This was the year 2002. My friend lend me his internet scratch card. He said it had two hours of internet on it. All I had to do was use the serial number on that card and I can go “online”. I didn’t believe him. There is no way someone was going to give me two hours of internet. It was expensive. It was a luxury. I typed the numbers in. Heard the dial-tone go crazy. Poof! There I was, peeking into the most incredible thing I have set my eyes on. AOL chat. Then, there were blogs, directories, blogrolls, webrings. A hyperlink wonderland.
Accessing another person’s mind, without trying to acquire a dusty old book from the library. A look at the mundane everyday goings of some rando  on the other side of the internet.
I kept a blog on and off for over a decade now. I would start one up, write a blog post or two. Forget about it. Relaunch a new one couple of years later.
Slowly my need for my own website went away. Replaced by the ease of using things like Instagram , Twitter, Tik Toks of the world. And then, the algorithms started to take over. Curating an experience just for me. Maximizing on revenue by showing me exactly what they think I need to see. 
It took me a long time to close in on this dissatisfaction I felt with current state of the web . I realized I need to carve my own tiny corner of the internet. Away from the whims of these infinity pools. 
A website can be anything you want; a river, a plant, a garden, a puddle . I want my website to be a garden. Where I can plant my ideas and see them slowly grow over time. Building a widely connected mycorrhizal network  between thoughts. I made my own little garden. At the bottom of every post, you can see backlinks to other posts. Over time, each would feed into each other. Feed off each other. 
I want this website to a quiet place for someone to take shelter in. A giant banyan tree for a weary traveller to take shelter on a hot day . Where they can quietly glance through my notes or look at my commonplace book.
I want it to be resource for myself. To find bookmarks I can revisit over time. An archive of my newsletters.
For an eventual time when the big tech I depend on doesn’t exist anymore. These tangled text files will exist on a physical disk somewhere. Until I decide to burn the current iteration of this website and rebuild it anew . Letting entropy take its course. 
Until then, I have this tiny, unadorned part of the web for myself. Some place where the young-me would have loved to stumble upon . To peek at the mundane everyday goings of a rando on some corner of the internet.
I have been rediscovering a whole new community who have been building whimsical web for years now. ↩︎
Modern webrings, alt-blogrolls, more links ↩︎
In 2016, there was an actual app called Rando where you would send and receive images from random people across the globe. It was incredible! ↩︎
Instagram in particular has been such a disappointment. Locking artist’s content because a vocal minority aren’t happy with what’s being seen. Closing down accounts for no reason and no recourse. ↩︎
The thing I took away the most from the book Make Time, was the idea of infinity pools. Things that would suck up all your mental energy. ↩︎
My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be? ↩︎
Ever since I came across the Mycorrhizal network in The Hidden Life of Trees, I have found it hard to shake that idea of how the web could be. ↩︎
Another story that has stuck with me for years is Kekule’s dream of the benzene ring. Where he saw a snake eating itself. Leading to the discovery of the structure of benzene. Which apparently is not true. Why let facts come in the middle of a good story though! ↩︎
I have spoke about impermanence before and my struggle with leaning into entropy of things as a photographer. ↩︎
I miss stumbleupon ↩︎