2023-05-27: yesterweb sadness

first, they shut down the the yesterweb webring.

then, the forums got the axe.

now (well, as of a few weeks ago), sadness, of the 8M+ site views on neocities, is going on hiatus indefinitely.

i probably shouldn't be surprised — community-building is hard and most people aren't up to it. it takes a lot of passion, or you're going to burn out. how long did forums used to last? probably about this long. i have a long-term project with some associated forums and a discord and while it's pretty quiet most of the time, when it flares up, it can be a lot. but i also know that i'm investing in my project's future. and that people's time is a blessing: people can do just about anything they want, and if they're excited about, and invested in, what you're doing, that's a gift.

last year i browsed the yesterweb site, read a bunch of the manifestos, and — ehhh. nothing particularly well-expressed. the same feeling a lot of us have had, i think, that the web sucks, and that we should do something about it. so i guess the total of the yesterweb stuff was to stake ownership in a better future, name a site and movement, draw people in and then pull up stakes when it gets too hard? there's no shame in wanting your life back. but you've got to be clear about what you're giving up. what you promised, what you said you'd deliver.

there's a part of me that doesn't care, because people who want to make things are going to make things, and they don't need permission from sadness or anyone else. but it's undeniable that that site was a landing point for a lot of people, and might've spurred people to actually do something instead of scrolling reddit all night. that's worth something.

maybe someone else will step in. maybe not. but in the absence of that, it's worth a reminder that on the web you can do anything you want, and anyway, it's better to just open a text editor, and start making things. never mind the gatekeepers and manifestos. just find a tutorial, open your browser, and start making the site you've always wanted to see.