you know how that one marvel actor, jeremy renner, had an app all to himself that posted "jeremy renner updates" and was entirely dedicated to just this one guy? that's like, the boring lame celebrity way of making a neocities site. if the internet's culture was perpetually stuck in the year 2007, we would probably have a dedicated jeremy renner website that does all that stuff instead. it'd be equally as lame, but maybe a little more interesting to look at, right?
i was born in the mid-2000s, so a lot of my earliest memories of the internet are from that foggy period where the iphone was spawned from steve jobs's head and took the tech world by storm. as i grew up i watched the iphone's steady effect on the internet world, which got companies to focus on centralized & convenient app experiences over decentralized independent websites, resulting in this weird heck world where an egotistical billionaire can just forcefully take an entire internet eco-system from its users and do whatever he wants with it.
like, we kinda got deceived by these tech corporation guys into believing social media is the only form of expression on the internet. and, if you wanna make money, i guess it is. but as a hobby? internet users can do whatever they want and just subconsciously end up using the same three platforms. this is spooky this is scary to me and i don't like how it's affecting people.
when the instagram spinoff app, threads, launched, i used it for a little bit. it's disgusting to me. other sites are already infested with advertisements, but in the time i used it threads was exclusively ads disguised as #relatable posts for users to Interact and Engage with. i've had debates with friends about this and some of them are genuinely okay with it. i don't get the deal, and i'm not sure if it's just my problem, but it's a little upsetting. it almost seems like internet users have been backed into a corner where they have no option but to interact over ad-ridden social platforms (and also discord).
and i'm glad that this isn't the case! not entirely, at least. some sites like cohost or tumblr are pretty neat at showing you plenty of personal posts without encouraging Engagement or Clout. i yearn for the google plus days where everyone using it knew that no one uses it, so posts were far less focused on numbers and more on small communities & followings. the typical social media site would make you look at the world through an overstimulating lens. it feels like you're just standing in the middle of times square. having your own website feels a whole lot more like you're opening your own store in a small-ish town just a few miles off from a major city. you need to go out of your way to visit, but it's someone's home. jeremy renner's personal website would be, like, a billboard you see on the way.
making this site i've been thinking a lot about that scene in breaking bad where walter white's son makes a donation website to help pay cancer bills. with context it's this awkward sight because we, the audience, already know walt is making money illegally through meth (this isn't a spoiler it's the premise of the show) and his family has no idea. but in the moment that walt finds out, he has to act all proud and says something along the lines of "wow, that's incredible, son". if breaking bad was made 10 years later than it was, this would've been a simple gofundme page or social media campaign. walt jr wouldn't have had to make anything, walt wouldn't have said he's "proud" of it, and it would've been a hell of a lot less personal.
because convenience is so integrated into the modern internet experience, personal websites like what you're looking at right now are mostly viewed as a cute gimmick. but like! i don't know man! it's still a lot of fun! there's this horrible mindset that whatever you do HAS to have meaning and SHOULD be for something beyond just personal expression, and i don't get it.
i'd recommend making your own neocities site it's free and you can freely edit whether it's via modifying a template or doing it from scratch. i thought i'd be bad at this kind of thing, but years of using google sites for college work (don't ask) and seeing how limited its layouts are really got me pumped up to edit like hell and make something i'd wanna see. it's really not even that hard! i knew nothing about HTML going in and i'm makin' it happen!