Oh my GOD. I have only the slightest recollection of writing this. Well, let me update to say that yesterday I went to the doctor again and right before he let me leave he took out two impossibly old marionettes that he was keeping in a plastic shopping bag. I never asked for this.
I don't know what I am going to do with this yet. I like the old internet but I don't know how to participate in it anymore. I have several websites but I don't maintain them really, but the appeal of joining such a thing as Neocities is that they have figured out how to make it into a social network. I like the idea of a freeform social network based on creating good old fashioned web pages.
It looks like most of these sites have an early web aesthetic - I was never cool enough to collect blingees or gifs, I was already trying to learn CSS in all but my youngest days, but I wish to unlearn more modern techniques in favor of frames and marquees and font tags for the purposes of this site. I learned how to work HTML through Neopets, I took other people's fancy scrolly text box with background image blocks and modified it to become my own. That must have been in 2003. I don't feel old, generally speaking. I'm 27. I don't understand all the Overwatch memes or certain TikToks, that's fine, that's to be expected - I really don't get how there appears to be a thriving community of old-school HTML sites run largely by people younger than 20. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But did everyone just come here when Tumblr tanked or something?
I'm afraid I don't know how to make content for a website anymore. What did I used to have on my pre-2012 websites?? Lists of links - this was before everyone had del.icio.us, and before that was killed by Digg and Reddit and other places that give you the links. Did you see that story about Mandatory.com withholding their pay of $500 for 120 posts and firing people over it? Awful. What is worth linking to? Good tweets? We have whole daytime television shows dedicated to discussing tweets and playing cute viral videos. Remember when Attack Of The Show seemed like it was a good idea? Was it just inevitable? The "I Kiss You" guy was going to sue Borat in 2010, but I guess nothing ever came of that.
I liked webcomics when I was a kid, I guess I am not averse to them nowadays but I certainly don't read them very much anymore. I follow a couple friends who still do them on Twitter and when they come up, I'll click through, but I fell off that train when I stopped having free time and never got back on. I tried to make webcomics of my own, in various capacities - I had a sprite comic that went for like 40 episodes, and a bunch of other misfires that barely made it past two or three. Now, I am tangential to the world of independent comics and zine culture through my partner, and while the optimistic populism of the scene might compel me to shoot for an hourly once every couple years, I do not see myself attempting a return.
I don't really create anything else anymore. In 2004-2012, I helped run an internet community on deviantART. I didn't consider myself an artist, and though I'd occasionally throw up a cursory photograph or something, I was there to try to synthesize other people's art into fuel, for myself. I guess some of what came out could be described as art, but it was almost entirely reactionary. Indeed I think every work I've ever put down can be traced back to someone else's work. Not that that's a bad thing.
I do make music, but music and HTML aren't great together, unless I were creating some sweet MIDIs of 90s classics. Some man who I'm told sucks for ethical reasons once put out a vinyl record called Now That's What I Call MIDI, I loved that and wished it were made by someone I could feel okay giving money to, or even naming. The music I am currently making considers modern and decaying technology alike, although I don't think it's very electronic sounding.
I like people like Froyo Tam who are doing things about 90s technology but using 10s media to distribute it, like Twitter and Facebook. Certainly she knows about Neocities. Was it just a matter of reaching more people? I tweet myself, sometimes at length, but I'm usually not happy about it. A friend of mine said they just started using an RSS reader again. Maybe it's time for that.
I feel like I've been living with social media for like a decade and it has overtaken the way I think about the internet. I have to remember how to do this.
oh, and technically I get paid to make websites for people. Feels like a conflict of interest.