A step backward for forward: Web 1.5


I’m developing a stance regarding the Internet, one that I’m going to call Web 1.5 for now unless I think of a better name. It’s mainly something I’m doing for myself, but anyone is welcome to adopt it. The main idea is to take the technology we have now which can make online useful and enjoyable, but significantly scale back the weight of social media and its domination in the current state of the web.

One part of this involves scaling one’s self away from social media, and focusing more on an individual website that can be customized to just about any aspect, one where someone can decide exactly what they want to share and no more than that. It’s a form of becoming antisocial toward social media, to some degree, but also being more of one’s self, whatever form that is, not having to act like a real person is expected to all the time, unless they want to. A site can be customized much further than most types of social media profile pages, which, if customizable at all, are limited to something like an icon, a banner, and maybe a color. A site can also go much deeper. A site might draw views and possibly comments, instead of minor updates every couple of minutes that beg for recognition among billions of similar updates that either aren’t very recognized or are bombarded with others trying to be recognized in the flood.

There are still a lot of sites out there, however, but making a unique site is conceptually easier due to the number of complexities involved. Mechanically, however, it does take some understanding of coding and structure. A core site that links everything together, instead of a web of profiles that might not all link to each other, is what I have been doing. I add to it over time, though mostly it’s been these random notes as I try to sort through the mess of my mind.

Having stepped back from Twitter, I understand what it is now more than ever. If someone just wants to dump out a part of their mind, it goes there, even though a lot of the time it seems to be a bad idea in general, or just shallow. That site is mostly a dumping ground where people might encounter each other. I’ve found I prefer to make my trash more organized, sort recyclables from the rest and such, but before it all just goes in a pile. So I don’t know what I’ll do at the end of the year when my self-imposed distancing from Twitter wraps up, if I’ll extend my absence, or return in a very limited fashion, or reduce the page to a shell of its former self to show I’ve moved on, and build a browsable archive from what I’ve put there.

YouTube is still a bunch of trash posing as a site, and those who do make decent content won’t last much longer there. We’re going to have to know how to self-host videos and handle that bandwidth, even if it means returning to the postage stamps of RealPlayer or some other weird encoding. Though MP4 seems to do fine, at least.