Why make a



29th Dec. 2021

In the age of social media, why would (and should) you opt to make a website in lieu of major platforms?

I do think that, in a purely conceptual sense, social media is one of the greatest inventions mankind could devise; a free-of-charge portal to other countries, other cultures, or Jim you met in the Red Lion that one night, without having to travel, all powered solely by the device on which you peruse it? That sounds absolutely amazing, on paper. Until you realise that free-of-charge will not remain so forever, whether that be paywalls, or worse, companies beginning to harvest your data for their own nefarious purposes.

Now, I'm no tinfoil hat wearer. I'm not saying that this is at all an avoidable evil, because let's face reality, at this particular point in time, the Internet is lost. The web that was is largely lost due to the monopoly that big corporations such as Meta, Amazon and Google have in their respective e-markets. They're household names - you have never heard your mother say "oh, hold on dear, let me SearX that", nor "I'm going to buy a new coat from Trouva". However, what does still remain true is that you can reduce your usage of these platforms in order to reduce the amount of data held regarding you, your habits and so forth. But what if that's not enough to inspire you? What if you're like me, cynical and resigned to the point of largely accepting the corporate overlords, and wanting to just have fun in our painfully short journeys to the grave so long as they don't take the piss too much? What else could possibly drive somebody to up and make their own website from scratch? Well, other people, of course.

"But Eve!" I hear the voices in my head shriek yet again, "I thought you said that the fact that you can connect to other people was a great thing?" Well, you entirely non-existant viewpoint, that was in theory, too. As with the ability to talk to the few great people in this world, comes the ability to meet the rest of them. Those who are rude, obnoxious, abrasive, potentially even dangerous, or just flat-out annoying. And, of course, I refer to Twitter mainly with this. Twitter is a hive of scum and villainy that breeds only depression and loneliness; the moments of laughter from the increasingly rare funny post are drowned out by the countless meaningless posts about somebody not liking something with zero reasoning behind it, the cancelling of somebody because they said something they shouldn't have whilst ignoring their apologies and attempts to fix the situation, and lastly, the stan culture.

Stan culture, conversely to the nature of the platforms on which it's housed, is antisocial, as well as parasocial. Whether it be absconding somebody of blame of things that they very evidently did because you like them, whilst attacking others for calling them out, or following the person's activities religiously to the point where it becomes your personality trait, or- Look, let's just cut to the fucking chase, here - I'm sick to death of Dream and K-Pop stans - Dream stans being the more offensive of the two. K-Pop stans may have had the classic moment of saying that Etika wouldn't have died if he stanned LOONA (I attempted to search for the source of this - turns out all the accounts I could find linked to the original serious one have been suspended, go figure!), but those are just words, at the end of the day. Granted, words that should under no circumstance form in anyone's mind save for if the person they're targetting was, like, the reanimation of Fidel Castro or something, but simply words regardless. Whereas Dream stans often venture into far... how to say it... extreme territories.

I don't exactly wish to go too in-depth, but just to skim, in case you're not already aware - many members of Dream's community take part in a parasocial relationship with him constantly posting tweets that only exacerbate this, especially on his private Twitter (which, for obvious reasons, I cannot particularly easily link to or show you. Search if you're interested). On top of this, he continuously uses these fans to get things: the 2020 Minecraft Mob Vote is likely the one of these that's the most prevalent in popular memory, which he thought was a great basis for a joke when the 2021 one rolled around. In brief, in case you missed it, the Mob Vote was rigged by Dream alongside his legion of stans in order to throw the poll in favour of the Glow Squid - a mob which served no practical purpose even in theory, and in implementation has went on to be even more disappointing than anticipated. And why did he do it? Because he can. These fans are all so obsessed with the bloke that they'll do anything. Whilst most celebrities, and indeed e-celebrities, would likely tell these crazies either to politely back down or to just straight-up fuck off, Dream opts to weaponise this in his favour when he sees fit; after all, if he can bounce back from one of the biggest video game cheating scandals since [name redacted to avoid lawsuit]'s blatant cheating in Donkey Kong, having evidence presented of him saying slurs, and have his blatant manipulation of them all go over their heads, whilst making a fair bit of bank doing so, why wouldn't he? And of course, his stans won't allow anything to be said against him - no, no, no! If you at all even begin to insinuate that you don't like the man, you'll be subject to thousands of the little fuckers in your inbox telling you that you're wrong. This is without even scratching the surface on Poppy Twitter, a sub-community wherein such lovely, light topics as:

warning! not very nice things inside. rape, incest, underage, gore fantasies and/or CP. I'm sure there's far more alleys of degeneracy I've been fortunate enough to have skirted around, but rest assured that this stuff is decently spread, like, a fair bit. For the sake of your own sanity (and so you don't get put on a watchlist), do not enquire further. It's not worth it.

