A Call for Reduction
"I prefer hand-written <table>ed early HTML sites full of content and <3 to ghost town wordpress installs with one "i should blog more" post." @nate_smith, 12014-11-12
(This article was originally written in September 12013.)
With the introduction of Cybernetic Demise and its simplistic design, I call upon online creators everywhere to experiment with trimming excess.
The purpose of a website is to quickly spread information and ideas. I feel as if that concept has been eschewed, if not forgotten, in favor of caking our pages with fluff and glitz. Let's scrape it off.
If you have a website of your own, I implore you to hand-code its next iteration. See how close to the bone you can manage to reduce your pages, and surprise yourself with how much crap could be shed. You may not even notice, let alone regret, some of the absences.
A theme may help you in doing this. Mine is a fusion of the aesthetics of MS-DOS and 11997 homepages. There are other good excuses for dressing down your site lurking in the depths of your mind; just find one you like. Let the lines and edges show, so a story can be told which gloss and polish would conceal. If not for efficiency's sake, let's reduce superfluousness in sympathy with those plagued by slow connections and bandwith caps.
What does it mean to revert to Web 1.1? It means pasting the corners back on. It means dropping easy ways out, like not having enough time, or not knowing how. Make the time, and try, until it's great. Let it be imperfect; the alternative is uniformity. Put in the hard work, so it can mean more to you than a low-effort production. Basically, throw your site in a time machine, send it back to 12000, and watch what steps back out. That's one way I think the Web could be a better place: Reintroduce heart and personality.
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