Why I love creating on the web

Why I love creating on the web

Sep 19, 2021

Hello. My name's Billy. My friends call me... ...Billy. I'm here to tell you about my digital creation aspirations even though you didn't ask. Because that's one thing the Internet is for. To give people information and opinions they might not have asked for. That's the beauty of the Internet. It's like a box of rocks. I'm sure you understand. Anyway, let's get to it.

Why do I love creating on the web?

It all started... .✫゚・゚。.★.。・゚✫*. dream sequence begins .✫゚・゚。.★.。・゚✫*.

Around 1995/96 my parents purchased a $3,000 Compaq Presario. I had played around on PCs in elementary school before this (Oregon Trail... Carmen Sandiego... MS Paint), but never had one at home. This Compaq was epic! Epically slow. But, lots of computers were back then. I loved it! We instantly connected. Yeah, the computer and I.

I could plug the phone line into this thing, open America Online, and listen to the beautiful static/electronic sounds of the computer connecting to the world! The connection would fail. So, I'd try again, and again. With each attempt anticipation would grow and you'd wonder why so much money was paid out for this thing. Finally, a connection! It’s the perfect metaphor for life.

The World Wide Web was pretty new. Of course it had been around for years before. But, for the common middle-class family it was still pretty new. Or, at least for mine.

I could play chess or chat with people from all over the world. It was insane. Or, I could go to mtv.com and wait 30 minutes for the page to load. Then, once it loaded realize there wasn't much to do there. Looking back it's all quite comical. How slow it was, the dial up connection, the horrible graphics and content. But, back then... oh wow, it was truly amazing. The future had arrived. I was living in a sci-fi movie!

My interest in actual web design, coding, and other things digitally creative really kicked up a notch in high school. I was able to take a basic HTML class as an elective. I was actually surprised my school even offered this class.

Side note: Not to depress you but, it was also during this class when the teacher turned on the TV as planes collided into the Twin Towers on 9/11.

We used Front Page or Dreamweaver. I don't recall the exact software. But, it wasn't coding from scratch. It was a class about how to use this particular software (now ancient) to build a basic web page. By the end of the class we had to have a somewhat working website on any topic we wanted. I chose to make mine about hippies. I had grown my hair long, listened to Bob Marley, and was intrigued by anything from the 60s and 70s. A site that taught people about what a hippie was seemed perfect.

That class ruined me. There was no turning back. I was sold on the Internet and creating websites, for-ev-er. I was (and still am) amazed by how I could type some text (code) on the screen, publish it, and that jumbled text would become images, colors, boxes, that anyone around the world could visit. Sure, I could draw a picture on paper and be creative that way. But, could anyone around the world see and interact with that piece of paper? Nope. But a website... they could/can. My life would never be the same after that.

゚・゚。.★.。・゚✫*. dream sequence ends .✫゚・゚。.★.。・゚✫*.

Fast forward to today and I've built dozens of websites since then. Most no longer online. But, I keep one or two websites up that I manage. Mainly so that I can keep my chops up. I like to know the latest HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP code/techniques. I might dip my toes in another coding language, but not often. I'm happy with the ones mentioned. Most popular websites focus on those four languages.

In addition to website building, I will also publish music and art online, and I dabble in things such as logo design. But, I don't do any of this for a living. I do it all for fun. Every time I create something online it takes me back to that first home PC and the thrill of waiting for the dial up modem to connect.

The web is the last somewhat free and open medium. Anyone can show the world what they do, almost for free (minus your ISP and computer costs), and instantly. I hope it stays that way. In recent years there have been threats and laws passed which make it not as fun. All things change and pass, but let’s try to keep the Internet nice for little bit longer.

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