The GardenDespatches from The Satyrs’ Forest

Just write about gardening or the Bible or Zootopia fanfiction or something

Cyberpunk AI art of a hacker typing into their computer about how much they hate the internet
(Generated with Stable Diffusion.)

I have to say, it gets on my nerves when, on my regular surfing sessions across the high seas of the web, i see a cool-looking website… and then its only content is just about how much its creator misses Le Old Web before they invented capitalism or whatever.1

There’s certainly room for meta-puffery about the internet (i wouldn’t have made this site what it is without Kicks Condor doing exactly that), but after a dozen sites in a row all moaning the same moan without an original insight in sight, it starts to get tired. I’m begging you, just write about gardening or the Bible or Zootopia fanfiction or something!

What makes the free web beautiful is the sheer diversity in the topics covered and how people’s little idiosyncracies and quirks and interests shine through — it saddens me how most sites in the “old web” (did it ever really go away?) revival movement are doing nothing but lamenting their own existence.


  1. blithe says…

    Eh, I certainly prefer when there's non-meta work on these sites, but I appreciate how many promote it as a political movement. Even when they're glorified links pages containing little more than a nicely stylized biography and links to their presence elsewhere, I like seeing even that tiny bit of independence.

    I dunno, the sites we remember from the old web proper tended to be the domain-specific writing you're looking for, but there were also a ton of people making sites simply to have something out there, a little piece of the web that's theirs, even if they don't do much with it. I see value there.

  2. maya says…

    Given that there are far, far, far more people on the internet writing about gardening, the Bible, and Zootopia fanfiction than there are expressing indie meta internet opinions, isn't this mostly a sign that your own patterns of consumption aren't matching up with what you want to be reading?

  3. Xanthe says…

    Oh, i don’t know — maybe i’m just surfing the wrong waves here, but most niche-interest sites i come across tend to have not been updated since 2013, while all the newly-created sites i come across (usually by checking the backlinks in my analytics, which might have something to do with it…) are more full of the usual Geocities-meta-nostalgia guff.

  4. maya says…

    Ah, fair – my referrer analytics are a similarly flavored place.

    Hard to know, of course, what one Isn't Seeing.

    I wonder what the easiest first step is for people that isn't meta. It's easy to see how you'd of course tend to set up your website when Websites are what's top of mind, but the fun only starts when you start experimenting with them further...

    In my backlinks I found my pens page being used as an example part of a How To Website course (https:handmade-web.netprojectspassion.html), and maybe something like that is right: I'd bet pretty much anyone could make a list of things and type out their opinions on them. From there, one steps back and thinks about how it could be made useful, or entertaining, or expressive...

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