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Jeff Finley

The Return of the Personal Website - Finley Fridays #20

Published about 2 months ago • 4 min read

Hey Reader,

I hope you had a good week. I want to thank those of you who replied to my last newsletter with some encouragement. Your feedback was really helpful in understanding how my writing is landing with you all.

Today I want to share with you a bunch of inspiring posts and resources about what looks like an Internet Renaissance.

But first, let me self promote a bit.

All BOXOMYLK albums officially online!

I finally published all 12 of my BOXOMYLK albums to my Bandcamp page. They're also making their way to all streaming platforms, it's just taking some time. But you can find me on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube.

I retired the BOXOMYLK name in 2015 when I changed my name to Starbound Renegade. SBR is my current solo music project and if you listen closely, you can hear how my sound evolved and matured.

I don't want to overload you with self promotion, but I'm especially proud of my earlier works from 2001-2005 in what I'll call the "Mylkhead" era. The music may or may not appeal to your tastes, but it was a tremendous amount of fun to make. I was collaborating with some of my best friends and making music we could dance to.

The reason I'm posting all these now, 15 years later, is to give myself a real digital archive. And to make way for my new website where I plan to have a much more organized platform for all of my creations.

I've been wanting to revamp my website for some time now and have been going back and forth with how I want to do it. Stay on WordPress? Go with a flat file solution? Do it in Figma and Webflow? I'm not a developer, so I'm limited in my options. But the idea of revamping it excites me greatly.

The Return of the Personal Website

Last week I mentioned that I thought blogging may be dead as people move to platforms like Substack. One of my readers (👋) pointed out that Substack is already on the decline due to enshittification. Turning itself into more of a social media site that eventually wants to lock you into it's platform and squeeze out as much profit it can.

While I felt rather hopeless in my last email, I feel inspired this week. There is a renaissance on the horizon.

There’s not going to be some new killer app that displaces Google or Facebook or Twitter with a love-powered alternative. But that’s because there shouldn’t be. There should be lots of different, human-scale alternative experiences on the internet that offer up home-cooked, locally-grown, ethically-sourced, code-to-table alternatives to the factory-farmed junk food of the internet. And they should be weird.
– Anil Dash

As social media dies a slow, corporate death, there's the nostalgia for what the web used to be; building our own websites however we wanted, customizing Myspace pages, commenting on each other's blogs, linking to each other in webrings and blogrolls, etc.

Well that may be coming back.

Anil Dash wrote this piece for Rolling Stone a few months ago called The Internet is About to Get Weird Again. It was just one of many articles that got me excited for the future. Excited to revamp my site.

I also revisited the IndieWeb - an optimistic vision of the Internet as a community of interconnected personal websites. I had interest in this a few years ago, but haven't "indiefied" my website yet due to some of the technical hurdles. But it's getting easier with guides like this.

There's also Neocities, or the Yesterweb, which are throwbacks to 90s era websites with a modern "take back the means of production" vibe. A retvrn to tradition as they say (see this manifesto). But this new web renaissance doesn't have to look like an old geocities page. I wonder if we could turn the dial back to the early 00s...

See this tweet by Wes Bos. He dredged up an archived version of my website mylkhead.com from 2006. Dang, what a blast from the past. Take a look at his website where he cleverly utilizes grunge textures in modern web design. Nice!

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Wes Bos
Twitter Logo
@wesbos
Mylkhead used to chat with me on AOL and give me tips. 20 years later I still follow Jeff Finley's work
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Wes Bos
@wesbos
Sons of Nero did so many bands "web cards". They didn't do the BNO art, but probably had the biggest influence on my style back then and still today
11:19 AM • Nov 6, 2023
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So clearly, I'm not the only one thinking about this. I'll leave you with a few other good reads that will hopefully inspire you to crack open Dreamweaver again 😆 and make some animated GIFs.

I'm gonna make a webring and bring back 88x31 buttons!

Here's a few other articles to get you inspired:

If you've got any thoughts about bringing back the personal website or have any suggestions for my new site, I'd love to hear them!

Have a good weekend! ✌️

Jeff


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Jeff Finley

Personal Growth for Creators

I'm an artist, designer, music producer, author, and mystic with a passion for truth and personal growth. I like to share what I'm working on and working through each week, highlighting my creative pursuits and providing tips, tools, and resources for fellow creators.

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