, I made some research that just confirmed something I thought: the modern web has a problem. More specifically, social media. Monitorization, addictive designs (like endless scrolling), mental health issues... you probably have heard of all of this. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are know as gatekeepers because their are designed to make you stay there as much as possible - all while they make money pushing you constant ads and selling your data.
The good news are that the small web still exists: people that make websites just for fun. The experience is really rewarding, and you don't really need to be a programmer to start. It's easier than you might think!
We should keep the two types of Web that existed before. The corporate Internet, and the personal Web which is being slowly absorbed by the first one.
You can contact me using the links displayed in the sticky note (it's at the end of the page if you are using a phone to read this). If you have comments about this text, or you think that something needs correction, please write to me!
Thanks for coming to my little TED talk (lol). I hope you enjoy your stay here. Feel free to browse around. Oh, and don't forget to sign the guestbook if you want!
Interesting links and resources:
- Neocities websites gallery page: a great place to start surfing the small Web.
- Surf the Web: more resources to... well, SURF the WEB!
- Rediscovering the Small Web: an essay about how not every website has to be built as a commercial product, there's still space for creativity.
- Plain old webpages still matter: they say that if you want something well done, you have to do it yourself. They should be right.
- The magic of having your own Website: it's your time to shine! Go ahead and make the website you always wanted!
Resources and licenses
Many graphics were collected from other Neocities sites, as well as old sites archived in the Wayback Machine.
The icons shown in the navigation bars are from Windows XP, as well as the player image used in the music page. Other icons used here were grabbed from GifCities, The Icon Depot and probably other places I don't remember.
The stickers displayed at the sides of the page belong to their respective owners (they are not shown if you are using a phone).
The CD spinning sound effect used in the 'Music' page when you click a CD was obtained from ZapSplat.Font licenses: