Snarkclaw Art And Comics

Time to date myself: my introduction to the Internet was in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the Internet was fun.

Most personal web presences were in the form of static, individually designed sites hosted on AngelFire, Tripod, and, of course, GeoCities. Some more dedicated people self-hosted or paid for hosting, but their sites, too, were static and highly personalized. Interface often mattered as much as content.

Today, content is supposedly king, but the biggest influencers rarely even make their own content, just finding whatever will garner "engagement" and "curating" it, with or without the original creators' permission. All this content is viewed in the same, uniform, homogenized interfaces lacking individuality or personality.

I think a real life comparison would be that the 1990s Internet was about maintaining one's home and making it as pretty and as personable as one could, while the modern Internet is about maximizing attention by just putting up a big, automated billboard that randomly features anything: pictures of other peoples houses, vicious gossip, anything that will catch attention.

Shan suggested another comparison when I complained about how much of the "feel" gets lost for content posted on "the socials." "Visiting a dedicated website is like going to a haunted house, while viewing the same content on Instagram is like just seeing the haunted house on television."

Anyway, I decided to recapture some of the spirit of the 1990s sites. Yes, they may have been garish or ugly or hard to read, but they were fun!

Dating back to my own GeoCities page, I have always had a site that I can customize, whether a static site or one using C.M.S. that allows customization. Last year, I started changing the color scheme of my sites each month, sometimes reflecting something special about the month, sometimes not. For example, June's scheme reflected the bi-pride flag for Pride and July's scheme was red, white, and blue for American Independence Day... and it had animated stars twinkling on the background.

A friend of Shan's saw my site with its twinkling star animated GIF background and took great offense to this horrid design faux pas. "When was that made; in the 90s?" the fashion critic complained.

The fashion critic's idea of the perfect Internet experience is to scroll through Instagram.

After hearing how much disgust my site's appearance caused, I took the only reasonable course of action...

...By looking for more animated GIFs to use for backgrounds, ideally a new one every month.



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