Y. Kuznetsov - The Resurgence of Personal Homepages

Y. M. Kuznetsov

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Written 2nd of April, 2021

I have noticed recently, the resurgence of a old occurrence.

During times that I first began to use the internet, it was not uncommon, at least around the people who primarily inhabited the internet back then, for one to create their own webpage, they they hosted and designed themself.

This is easier now than ever, which is reflected by the newfound abundance of small, empty webpages. They usually are minimalist in design, contain links to a github page, solid color background, maybe few kb in size. For me, the personal webpage, at least in times before, required at least a little effort. You need server, you need to set up a web daemon on that server, and of course know how to make a webpage. This is quite easy to do now, but back then, it was a more labored process. So, to make a webpage meant you had put a decent amount of effort into doing so, and to put up a few words and maybe some links was a waste, though some still did so.

In line with this trend, I noticed that many people seem to, at least in my opinion, create websites for no reason. I believe people must have the freedom to do so — but I also believe that there is about 5,000 dead-similar websites about some neet programmer out there. They usually have the same interests, ideas, and tastes. The epitome of online individuality is, ironically, very copy-pasted.

I am not necessarily saying I really like those gif-packed geocities pages that will melt your retinas if you stay on them for too long. Those are mostly art projects. But like minimalist art, minimalist web design does not offer much. One might say, "its the content that matters" — and perhaps I would agree, but it seems many of these websites are lacking in that too. Maybe a blog with 3 posts about their obscure operating system, a github repository with the files of the website, and a link to a few similar websites. Modern webrings, I'm looking at you.

Perhaps to me a website was a more serious and sacred endeavor, but the ease of attaining one nowadays has made it so there are many websites with little to no purpose or content.

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