Why does a guy in his 20s have a website that looks like it was designed before he was born?
Short answer: because it looks cool
Ever since I found a VHS recording in my parents' basement containing a lost episode of a children's TV show, I have been wary of the fragility of media. Was the recording of the episode in my musty basement the only remaining one in the world? What if I had been too late and the tape had degraded too much? What if nobody had ever bothered to record it at all? It amazed me that a show that aired almost daily on Canadian television for several years could be all but forgotten only a decade or two later. It made me wonder what else we are taking for granted that could disappear in an instant.
As kids, we were told that "everything posted on the Internet is there forever," and even though I knew better, a part of me wanted to belive that the Internet was different from other media. But as reports began to roll in about Musk laying off most of the Twitter workforce and warning of potential bankruptsy, it dawned on me that nothing has changed since the days of network television. Every social media platform is no different than the TV channel that aired the children's show; they could decide to pull the plug at a moment's notice. Sure, there are some "recordings" out there like the VHS tape that I found in the basement. The Internet Archive and Archive Team do an excellent job, but the reality is that all 500+ petabytes of Twitter content would never be fully archived if the site collapsed.
I initially started working on this website during the start of the Twitterpocalypse, a.k.a. when the foundation of my go-to social media app suddenly began to shake. I began to realize that I had put too many of my eggs into one basket. This inspired me to look to the past to see what else we had already lost. The Old Net introduced me to a web I had been born just too late to fully know, where everyone was free to express themselves in their own space. It was ugly, it was messy, but it was the rawest expression of self the web has ever known. Sure, it was short lived, but it gave me a glimpse at what the internet could have been -- ours.
This website exists because I want a place on the web to call my own. A place that no company can pry from my hands. A place where I have the freedom to use any hosting provider I choose. A place where I can dump anything I want, whether it be a review of my favorite Owl City album or a photo gallery of all my Christmas ornaments. Maybe nobody will ever see it. Maybe I'll babble too much and my words will bore people. Maybe I'll miss a hosting bill and this will all go the way of GeoCities. But least it's mine. This website is a tribute to the web of old.
If you're reading this on rampy.me, I'm happy to have you here (sign the guestbook!). If you're reading this from the future on the Wayback Machine or some other archive site, congratulations on finding my little mark on web! This site is first and foremost a self-indulgent hobby for me and I don't expect anyone to read any of it, so I appreciate you taking the time to put up with my babbling. ;)