I have spent a few months on Neocities now, and have been searching for a satisfying Answer to the Question above. It seems to me that everybody has their own reasons for creating their pages. I've created this place very intentionally as a place to share what I learn, but I have plenty of creative freedom working this way and tend to share much more than that.
I've fought for a while with myself about including my art anywhere on my website. I don't want it to be a portfolio. I have said as much from the outset. I am not a professional artist, and I don't want to be. Still, though, it feels like such an oversight to have this place all to myself and not have a gallery of my work, at least... I've been drawing for over a decade! I've claimed that this website is a sort of storage place for my Soul and Being, but I must be a damned liar. I've only put my artwork here once or twice, and only in out-of-the-way little corners. Some archived Soul this is.
So what am I doing here, if not creating a flawless reflection of my creative Soul? Well, I'm having fun! I have spent DAYS playing around with my layouts and pages. It's satisfying to see things come together after working on the back-end for hours, and it's rewarding to read messages in my Guestbook from people who visit and like my work! Generally speaking, I curate this space for myself as of now, so it's amazing to see that some of you out there seem to enjoy it enough to let me know how I'm doing.
I've found building a website on Neocities to be pretty easy for the most part. You get started with a template, then you can take your site files and run with them, teaching yourself HTML and CSS as you go. It's strange to consider that this is an approximation of how the Internet used to be: independent creations tied together mainly by mutual and intentional linking. At time of of writing, I am twenty-one human years old. I never spent any time with GeoCities or any other such services. The closest thing to the Neocities experience I had previously was Tumblr, which I left about five years ago and haven't returned to since. I also haven't had a Twitter account for about two years.
I believe we (humans) live in extraordinarily lonely times. That loneliness can be both relieved and exacerbated by social media sites. I was honestly very excited to get my own website up and running here after cutting out standard social media almost entirely, and had wanted something like this for quite a while. I've found that this is a very different way to live on the Web, and I think if one does their work here mindfully, it's much healthier than most services. Neocities, to me, is about freely curating a space as well as learning from others, rather than "going viral" or accumulating likes and follows. I love exploring strangers' websites and developing my own, and have never felt any pressure to conform or draw more people in. I can do what I like. The vibes, as it were, are immaculate.
I keep to myself for the most part around here, though. I don't have a Buttons section for other users' pages like I used to, but I'm part of various webrings and am always surprised and honored to see my own button placed on other users' pages. I like to work the days away in quiet solitude, developing my little laboratory. I do, however, want this site to be useful to others. As I said, it was created as a place to share what I know, but there's a lot of work to be done before it's anything near what I dream of it being someday.
In the interim, then, pre-dead.net will simply exist, growing and changing along with its webmaster. I built this website because I wanted to. I chose this method of Internet presence because it feels more personal, more permanent than an account on any major social media platform. I will continue to develop this place. I can't tell you definitively why you should build your own website, though. There is no single Answer to the Question. There are many.
I will honor what used to be written in this space by prattling on for just a moment about the immortal Soul, if you'll allow me the luxury. There's a lot of fun to be had thinking about the DIY Internet presence approach and how it relates to Being. A personal website can work out to be many things, but mine is an HTML/CSS approximation of my "mind palace" (as my boyfriend likes to say), and, by extension, a window of sorts into whatever it is that I am, if not simply a bizarre electric meat puppet.
I am an Internet Lich, essentially. You can be, too!
Page Created: 2022-02-03.
Last Edited: 2022-05-31.
Hey, you found the site manifesto. Pretty cool of you. I set it up this way so that it will show itself to the curious. There's one more secret page out there. See if you can find it.