Navigating the new old web and finding peers

Talk about the past, present and future of the internet.
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Lyonid
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Navigating the new old web and finding peers

Post by Lyonid »

I have been very invested in anything surrounding what makes this whole project important. The potential and creative juices of everyone have been so inspiring to me as an artist and researcher, and finding the time to dress up my site have been the most fun moments I had on the internet. Something that I have been wondering about is how other people are navigating this huuuuuge space. The possibilities are plentiful, yet I feel like choice paralysis and sensory overload are terrible side-effects of being addicted to social media for way too long.

How are you finding your way through all those websites? What have been your preferred ways to find new sites and explore? How do you keep track of sites you find cool and do you frequent them from time to time? I want to keep coming back to personal sites to see how they are doing, yet my bookmarks are overflowing, haha. Have those explorations led to any new communities that you found yourself in?

Have you been part of a community? Every time I see people linking to friends I get this urge to connect with other folks who I might appreciate as inspirations and acquaintances. Building a circle of creative minds has always been a dream of mine, yet I get quite anxious thinking about reaching out to people. As much as I love to tinker on projects all by myself, something in me would just love to share it with others and get their input. What are your strategies to not feel lonely in the Yesterweb?

Those are some thoughts that I have been having as I clicked my way through all kinds of stunning websites. I'd love to get some input from you all hoping that I am not the only one wondering about all these things. Take care on your ventures, everyone! <3
Starfia
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Re: Navigating the new old web

Post by Starfia »

Hi, Lyonid – lovely and original site motif. ^ ^

That is a great question for the moment, isn't it? I remember feeling that search engines once searched "whatever was on the Web" and returned results based on matching words and phrases, which used to reveal plenty of personal sites. Now, the best-known search engines seem always to return results from the Web's cities, firms and malls rather than the humble residential areas and grassroots.

That's one thing phenomena like this forum sure seem to be addressing lately. I was late to discover Neocities, and initially its catalogue was my only source of new links to personal sites. I think only last year, I began by just creating a "Web Homes" bookmarks folder and adding reasonably good Neocities pages. Happily, they persist the early tradition of linking to other good sites and sources.

This year, I'm starting to see more sharing not just of links, but of directories to links, including a couple of purpose-built search engines made to catalogue such sites, such as this post.

I arrived at more than one new little community through all this, including this one, and found the occasional particularly enjoyable Internet neighbour. I'm gathering there's potential for much more of this kind of thing.
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Lyonid
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Re: Navigating the new old web

Post by Lyonid »

Thank you so much for the wonderful reply! All these thoughts just keep crossing my mind and I would feel very happy to know that no matter who enters this space, they can feel at home and confident enough to express themselves.
Starfia wrote: Sat Mar 18, 2023 12:47 am I remember feeling that search engines once searched "whatever was on the Web" and returned results based on matching words and phrases, which used to reveal plenty of personal sites. Now, the best-known search engines seem always to return results from the Web's cities, firms and malls rather than the humble residential areas and grassroots.

...

This year, I'm starting to see more sharing not just of links, but of directories to links, including a couple of purpose-built search engines made to catalogue such sites, such as this post.
I think it's very telling when most of my searches become reddit searches rather than actual searches for websites. I think we all can agree that nearly all sites that we get presented in a general search context are absolute dumpster fires. Just a quick glance tells you how all these corporate decisions resulted in terrible cookie opts, useless "chat bots", content bloat, annoying subscription models, metric monsters, you name it.

I absolutely love the sites on this list, yet they keep taking me to places most obscure. Sometimes, I don't want to go on a never-ending exploration and deep-dive from one banner to the other. In some cases, I would rather have a space of familiar faces, and establishing such a neighbourhood to me seems still like a challenge. But maybe it's just me! I would definitely love to have a social guide on the new old internet. Something about social hubs, how to navigate them, where to keep in touch in. I feel like the Fediverse might be the first address to go to, but that is a whooooole other rabbit hole to me, haha.
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lulu
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Re: Navigating the new old web and finding peers

Post by lulu »

Lyonid wrote: Fri Mar 17, 2023 10:54 pm Have you been part of a community? Every time I see people linking to friends I get this urge to connect with other folks who I might appreciate as inspirations and acquaintances. Building a circle of creative minds has always been a dream of mine, yet I get quite anxious thinking about reaching out to people. As much as I love to tinker on projects all by myself, something in me would just love to share it with others and get their input. What are your strategies to not feel lonely in the Yesterweb?
I get being anxious about reaching out, and in most spaces I am too! (Heck, even right now I feel a bit nervous about my response.. just to acknowledge that). A lot of my communications within the small web sphere have required UNLEARNING habits from the big web.. because THAT can be such a weird, loud and lonely place. But I generally assume that, if somebody is putting themselves out there, here on the small web, they're hoping to connect in some way.

My main strategies are guestbooks and emails. I always read my guestbook and cherish every single message in there, so I always sign the books for sites I enjoy, because I know how much that can mean. (Honestly, much of my web surfing starts via my guestbook, lol. I check the sites of people who have left me their URL, and then maybe I'll link-hop around, see what sites they like... If someone has a gb with a URL field, throw your link in there!)

Email is such a cool and underutilized (imo) communication tool, it's the OG. If somebody has their email address on their website, it's safe to assume you can email them. And you should!! But I guess it's still intimidating to just reach out so directly. I feel that way sometimes, but then I think about how I feel.. If somebody takes the time to email me, it means a lot, even if it's a note that says "yo i like your site". But my faaaaavorite emails have been when folks send the kind of emails that end with "sorry for rambling". I like when people share their thoughts with me. It's what I live for, one good email can keep me fulfilled for weeks. (and then I feel bad because my reply is, like, three months late because I always forget to check my web email. oop)

But yeah, I dunno, that's just how I do it.
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Laz1985
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Re: Navigating the new old web and finding peers

Post by Laz1985 »

TBH, most of the old-school webpages I find are either from doing a Neocities search at random, or getting links from here.
Image

I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
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