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Mylkhead website from 2006

The Return of the Personal Website

Last week I mentioned that I thought blogging may be dead as people move to platforms like Substack. One of my readers (👋) pointed out that Substack is already on the decline due to ​enshittification​. Turning itself into ​more of a social media site​ that eventually wants to ​lock you into it’s platform​ and squeeze out as much profit it can.

While I felt rather hopeless in my last post, I feel inspired this week.

There is a Web Renaissance on the horizon​.

There’s not going to be some new killer app that displaces Google or Facebook or Twitter with a love-powered alternative. But that’s because there shouldn’t be. There should be lots of different, human-scale alternative experiences on the internet that offer up home-cooked, locally-grown, ethically-sourced, code-to-table alternatives to the factory-farmed junk food of the internet. And they should be weird.

– Anil Dash

As social media ​dies​ a ​slow​, ​corporate death​, there’s the nostalgia for what the web used to be; building our own websites however we wanted, customizing Myspace pages, commenting on each other’s blogs, linking to each other in webrings and blogrolls, etc.

Well that may be coming back.

Anil Dash wrote this piece for Rolling Stone a few months ago called ​The Internet is About to Get Weird Again​. It was just one of many articles that got me excited for the future. Excited to revamp my site.

I also revisited the ​IndieWeb​ – an optimistic vision of the Internet as a community of interconnected ​personal websites​. I had interest in this a few years ago, but haven’t “indiefied” my website yet due to some of the technical hurdles. But it’s getting easier with ​guides like this​.

There’s also ​Neocities​, or the ​Yesterweb​, which are throwbacks to 90s era websites with a modern “take back the means of production” vibe (see ​this manifesto​). A retvrn to tradition as they say. But this new web renaissance doesn’t have to look like an old geocities page. I wonder if we could turn the dial back to the early 00s…

See this ​tweet by Wes Bos​. He dredged up an archived version of my website mylkhead.com from 2006. Dang, what a blast from the past. Take a look at his website where he ​cleverly utilizes grunge textures​ in modern web design. Nice!

So clearly, I’m not the only one thinking about this. I’ll leave you with a few other good reads that will hopefully inspire you to crack open Dreamweaver again 😆 and make some animated GIFs.

I’m gonna make a ​webring​ and bring back ​88×31 buttons​!

Here’s a few other articles to get you inspired:

If you’ve got any thoughts about bringing back the personal website or have any suggestions for my new site, I’d love to hear them!

-Jeff

Jeff Finley
Jeff Finley

Jeff is a graphic artist, designer, musician, writer, and mystic with a passion for truth and personal growth. He's the author of Wake Up, Maker/Mistaker, and Thread's Not Dead, as well as the creator of Starseed Supply Co. Learn more about him here.

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