A Playground

Oh, hi there blog! I didn’t forget you existed, but you did become the lovable aunt who likes to talk too much and so you were avoided.

Meanwhile, I’ve been hanging out in place called NeoCities, a throwback to GeoCities, which sadly shut down.

This is a huge deal! Why?

The Web is not the internet

The internet, as we know, is an interconnected network of tubes that funnel nutrients and raw sewage alike through our lovable dispensaries (PC, tablet, smartphone, smartcar, smartfridge, smartloo etc…)

The Web is the said nutrients and sewage. Now we have all been told what nutrients are by the owners of the web. Media, social or otherwise, have fed it to us labeled “nutrients”, but lately we’ve come to understand that this is a whitewashed molasses of contrived crap. You can’t blame these outlets alone since the owners of the web will do whatever they please with their property.

Owners? What owners?!

Who are the owners? Facebook, Google(G+) et. al. And yes, even WordPress to a degree. But I sense some of you have a niggling twitch on the back of your mind. The power of the “owners” of the web has increased in recent years and the alarm is compounded by the fact that the web wasn’t supposed to be owned by anyone. “Wait, it’s my blog/Facebook page/account!” Surely what is “your” property should be yours to do as you please, no? Well, that’s very true, but here we have a hiccup with what exactly “ownership” entails.

You do not own what you do not control.

Facebook, Google and any other entity that holds on to your things for you, creates themes, connects you to people you should know (or rather they think that you should know) and such that you can edit. These are features. But it is subject to their TOS (which excludes far more than spam and “illegal” content). They have every right to control what’s on their property. And it is “their” property, you’re simply renting an apartment there by using yourself as collateral. As the old social media adage goes…

If you’re using a “free” service, you’re the product

Side amusing factoid: Everyone I know, who uses Facebook, hates it.

I use it to keep in touch with friends ‘n stuff and once-in-a-while, I’ll play a game, but it’s such a timesuck, dude!

– Everyone

Back to the awesomeness of NeoCities.

Why is NeoCities awesome?

The early to mid 90s was an era of the www (Wild, Wild, Web) when anyone and everyone can create any sort of a jumble of content – and this is the operative word, folks, “content” – with muddled HTML, dancing Hammer gifs and whole assortment of unwholesomeness that (mostly)everyone loves.

Above all else, you “Owned” your page. You could download it, edit it as you please, share as you please, link who you please and most certainly, the host didn’t “connect” you to people you know or secretly gather usage data on who you visit or bookmarked. These are also features.

Note: A “like” is an acknowledgment. A “share” is a public bookmark. See how the new owners of the web have used existing features and renamed them?

NeoCities captures the www (second definition) to a T and I encourage everyone else to join the club. You’re not a network, you’re not a product. You’re a human being. Please express yourself as one. Right now the service is limited to editing HTML files and uploading small images, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use an outside image hosting service like Imgur.com (which is also free).

I started my experiment with NeoCities a week or so ago and it was still being tweaked at the time. However, you can see the end result. I don’t plan to stop here, of course.

Learn HTML (it’s not terribly complicated, but if you need a place to start, you can copy my layout and stylesheet). Everyone who feels like it should try it out, experiment, mould, create and do whatever.

Let the creator of NeoCities explain it better.

Enjoy!

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