Thoughts on the Web Revival in May 2023

This article was written after the closure of the Yesterweb community and was a study and revaluation of ideas that felt uncertain at the time.

It's been a year now since I wrote my first general definition of the Web Revival and two years since I did my site manifesto. A lot has happened in that time; I've changed and the scene has changed, so Iv has been trying to gather my thoughts on the subject and I decided I should share them here!

Creative Websites are rare and worth cherishing!

Simply having a weird creative, colourful and unusual site has its own intrinsic value. It's meaningful and worthwhile, even if it's not out to change the world or provide any info other than your favourite songs.

Creative websites are art - and art creates new ideas!

Making art of any kind is part of a process that makes you think differently - even if the art itself is not trying to change the world, the fact that it exists DOES change the world - all creativity changes the world for better or worse!

Optimism is the most important thing to have!

Optimism means embracing both the past and the future, it's about believing that things can be cool; that old things can still have a role in the future, and that everything can be made better. Optimism is important because certainty is impossible; you can never know what will or won't work out, but believing that things CAN work out is a trigger that enables you to try new things!

Websites are a form of creative conflict!

Making a web revival site, or even a counter-web revival site is an act of creative conflict - it challenges pre-existing concepts of design, value and purpose and offers an alternative. Visual language is as much a form of debate as written word, I would even argue that visual language is often a better (if more vague) way to express an idea!

The Web Revival can be more than websites!

It can be games, it can be zines, it can be comics, it and be using an old camera - it can take any form; the website version is the most developed, but there is room beyond that limit and Id like to push that limit more!

Values in the Web Revival:

  1. Humanity - Designing spaces that treat people with dignity (e.g. not of for-profit or social experiments)
  2. Mystery - Embracing the unknown, unusual and unexpected.
  3. Humour / Fun - I would argue a site is not a web revival site if it doesn't have the humility to have fun.
  4. Love - Behaving in a loving way, even towards strangers (although love cannot always mean positive actions, sometimes it's harsh)
  5. Creation of Knowledge - Creating and understanding new things, or sharing knowledge about existing things.
  6. Expression through Structure - All of these values are expressed through the structure/design of a web revival project, they are not just words that can be put on any site.


The web revival includes nostalgia intrinsically, it cannot be separated - but it's important to remember that Naustalgia is not about looping through memories or emotions about the past - its purpose is:
"how those memories allow us to interrogate existence itself and the workings of the world.” -Bruno David on André Malraux (2017 & 1967)


The web revival above all else values action; we avoid perfectionism because it limits action - its better to make a messy site that inspires you to add more, than a perfect site that does not inspire you. It's better to make a site that can stay online and be maintained, instead of one that will vanish if you don't pay your bills. The web revival encourages creating and sharing things, even if they are small, broken, incomplete and Warning Under Construction - broken things can be improved, non-existent things can be nothing. Go forth and make silly websites, because the world needs them  :^S

This post can be discussed on the MelonLand forum here:

Categories philosophy, websites