Neocities (and About This Blog)
by C04X14L, June 30th, 2022
Welcome to a new era of my site! Besides "C04X14L's Really Neat Site", it doesn't quite have a name, even over a year later. That kinda sucks, considering how hard to type that is. Every time I sign up for a webring or listing I have to copy-paste the name because of how annoying it is! But I digress. The reason I am making this article is to talk about how neat Neocities is. Lately I felt pretty bleak about this site, because I did all the silly, ironic, novelty-based things I wanted to do with a blank HTML canvas. Ironically enough, as a kid I hated sites like this. As a young child, I LOVED modern design. I loved minimalistic yet innovative designs, so glittergraphics.com was a hellsite to me. This is a 10-year-old, people. I still think minimalistic is the way to go, but on the other hand, I like to have fun. I spent my entire life trying to appeal to people, so to say that gets tiring is an understatement. I was one of those kids who got told, "You're so mature for your age!" I tried to be grown up so much so that sometimes I forgot to have fun. This site is a testament to that era of my life. At this point people may think I dress/act Y2K aesthetics to be trendy, but not quite... I do it to make up for lost time, to enjoy what I tried to be too cool for. I got a lava lamp with my new room when I was 11 or so. I liked it enough, but I didn't appreciate it for what it, and the rest of that "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" level room was. I want to step on that kid's toes, but instead I display it proudly in my new apartment.
A couple weeks ago now I read an article on DOKODEMO about theivery on Neocities. As I read each line a bead of sweat formed on my face, since I thought I'd be in the doghouse due to snagging a couple tacky GIFs from other sites, but instead I read an incredibly well-crafted article about the different kinds of "stealing" on Neocities (kinds I wasn't as guilty of as stealing GIFs), and what the community thinks of each one. I then traveled over to another linked article that was... sharp-tongued, to say the least. While I did want to strangle the man who wrote it, he was right. This website is so uninspired. Like I said above, it's just... Nostalgia. In it's purest form. I made it to look like what I wished I made circa 2010, and I did just that. And left it there. All major changes since the final v1.0 edition I retired back in April were cosmetic, there's no meat! Which is why I'm introducing this section, which is a hybrid of how much I love DOKODEMO's blog, comnbined with my undying love for cartoon/video game YouTubers making 40-minute analyses on kid's media. Most articles in this section will be based in either media reviews, love letters to things/people I love, and maybe a manifesto or two about whatever I'm REALLY heated about that day. I want to make something of this website, and I'm starting by putting my love for writing long-winded articles to good use! Maybe I should have been an English major.
With all the personal stuff out of the way, let's move onto more personal stuff! But this time I promise I'll stay on topic.
Neocities. We all love it! We all know it. For the two of y'all who don't, it's essentially a modern Geocities revival. It's a lot more than that, but it's also essentially that. Neocities is a free website platform (not to be mistaken for a website builder, as it is not, save for the code editior of which I shamelessly write these pages in.) I rambled about this in my scrapped "About Me" page, so I'll copy-paste some of that in the following paragraphs!
"I found Neocities through [petpet generator], which was a GIF generator for a popular meme at the time. I had an interest in "ironic old stuff" for a couple years by then, so when I found out about a modern Geocities, I lost it. I actually had been looking for something exactly like it at the time, so I was stoked! I always wanted to learn HTML, so it was cool to finally have the oppertunity to do so! It was the push I needed to buckle down and learn it. The rest is history, I guess. You are here now, right?
"Part of what I love about Neocities is the authenticity most people have. Unlike social media, everything here is hand-made by the creators. (Save for some graphics/widgets, of course.) Each site is an amalgamation of its owner and what makes them a person. Even if it's made under a different persona/identity, it's still real. I can only hope to find and capture that essence of myself into a page someday. I love Neocities for this. Social media is pick and choosey, and addictive. It kills everything it touches, and I've lost people mentally to it. I've had friends and family who got so deep into the spiral they're not even them anymore, they're just made up of whatever the timeline shows them that day, and I want to come back from that sinec I'm just as guilty. All I am is a machine that recites memes all day, and I want to find where the real me went. A silly site comprised of snippits of code I cobbled together isn't much, but it's a start."
End recycled content! I've essentially summed up all I wanted to say already, so I'll try to wrap up things quickly. I just love how Neocities gives us all the freedom to create what we want. The only thing stopping me all those years was that to make a website, you needed to either hand the creative freedom over to Wix, or buy the rights to a domain. As a kid with no money, I was relegated to Wix, but it felt stuffy, so I stopped caring after a week. I made a Google Sites webpage for an English class a year ago, and it wasn't half bad, I'll be honest. But it also didn't let the users grow the way I would have liked. I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to read instructions when building furniture, because it's more fun to figure out that way. (But do know I give in pretty quick. Messing with Ikea beds isn't the ideal time to dig your heels into the ground.) I wanted to learn HTML the hard way, so I did. I thank Neocities for that, it's truly the perfect platform to let people mess around and learn on. I just wish more schools made kids learn that stuff! A couple of my classes had small units, and in recent times this site helped me be ahead during those lessons! I was told as a kid that HTML is a dead language since site builders and advanced code editors exist, but then agin, we still learn Latin, do we not? Dead or not, it's fun and creative and I won't let it die.
Closing Thoughts: If you are a Neocities user who has a website, thank you so much. Each last one of you inspires me so much! (But bonus points to old web aesthetics lmao) Even if you think it's another site to throw into the void, trust me-- it's not. Even if it's just some random kid browing the "Recently Updated" tab, your site will reach someone and it will change them just a little bit, even if it's a small little smile. Each line of code written into this site holds so much meaning, so let's fill that void! Cram Kyle Drake's servers with the coolest pages you can think of!
If you stumbled onto this page by accident and aren't yet part of the cool kids club, then... Let me ask! What are you waiting for?
Let's go home.