Ivy Allie

Ivy Goes Web 1.1

Posted 20 Feb 2022

I’m tired of the internet. More specifically, I’m tired of what it’s become: at best, an exercise in austere, uninteresting design, at worst a trainwreck of advertising and bloated JavaScript. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia talking but I miss the Internet of old, with its hackneyed personal websites, built not out of an attempt to create A Brand but for the sake of putting something out there.

I’ve been much gratified recently, even as certain parties clamor for a blockchain-based “Web 3.0”, to see the rise of a counter-movement, often going by the name “Web 1.1”. This calls for a move back to the ways of the late 90’s and early 00’s, when what we had was a World Wide Web and that Web was largely made up of thousands of personal websites. These were noncommercial, they were labors of love. They were weird and often ugly. They loaded fast because they were mostly text and had little to no JavaScript.

And they added up to something endlessly interesting. There were “rabbit holes”, but there was no “doomscrolling.” There was no Algorithm that was dedicated to keeping your eyes on the website for as long as possible. It was just you, your web browser, and an endless supply of idiosyncratic bric-a-brac that had been put together by regular people much like yourself. It was an art form like any other (but also unlike any other), and it’s been slowly eroded by large companies who want “the internet” to become synonymous with their own private platforms.

I’ve made some small changes to this site to bring it more in line with the Web 1.1 philosophy. I didn’t need to change much; it was most of the way there already. But I discontinued use of Google Fonts, so the site no longer uses outside resources, and I added a “Webmaster’s Pledge”, which explains the ways that this site uses JavaScript.

I don’t want this infinite canvas to become obsolete. I’ve had personal websites since I was about 9 years old and I intend to continue until my demise. Longer, if archive.org persists. And I hope you will make one as well. And not a Web 2.0 site on Blogger or Squarespace or whatever, but a static site of your own creation.

Let’s keep the Internet weird.