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The joy in building the web

My first website was a collection of Star Wars GIFs on Geocities.

Collection is a strong word -- it was a random assortment of GIFs all jammed together willy-nilly on a page. No CSS, just raw image tags in an HTML page.

Matthias Ott's "Into the Personal-Website-Verse" reminded me about those early days in the 90s, where the internet was so new and exciting.

Fast-forward 20-plus years. The web is eating the world, and a whole new generation of web developer has stepped forward to build on the shoulders of giants.

But... we don't always get to flex our muscles. Work can only give you so much skill development, and there's always the pressure to grow and improve your skills -- which can be an exhausting rat-race.

Ott's article offers a separate way forward -- personal websites as engines for self-expression, creativity and community.

Personal websites are called personal websites because they are just that: personal. Thus, the primary objective still is to have a place to express ourselves, to explore ourselves, a place that lasts while the daily storms pass by. A place of consideration, and yes, a place of proudly sharing what we do, what we think, and what we care about. A place to contribute your voice and help others. A home on the internet. A place to tell your story.

It's a good reminder of how, in the midst of all these platforms -- social media, publishing vying for our attention and our hashtag-content, there's still an outlet for imagination and weirdness. We just have to create it ourselves.

So, let's get weird.