Hi hi there!! This page covers my thoughts on web creation, web design, social media, the indie web, and why I decided to make my own website!
I still have a lot to learn about the Indie Web and I am still developing my opinions on the Web's current state. This page's main purpose is to help me make sense of my experiences and articulate my values for the web and what I want my site to be.
More than Social Media
I never experienced Geocities, Angelfire, or any of the "old web" (Web 1.0 and early 2.0). For basically all my time on the Internet prior to finding Neocities and making this site, I thought Social Media and Google searches were all the internet had to offer. I was so wrong!! I'm so happy I found the Indie Web and all the creativity, personality, charm, and love that goes into these websites. This is something social media never offered me.
Now that I'm learning what the Internet can and should be, its helping me to reflect on Social Media and my experiences with it.
My Main Issues with Social Media
- Social Media doesn't encourage healthy, informative good faith discussions. (Angry, hateful, and unproductive threads are boosted by the algorithm for "high engagement".)
- Social Media inhibits genuine, real connection with others in favor of branding and parasocial relationships.
- Users have a lack of control over their media stream.
- User's data is being mined for the sake of ads. We are forcefully put into the "consumer" role from corporations and big companies who aren't open source (we can't know what they are doing with our data, or how much of our information they have. There is a lack of transparency.)
What I want to see more of on the Web
- Creativity and personality being encouraged/cultivated in online spaces.
- Accessibility being prioritized in web design.
- Kindness, etiquette, and good faith discussions being more prevalent.
- Learning is encouraged, with good and reliable information being easy to access (NOT behind a paywall.)
- Our privacy in online spaces is respected, not exploited for profit or gain.
Why I Made this Website
My reasons for making my Neocities site has evolved and changed overtime as I learn more about coding and the web as a whole!
Let's give this a try!
I first made this site because I wanted to give web design and creation a try. I am pretty good with technology, and I was considering going into UX Design as a career for a while. It combines my love of computers with my love of art and aesthetic design! When I discovered Neocities, it looked like the perfect opportunity to give this web design stuff a try and see if it was something I liked.
And gosh, do I love it. Coding is one of my favorite hobbies now, and this website is a wonderful creative outlet for me. I feel invigorated and proud whenever I learn something new, and bringing this site to life is a fantastic journey.
Crafting my own space
I've done a lot of self reflection on my values about the Internet and SugarBlush after my experiences in the Neocities & Indie Web community; Exploring the creativity and love woven into every new site I find, reading articles of people talking about their own perspectives and experiences, etc. This website exists, first and foremost, for me to explore my passions and express my creativity in a space that is MINE. A space where I can resist the idea that I have to conform my passions, loves, ideas, projects, and voice to fit an algorithm set by corporations who only care about engagement and efficiency. A space where I can freely express all my passion and love for art, writing, animals, video games, comics, coding, etc and not worry about it being perfectly polished and professional all the time. A space where I can let myself make mistakes, learn, grow, thrive, and find joy in creatively expressing myself.
This is actually the second iteration of SugarBlush, and the third revamp of my Neocities site!
I first created my website under the name CrescentFall on November 2022, but I didn't understand the HTML or CSS of the layout builder I was using (I barely knew much HTML or CSS, mind you) so it quickly kind of fell to the wayside. I felt unmotivated because I didn't know how to bring my ideas and vision to life on the screen.
Later on in January of 2023, I was very inspired by revisiting Neocities and finding wonderful sites like Pixel Glade, nonkiru, kopawz, and so many more! Check out my Cool Sites page for other sites I enjoy! ♥
Anyways, I was struck with inspiration, and paired with my motivation to learn web design for career exploration, I took the plunge and taught myself basic HTML and CSS using this tutorial. Finally, I rebranded to SugarBlush! ♥ The name just felt more fitting.
The start of SugarBlush
As a total coding newbie with big ideas I wasn't sure how to fully implement, I used the layout of Pixel Glade (with their permission!!) to first bring SugarBlush to life. It was basically a recolor with my own illustrated banner. And it was so fun!! I could express my creative ideas without having to face the daunting task of creating a whole site's HTML and CSS from scratch.
But overtime, as I started to get the hang of HTML and CSS, I started feeling limited. I was conforming my ideas to fit into this mold that I knew worked, but it wasn't serving me and my creativity anymore. And I realized that I wanted to be able to call this site, code and all, my own. I couldn't do that if I was using someone else's source code layout. So, I decided to revamp this site and create it with a new layout entirely from scratch!
The result is what you see before you!! All of the pages on this site were coded from scratch by me, and I am so, so proud and happy. I live for the fulfillment and joy I get when I see a project I'm putting my passion and love into come to life as I envision; it is freeing and makes me feel whole. This experience is something that I LOVE about coding, and I am so happy that I made the choice to revamp this site. It is a lot of hard work, but it is absolutely worth it. Please have fun and look around!! I am learning as I go, and I am having so much fun sharing my ideas with you ♥ Thanks for sticking around.