I miss that late 90s/early 00s aesthetic, but more than that I miss the fun, strange websites that show how creative the internet can be. Not saying they're still not out there, just that they're probably not SEO friendly and harder to find. How often does the average user type the url directly into the address bar instead of googling?
I feel that the web is mostly comprised of utilities, utilities, utilities. Now, I have my fair share of useful bookmarks. In fact, the majority of my favorites are tips, tricks, and how-tos. But I'd love to discover more sites like Poolside.fm. The Whimscal Web and Smashing Magazine have great curated lists of creative websites.
Remember when the web was more than just Amazon, Google, and social media?
When the internet was new, it was about discovery and less business. Or maybe I'm just being naive, but I miss that feeling of coming across something fresh. Today it’s all about algorithms, and algorithms don’t encourage uniqueness or creativity. There's times when I find my self stuck scrolling through the endless abyss of what is Instagram, waiting for something to catch my eye. More often than not, I find the same video posted from different accounts, or different videos using the same sounds and music. Sometimes I’ll even come across a video using popular audio that doesn't match the content. Everyone starts copying each other for views. It's a popularity contest and not a creative one.
The internet is its best when there's a sense of community, and a community can benefit from diversity. Take risks and build something different. Not everything has to have some big purpose. Codepen has a great user base of creatives showing off their artistic skills using only CSS, like this still life by Ben Evans .
I've mentioned it before in my first blog post, which can be read below, but 90s Newgrounds defined my childhood. A place to appreciate creativity. Instagram and YouTube could be like that, but the platforms are rigged for influencers––a cesspool of advertisements and data collection. So yeah, I get nostalgic for the early days when the web was a little more genuine and personable. The personality is still there, albeit a little harder to find.
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