To clarify, however, I have no issue with fans, fans being people who like the thing enough to possibly consider it worthy of a mention on an About Me page or some such. For example, I'd classify myself as a Yakuza fan, since I bloody love those games and could talk about them all day. Stans, conversely, are a portmanteau of 'stalker' and 'fan' - in essence, they are so obsessive that their personality is often moulded around their interests. This would be like if I entered a steakhouse and exclaimed, "Wow! Just like Wild Jackson from Yakuza 0!" without a trace of irony before attempting to triangulate Takaya Kuroda's location through a reflection in his sunglasses or something. Stans are often dangerous, both to themselves and others, as they may doxx others that they disagree with, or sometimes even the person that they obsess over - funnily enough, the latter being the case with Dream himself. These stans, however, are increasingly frequent, to the point where it is virtually impossible to go a day without seeing something related to one of the members of his Minecraft server breathing or some bollocks on the Trending tab on Twitter. They never shut the fuck up, and you can never escape a day without seeing at least one of them, like cockroaches with subwoofers on their backs reciting Mask.

And thus is displayed the glory of the personal website.

You don't have to have the annoying people there. Fuck, you can entirely forego comments, not leave any links to ways to contact you at all, and so forth! And you choose exactly what you do and don't want on your website: me, I want to make a nice, fun little place where I can talk about whatever shit takes my fancy on that day in particular, in as much length as I want. No character limits on HTML! The only limit is your limited imagination! Look at that shit! I linked something inside of my words! Look, look, look - watch this, watch this:

Peep this dog!

And I can add that into the thing I'm saying! Like, between my words and shit! And I can write words all weird!

I have entire control over what I say and show, look - bums! See? Nobody's gonna tell me off for saying "bums" now! Bums!


I can force you to listen to my taste in music! Chances are that some of you reading this fucking abhor my taste in music, but there it is, at the bottom of the page, smugly mocking you with it's continued existence!

Obviously, I'm taking the piss and being a bit facetious, but me point is that when you have your own website, you have complete creative control over what you want to do, what you want to show! You want to make a website about yourself, with your own blog, so you can ramble onto a page instead of pissing your friends off with it and killing the group chat for the umpteenth time? Go for it! You want to make a portfolio for commissions showing all of your artwork? The artiste in you will have a field day designing it all! You want to make a chatroom made for lovers of... I don't fuckin' know, children's breakfast cereals? Sail away, Captain Crunch, but you're buying the next pint of milk.

And the best part, it stimulates yer head-hole! With Twitter, shite's already there for you, innit? Either you scroll through the dogshit that's there, or you add to the smell - maybe you might sometimes attach a picture of the cat stealing your kebab again, the pilfering bastard. With a website, you have to commit to your pages, you have to tweak everything, get it just so, make sure that the background looks proper, or that your font is the one you want, or what have you! It's not just a simple case of I'm bored whilst I'm having my hazy morning slash, I suppose I'll Tweet something - you have to put in the work to get to that point! This whole process has been an amazing little learning experience for me, and one that I implore that anyone even remotely interested in representing themselves online explores.

I'm not saying that it's something for everyone, by any means - if you still feel comfy using Twitter, go for it - but it's certainly something that everyone can do. If you want to escape the wretched hellhole that is Twitter whilst still having a place to express yourself... well, I mean, probably give Mastodon a go if you still want to have as easy a time as with Twitter and still connect to people, but if you fancy a little project, and you don't mind experimenting and learning, you can make your own personal space, full of whatever you want, wherever you want. You can even streamline your pages by crafting templates - God knows I'm not re-typing the UI of this place every time I make a new page - and have the ability to just write. And that, really, is the main fun of it, to me:

You can tinker 'til your heart's content,

and you can make whatever content you

want. All without anyone to tell you 'no'.

hehe. bums.