I was feeling nostalgic for the old wild west internet in the 2000s. It made me feel blessed that I was able to still remember when the internet wasn’t corporatised and when people were honest with their feelings in a way?
Like, not just showing the highlight reels or a cute ~aesthetic~ workplace, but just showing whatever because they found them interesting regardless if it’s aesthetic or not.
Now obviously some people became too personal, haha and aired their bad laundry out there but then again, nothing was perfect.
I’m not saying everyone now in the internet is being fake but it is a fact that many, if not all people nowadays are focused on branding (profilicity) and impressing others and I get it. People need to make ends meet especially with the economic recession now but it makes me wish that I could go back in time and appreciate and archive websites I used to browse as a kid.
Most would be fansites of ships and anime series I loved.
It’s A LOT of work, haha.
Back when there wasn’t an “official” wikia for so many anime series and when social media wasn’t a big thing yet, fans would make websites (usually html coded ones) for their favourite ship, character or series. Fansites were quite diverse in their purpose. Some were info/wikia-like sites; just giving out the general information of the series. Some fansites were dedicated to a single character (often called a “shrine”, lol.), a group of characters, a ship, etc.
The first fansite I followed was some Hoennshipping fansite I stumbled in google results because as a kid, I was so in love with May and Brendan being a couple. Eventually, I learned the term “shipping” and pokemon ship names from bulbapedia. Turns out, May and Brendan as a couple is called, “Hoennshipping.”
It all started from there with me being some shadow in the internet constantly searching for more content and info on my favourite anime series and characters. And with that, came the endless stumbling upon so many fansites. The individuality and creativity that these fans had was wonderful and inspiring to see. Yeah, some of ’em were elitist, some of ’em were petty but those were still wacky, fun times.
I’m not saying wikias are bad. They are very useful for info ofc but they’re super clunky. For example, when you click on the search box esp on the B+ wikia, they load a list of pages and only then can you search. Additionally, just the idea of a corporation/company that likes to call themselves “Fandom” is quite dubious.
One thing that I liked from fansites was their Independence. You can upload what you want, as you want. No dumb formatting rules or wiki politics like power users who want to run it like their own petty fiefdom. And Wikia can’t up and pull the plug on you or force it to be designed around their corporate layout.
Of course, it doesn’t mean fansites are pure and perfect. As always, it’s prone to bias usually from the creator/s (webmasters as they were called ) and they’re smaller but they also ooze with passion for what they’re about rather than “being some corpo space, with uniform, predictable design.” (those were Rin’s words)
A fansite I still remember fondly and which can still be seen until now (because many fansites are dead/disappeared into oblivion ORZ) is Hakubaikou’s Rurouni Kenshin fansite. Hakubaikou died from a car accident in 2008 sadly (RIP) but seeing her website still up to this day makes me feel like she’s still alive. It must be her family paying for the domain or smth and I think that was a good decision and a way for her passion for the series and her artistic legacy to still live on especially in the RK fandom.
It’s so sad that she didn’t get to see the live action movies which were so awesome, gahh. She would have loved it. Though she also would be utterly devastated if she learned RK’s creator is a p*do so…welp.
Another fansite I like, though it doesn’t follow the traditional kind of “fansite” is The Big O Archive. It’s an archive/resources site made by a passionate fan of the series (which seems to be a an obscure mecha anime) who wants to preserve it.
Anyway, I brought this topic up mostly because me and Rin thought of building a “fansite” dedicated to our niche fandoms, lol.
Would probably be using neocities since the plan is cheaper than wordpress.
BTW That Big O website was actually the one that inspired me and Rin to think of making our own archive fansites for Blood+ and Noein, haha. Since we bought some Blood+ settei and we wanted a place where we can archive them like what this person did to The Big O. (aka Noein, Blood+, and Shirokuma Cafe).
However…as stated previously, it’s a lot of work….and money if you’re paying for the domain and platform. Hence, why I understand why many of the sites are long gone and that not many people are into making them.
I may have been spoonfed so much by WordPress and tumblr in terms of building blogs/websites, haha.
That, and I forgot html coding. I was taught about it in school but it was the subject I didn’t do well in. I was unmotivated with learning it because website making and all that stuff weren’t my thing.(it was gaming ON computers that were my hobby, lol). Funny how things change and how I have come to regret forgetting most of it. ORZ
But I’ll try to refresh my mind and study on it. It’s a very important skill to have.
One day, we’ll definitely make one. or two.