Finding the Old Web
de-commercialized and personalized internet experiences
Maybe every other month now there's some thinkpiece about how the old web was better in some way; more quirky and personal, not beholden to tech companies's aesthetics, etc. Here's some stuff I've collected about a) finding the old web, b) archiving the old web once you find it, and c) creating a new old web.
- Add "reddit" to a search term; this will bring up people having discussions (on Reddit, obv.) about the thing rather than companies trying to sell you the thing. Search string: site:reddit.com [TOPIC]
- Bonus: try "forum," it'll do a similar thing. Or try Boardreader, a forum searcher.
- Use Millionshort to filter out the top # of sites. When I did this I stumbled across Ty Collector, a Beanie Baby collection website run by a father/daughter combo.
- StumbleUpon used to be a good way to find random, cool websites, but has since turned into something else. StumblingOn is a clone of the old, original SU.
- Wiby searches "old internet" webpages, e.g. Tripod.
Building a New Old Web
What's murdering the old internet is the lack of links. Everyone is posting screenshots, twitter/facebook/etc all hijack links, and we're surprised we can't find the sites. [source].
- Make blogrolls! Create a list of links to your friends' sites.
- Move away from relying solely on likes, hearts, kudos, etc. Connect with people through discussion, through email, comments, tweets, whatever. Talk to people!
- Use RSS to subscribe to people's websites. You can self-host a reader using Tiny Tiny RSS, or you can use Dreamwidth's built-in RSS subscribe option.
Building a Site
Thinkpieces & Meta
Originally posted on Dreamwidth, October 31, 2019. Updated October 21, 2020.