the library of alexandra


Long Live Webpages

over the past couple of weeks, i've been pleasantly surprised at discourse popping up on my feeds, surrounding creating your own blog, making the independent web easier and more accessible, and making your website reflect all of you.

my view is you should definitely blog, but you should have a website, too—a fruitful, bountiful website. one not just with an about you or an overview of your projects, but one that shows ways that i can connect with you, learn about you, and get a sense of who you are outside of blog entries.

it seems like lots of folks get caught up in blogs being the easiest setup to get started creating a website, but this seems to only work if the bulk of the content is your words and thoughts. while, yes, i do enjoy seeing those, i'd love to see more folks branch out on what they think is part of who they are and displaying those in a way that's creative in and of itself.

your blog is not the only defining factor to your website, and i often see it as the only place that folks tend to pay attention to once they've set it up. however, i implore you to think outside of the box; rather than post images of your art using the same lightbox framework as everyone else, why not display them like a gallery? instead of listing out your favorite movies, why not display them interactively?

when talking about these kinds of webpages, skeuomorphism isn't required, but that aesthetic sure does have its charms. the idea here, rather than focusing on an aesthetic or specific designs, is to get out of the notion that the web has to be a bunch of lists of texts, links, and inline images. you don't have to be a designer or be particularly creative to make your webpages have more personality.

think about your real-life hobbies and interests: what outside of work do you think people would be interested in? that thing you just thought of that surely people won't be fascinated by: that's exactly the one that folks will flock to your website to look at.

one of my favorite pages on my website is a page with short videos i took on my smartphone, playing on what appears to be a mobile device. it's simple, but it shares a specific side of my life that i want to share with others. sure, i could post these to social media, but i feel more in control and less contributing to the noise of social media when i share these things on my website. i'm able to make them display exactly how i want; no templates, just crowdsourced snippets from around the web or handcrafted solutions.

i'm armed with examples from around the hobbyist web:

this is only a smattering (compiled with the help of 32-bit cafe members, of course), but i wanted to show the types of webpages that could be added to your website, making it feel fuller, more interactive, and substantial. we don't have to return to the 2010-era of blogs being the main function and form of a website; instead, incorporate creative ways to tell the world about parts of you that you wish more people would ask you about.

nerd out about your hobbies. write up long summaries of books you read about your interests. collect or curate things that are fascinating to you. make webpages, not just blog entries. we want all of it in the personal web!