Making the Web My Own

Crafting a tiny, unadorned corner of the internet

🌱 2022-08-22

gif of my nav

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[1]. A hyperlink wonderland.[2]

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 [3] 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.

blogging vs blogs

Slowly my need for my own website went away. Replaced by the ease of using things like Instagram [4], 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. [5]

It took me a long time to close in on this dissatisfaction I felt with current state of the web [6]. I realized I need to carve my own tiny corner of the internet. Away from the whims of these infinity pools. [7]

A website can be anything you want; a river, a plant, a garden, a puddle [8]. 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 [9] 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. [10]


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 [11]. 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 [12]. Letting entropy take its course. [13]

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 [14]. To peek at the mundane everyday goings of a rando on some corner of the internet.

  1. I have been rediscovering a whole new community who have been building whimsical web for years now. ↩︎

  2. Modern webrings, alt-blogrolls, more links ↩︎

  3. 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! ↩︎

  4. 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. ↩︎

  5. Bits of me ↩︎

  6. digital-manifesto ↩︎

  7. 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. ↩︎

  8. My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be? ↩︎

  9. 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. ↩︎

  10. 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! ↩︎

  11. Ediths of Ashoka ↩︎

  12. I have spoke about impermanence before and my struggle with leaning into entropy of things as a photographer. ↩︎

  13. This Video Has 58,900,754 Views ↩︎

  14. I miss stumbleupon ↩︎


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