About Me > Web Manifesto
This page describes web design that I like or don't like, and how I came to make a personal site. At the end are links to other Neocities websites I personally appreciate, and articles about the current state of the web.
My Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media
Social media is addictive and I cope better by avoiding it. This does not always work. Social media sucks me in before I've gotten out of bed in the morning, and my eyes are glued before sleeping. News sites can have a similar effect.
I feel tired. I'm not in control of my behaviour, my news feed, the platform, the noise, and the content makes me anxious, nervous, and obsessive. I never had this problem on the old web. The result is I hardly post content at all anymore. I met some good people there but it drives me away constantly.
There is a better web out there. I remember it from the early 2000s. I remember Geocities, Tripod, and Angelfire. I reminesced on all the positive experiences I had with the early web. You are free to roam, take delight in what you find, and creativity is overflowing. You can take a walk in someone else's head without a corporate hand guiding you. When web searches had a broader range of answers than Top Ten lists.
What brought me to Neocities
I stumbled upon Neocities sites on social media. Initially it was somebody's business card, but I later found personal sites similar to the old web. The creative spirit lives on in Neocities, personal websites filled with guestbooks, fanpages, and miscellany and sundry. This is the web I love and remember, and I want to do my part in keeping it alive.
Minimal HTML/CSS Is Fast
Motion Effects Make My Brain Cry
Special effects for buttons or sliding UI elements bother me. I am sensitive to excessive motion because I have a neurologic disorder which affects eye tracking (nystagmus) and keeping my gaze fixed is pretty important for me for that reason. Any 'wipe screen' effects will usually make me leave a website pretty fast because it sometimes triggers the nystagmus and it is uncomfortable. This may be an uncommon complaint but for this reason I like mostly static webpages. Animated gifs are okay provided they sit still.
Web accessibility should be a higher priority on the web. I don't like when the webpage changes shape or layout as I scroll, like changing background colours or text colours. Some big websites are guilty of this. Please avoid this if you care about accessible sites.
I Want Answers Not Your eBook
The web is too commercial and content has become shallow. I can't find the information I want when I browse the web anymore, and it's gotten harder over the years. Keyword cramming does not help.
I do not want your newsletters, I do not like being told that I am "missing out" on your mailing list or free eBook. Get that out of my face, please, it is not why I am viewing your website. If "Join my mailing list" or "download free eBook" was in the description of a website to represent the first thing they saw nobody would visit.
Help Me Learn More About You
It is hard to get to know somebody when posts disappear in a few hours because they got buried by someone else's post. Social media is too fast for me and I can't keep up. It is designed this way. Somebody thought this was a good idea. Someone else is profiting off your content more than you are.
I have made genuine connections through social media but that does not mean the platforms are good. But if you make your own site, it belongs to you and you have control over the content, how it is displayed, and how other people see it.
If you make a personal site, it is more about you and less about the platform you are posting on.
More Creativity, Personality, and Accessibility Please
Here is a summary of some things I'd like to see more on the web:
In the end, I made this site because I want somewhere away from social media that feels like it is mine.
Read Manifestos With Bigger Teeth
Other people have written about the current state of the web better than I have.
Sadgrl's Internet Manifesto Sadgrl is a big name in Neocities and her Internet Manifesto is one of the first I read on Neocities. She also has other useful content on her site to help people build websites.
Auzzie Jay's Manifesto I first found Auzzie Jay's website because I searched for the keyword vegan in the Neocities website browser and was delighted to find it had a Digimon theme. His manifesto is worth a read if you have a chance.
More Favorite Neocities Sites
Poolsuite FM. Poolsuite FM is an online radio featuring funky dance music and a Macintosh aesthetic (I think?).
Neocities Site Browser. If Neocities is still an unfamiliar concept to you I encourage you to visit the Neocities Site Browser and look up some example websites. I love browsing all the creative and individual websites on there, it is such a refreshing change to social media.
Articles About The Web
The Internet's Original Sin by Ethan Zuckerman. This article published in The Atlantic discusses the ad-based internet model we have today and how it is damaging the internet.
Building a More Honest Internet by Ethan Zuckerman. This article discusses social media, its the negative social impacts, and suggests alternate business models.
From My to Me by Olia Lialina This article discusses the evolution of user interfaces and UX design from webmasters to the modern time when graphic designers and back end developers are split roles. It also discusses the change in ownership of online content with a focus on the rise and fall of Geocities. Highly recommended read.