Build Personal Websites
4 December 2023 | 12:00 am

During a morning discussion at the 32-Bit Cafe about personal websites and how they exist outside of professional web developers, I asked:

How do you think the existence of wikis and fandom-like sites discourages people from creating their own websites about things they’re interested in?

Do you think it’s pointless or a useless endeavour?

Nick mentioned, “They serve two different purposes…” while Honey Bread pointed out the confines within many fandoms where specific interpretations are often deemed “correct,” potentially suppressing diverse perspectives, saying, “…there are ‘correct’ interpretations which like… ehhhhhhhhhhhh… maaaaybe but it’s sure less interesting than hearing everyone’s take.”

For me, the joy of personal websites lies in their distinctive viewpoints and creativity. Wikis and fandoms, while informative, often lack that personal touch. They act as a starting point, helping shape my ideas and exploration into a topic that sparks the basis for new website projects.

Fern observed how much of the modern web is “sanitised” to avoid offence. This sanitisation, prevalent in wikis, strips away the personality and excitement I love seeing when surfing the web.

Wikis primarily serve factual purposes, perfect for quick references or deep dives into specific subjects. Conversely, fan sites and independent pages offer a space for opinions, discussions, and interpretations, fostering engaging and creative narratives from provided facts.

Xandra wants websites that reflect the human experience, delving into personal worldviews and unique interpretations of daily occurrences. “Tell me about how your worldview shapes your family movie time or how your travel experience reshaped your perspective on a certain film. I want to read the human experience, not just what’s ‘correct.’”

Fern also made an interesting point about modern movie reviews, highlighting the shift from personal impact to technical critique. “Many movie reviews focus less on the reviewer’s experience and more on technical aspects.” For me, a movie’s entertainment value matters more than its technicalities.

In a recent post, I commented on the importance of website domain names. However, upon reflection, I contradict myself and suggest that content reigns supreme. Forget the domain, hosting, or design—Prioritise content. There’s nothing worse than having a beautifully designed website with little to say.

I’m a big fan of websites created from pure enjoyment, free of a monetised agenda. Website creation should revolve around fun.

Do you want to build a website for the hell of it but don’t know where to begin? Create a fan site. It could be for a musician, band, TV show, movie, or book. Anything that you’re interested in. A great example of a fan site that I love is It’s Not Stupid-It’s Advanced!, an Invader Zim fan site by Key.

Or perhaps your expertise lies in something more obscure? Check out Coby’s A visit to the Neverland Valley Ranch or DVDNerd’s Push Button Reviews. Both of these examples make the web a better place to surf.

Once you’ve got your content sorted, you’ll need somewhere to create your page. Check out these platforms to get started:

(Thanks, Xandra, for the links)

And if you need help, come and join us over at the 32 Bit Cafe. We’re here to get you started with building your own website.

Let’s celebrate the joy of personal websites. They offer a canvas for unique perspectives, human experiences, and uninhibited expression. They’re not merely an echo of the ‘correct’; they’re a celebration of individuality.

If you’re inspired to create a silly personal website for the hell of it, make sure to share the link with me—I’d love to see what you create!

Monthly Recap: November 2023
30 November 2023 | 12:00 am

Hello web surfers, and welcome to November’s recap.

This month, I found inspiration and focused time, resulting in seven posts:

  • The Woman In Me: I eagerly anticipated this book and enjoyed it in audiobook format. I shared a few thoughts about it.
  • App Defaults: Robb kicked this this post trend following Episode 097 of the Hemispheric Views podcast. I found it engaging to participate.
  • Warcraft, The Worldsoul Saga: With BlizCon concluded, there was a flurry of news about World of Warcraft, including details about the next three expansions.
  • Own Your Web: What’s in a Name?: Matthias new newsletter, Own Your Web, has been an enjoyable read. I felt compelled to contribute, and my website became the platform for that.
  • The Art of Hyperlinking: After reading an intriguing post elsewhere, I penned down my thoughts on the art of hyperlinking.
  • Embracing the Beauty of the Web: Another response post, this time contemplating “The Web Revival” and my place within its categories.
  • Encouraging Small Website Discoverability: A response post discussing website discoverability, sparked by an older post by Marginalia.

I found lots of inspiration within the small and independent web this month. There are several drafts I intend to expand into finished posts during December.

This past month, I signed up with Tinylytics, providing insights into the traffic received by these posts. However, I encountered an issue with Webmentions. Although I observed numerous Webmentions on, they weren’t displaying on my website. Addressing this glitch will be a priority, as I value the community connection they foster.

Regarding Webmentions and the connection among personal websites, I’ve been intrigued by @Devastatiarecent endeavor: This platform aims to facilitate services for a hashtag and mention system among personal websites. I’m curious to see how it unfolds.

In the meantime, I’ll strive to fix the Webmentions issue.

Should you respond to anything I’ve written, feel free to send me an email. I love to hear from people who read what I write.

Amid family engagements, I’ve initiated a new side project: the 32-Bit Blog Club for the 32-Bit Cafe. The objective is to compile a specific blog club feed from our members’ sites into a single feed for subscribers. We’ll offer 1-2 prompts monthly to encourage more blogging on personal websites, fostering communication and connection among our members. I’m excited to complete this project and share it with everyone.

That concludes everything for this month. Until next time!

Encouraging Small Website Discoverability
16 November 2023 | 12:00 am

Recently shared on Hacker News, Marginalia’s 2021 post, The Small Website Discoverability Crisis caught my attention.

There are a lot of small websites on the Internet: Interesting websites, beautiful websites, unique websites.

Unfortunately they are incredibly hard to find. You cannot find them on Google or Reddit, and while you can stumble onto them with my search engine, it is not in a very directed fashion.

It prompted a response from Kyle Drake of Neocities, always worth hearing from in our circles.

Anyway, Marginalia’s post delves into the challenge of increasing discoverability for sites like ours. Their proposal? Federated bookmarking. It’s a concept familiar to many of us here, emphasising the importance of personal websites having a links page that connects to other personal websites. Don’t just link, describe why you appreciate or are linking to these websites, as discussed in The Art of Hyperlinking.

To federate this concept, link to other bookmark/links-lists you come across, thereby creating exposure and a sense of community!

I was pleasantly surprised to find a link to my own links page on Marginalia’s bookmarks. I’m planning to add a new section to reciprocate as soon as I find a moment.

Let’s keep the conversation alive. Do you have a links page that celebrates the diversity of personal websites? Join in and spread the love!

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