12 August 2020 - Launch Day Hype!
Last night at 11:58PM, I launched xenotiic.neocities.org. And I was hyped. So to celebrate the release of my website, I thought it a bit fitting to talk about it: my inspirations, how it came to be, and a bit of what I have planned in store for the future. I'm under no pretense that I have a massive audience, or that I may someday have millions of followers on my website, but as a long-time journaler, I enjoy documenting my thoughts, even if only for my personal sake. :)
One of my main goals for the website is to try and keep it to a "me" style. I don't want it to come off as some sort of generic "a e s t h e t i c vapourwave Win95 nostalgia" site. Yes, I take a lot of inspiration from those kind of things, along with the faux-nostalgia heavy style from the City Pop and Lofi Hiphop genres. I am also a fan of moe indie pop, but I am not as big on those aesthetics beyond the pastel-esq colour schemes. I first got into all this lofi and city pop stuff when I was 16 and it has become rather formative for me, especially my music tastes. Currently, the style I'm most aiming for can be shortened to "any Desired album art + Inuyasha on a CRT vibes". I guess in more depth, it's a crossroads of the psuedo-nostalgia of City Pop mixed with the actual nostalgia I hold for the early 2000s, but done in a style I was not familiar with until I was 14 and started watching the original Pokemon anime. Er, I guess I watched a lot of Johto Journeys when I was 9? Ugh, what is real and what is false nostalgia is so hard to pin down in the internet age, when anyone can hypothetically grow up with media from any time period. I don't know if this was commonplace pre-Gen Z, but for my generation, hte internet has allowed people to have genuine nostalgia for fragments of eras they may not have even been a part of, solely by virtue of accidentally coming across it in their youth. No matter how it originates, I am really fascinated by how clashes of styles can cone to create new styles entirely. This thought process is already commonplace in the very self-expression heavy worlds of fashion and music, but I anticipate the internet will facilitate whole new ways of culture clash to occur. I believe it will get to the point where cultures are more defined by tropes of aesthetics and ideals/values, rather than rigid frameworks of "accepted regional culture." I don't think I am saying anything new in this analysis, but rather I am hyped for the ride this heterogenization of culture will bring about! I just want to express myself in my own little way with this website, a way that reflects my interests, personal culture, and skillset.
Okay so inspiration is cool, but why did I make this site? Because I'm a rambly bitch, the why comes with a how. Although I have toyed with the idea of having my own website since middle school (Weebly gang, where you at!?), but the idea of me creating my own website, and trying to make it myself didn't really start until about a year ago. In August 2019, summer was coming close to ending and my boi Kétou told me about how he was making a personal site, and showed me what he had started work on. I thought it was so cool to make an old-school styled website, but more importantly, old-school in the sense that it wasn't just a social media page or Squarespace site. I also wanted to try something new. I know I am not good with programming, but I figured HTML would be an easy way to learn programming. I would learn it isn't really coding, but whatever. I didn't know that yet. Plus I was getting excited to enter University and excited to start the new chapter of my life, so an extra new thing felt natural in retrospect. I work on it on and mostly off through the semester, meeting up in person a couple more times to program-brogram with him. I learned a lot from these meetings, but also, as a person who struggles with focus, by both leaving my house AND working with someone else meant two huge boosts to my ability to focus. Plus it was fun just jamming out with a dude, with ya bro, just chilling in a coffee shop or Subway on some laptops and chatting beginner web-dev stuff. These few sessions stretched through to the very early part of the second semester, but I mostly dropped off during the first semester, sucked in by school stuff. The last of these sessions was probably at some point in December 2019 or January 2020. I forget if I started dating Lia yet or not, our transition to dating was too gradual to recall. Later on in either mid/late February or early March, some time had passed, and I got in contact with this dude Mari. I stumbled on his site during a Neocities rabbit hole, and was impressed by the web collective he had set up with his friends. I was surprised when I was able to get into contact with him, but excited nonetheless. This dude knew neocities AND how to code! Turns out he hates neocities with a burning passion, probably why I found him on his own web domain. But he did help me with code! I won't forget those noons and early-afternoons in the University library where I put off doing homework by chatting with him instead and sometimes working on site attempt #2. It was actually his idea to reboot the website, seeing all the struggle I was dealing with concerning the old site and all the messy framework/ideas left over from learning to grasp syntax and basic concepts. We would talk until late April when things just kinda fell off. That just kinda happens sometimes, yknow? Anyhow, by mid-April I started going through some personal issues that left me wholly demotivated from just about everything, though the reality of quarrantine hadn't really set in for me yet even a month in. Time passes and mid-July comes, I remember the website stuff, and now exiting a year mostly filled with on-and-off depressive episodes, I felt motivated to learn. For the first time in my life, I took learning on my own seriously. I picked up both piano and web development, though web dev has taken up my attention pretty much entirely. I went on Khan Academy almost every day, slowly working on what was the 3rd attempt at a personal site, growing my skills and building the basic framework of my site until I felt wholly ready to take in on. August has been when I really kicked site development and finalization into high gear, until putting my all into this on the 11th of August. I must have worked eight or nine hours that day, not including the work I probably did in the very early morning before going to sleep. That leads me to the 11:58PM publishing and uploading of the site files, excited as hell to finally have something out I could proudly show the world!
Where do I go from here? I know at the beginning I was all like "yes yes yes, I finally completed a big project!" and that is only half-true I suppose. A website is an ongoing thing, and I want it to evolve over time. I don't want to just have this version 1.0 and then never update it. Of course the most obvious thing aside from more blog entries is to make the projects page. Don't worry, I am planning on publishing within the next couple of days, it'll be there soon. And if I'm honest, that was the main purpose of creating this site: I am so scatterbrained, that I like to try a little bit of a ton of different creative endeavours. Usually I don't complete these things, but I think the process of creating this site (along with the stint of finishing games I had bad in late June-early July) taught me firsthand that finishing things is actually well worth the effort. I hadn't experienced completing a large creative project like this in years, so it felt utterly euphoric to publish this. In fact, I DID complete something pretty recently, and will be one of the first things on the projects page, though you'll have to stay tuned for that! ;) Other than that, I don't really know how much I will change for the time being. I'm sure that some day I will move on from this site, either because I want to make a new personal site or I will become tired of maintaining this one. But until that point, I want to enjoy the start of this new ride, one that you can see has already had quite a few stops on the way! ;)