Technology has always been the gateway to the unknown frontier; digital space is not a tool or a medium, it is the invisible unreality that is waiting to be found.
In the misty days some time around the millennium I had the notion I would like to make my own website. However, being six years old and not knowing much about anything that idea would take sixteen years and a degree in Computer Science to be realised.
My work is heavily inspired by the myth of early technology, ‘80s CGI and the ‘90s web, a messy, inexplicable place, full of unknown possibilities and innocent ideals. The folk revival of the web is still out of sight but very much in reach. I see it as an antidote to the miasma the internet has become today, or at least a promise that tomorrow can be better.
A quick history of Melonking.Net:
I grew up on an island with a train, the world revolved around that island. Into this world the train would carry lost souls, time often forgot that island, and I’d dream of houses half caught in the past. It was a sad place, a pointless stupid beautiful mirage.
Although I have not stayed very true to it, Melonking.Net was built as a house, with rooms and walls and windows. Thin HTML walls; but strong and timeless like that island I was on. Outside the storm of the web would rage, but within those walls it was always dusty and safe.
You’ll never live in a utopia, but you can glance into one. Economies are based on scarcity; the number of things you own or provide, and the things you can gain from others.
However digital space has no scarcity, it’s impossible to make a digital asset scarce. On the web everything is unlimited; on the web we all own infinite worlds, we are all kings and queens. It's an economy of creativity, the only limits are time and imagination.
Social media networks and crypto people try to take that away from you; because the best way they can make money is to put limits on infinity, they squash you into their format like a sardine in a can. It doesn’t have to be like that!
- All creation is defiance, what came before was created, you must defy it to make something new, and then you must defy yourself to make something new again.
- New does not always mean better, sometimes old things remind us that there was a different path, and there still can be again.
- You must not stay still, even if that means you will lose your way for a while. However you must find your own path, trends don’t survive.
- HTML has no time, it lasts forever. In 2000 years somewhere on some crystal harddrive, there will be a copy of Melonking.Net and some bored archeologist will explore it again. I make the site for that archaeologist (hello!).
- The world tries to make things serious, but nothing is serious. You started with nothing and will end with nothing.
- Perfection is a flaw, consistency is a limitation and professionalism is a disaster. Everything should be an adventure and adventures start where the cracks in normality begin.
- Use your tools to make things, don't make things about your tools. Technology and the end result are in a dance, one can never lead the other too long.
- Loud people, please keep your voice down, this is a quiet place, here at the end and the beginning of all things.
- You never really own a site, they grow and change by their nature. As a webmaster, your job is to tend the site, you must never kill it or force it to be something it doesn't want to be.
- All the best things start as jokes and anything worth saying is worth taking a long time to say.
Neocities and the web revival community:
Most social media is about self gratification; how many likes you get or how many views you have. The community on neocities and the wider web revival movement is about creative feedback. Here, it doesn't matter if you have five or five million views, your work is valid, interesting and usually has something to offer even the most veteran netizen. There is a feedback loop created by interacting with rivals and friends, and I hope you'll find both. You were never made to be in a bubble, and no one is self made.
You can make a web world too!
You have the time and you have the ideas. If you’ve never made a site before it will be simplistic, it will be broken and it will not be professional. That is exactly what you want it to be, if you can make your site be all those things “than yours is the earth and everything that’s in it” - R.Kipling.
It’s about time you stopped playing by other peoples rules and made up your own. Just remember that we are all pixels in the eyes of eternity.