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Old web

Lately I've been exploring the resurgence of old web: nostalgic graphics, garish flashing blinkies and all. It started with a return to Neopets - yes, you read that right - which is currently on a marketing campaign to revitalize the nostalgic pet site. So far, they've made a splash at SDCC, and in another recent baffling move, appointed the singer John Legend as their ambassador. Weird flex, but okay.

Not an exaggeration: a sizeable legion of people in their 20s and 30s owe their knowledge of basic coding to Neopets (myself among them). Your user lookup, or profile page, is editable through HTML5, a now pretty much defunct coding language. I've heard of people who went on to web development studies and careers, more or less calling Neopets (and Tumblr) their creative awakenings.

I've also stumbled upon webrings on Neocities - unaffiliated with Neopets; it's a play on Geocities - who are bringing old web back with from-scratch HTML layouts, "shrine" pages, plus whole pages dedicated to hosting and sharing old graphics that are free to use on your own site. (Unfortunately, most of the original creators of these images have been lost to the e-ther. Haha get it)

One criticism of old web is just how inaccessible it used to be. Many of these sites are fun to use and browse, no doubt, but sometimes they're so visually overwhelming that I can't help but think of folks using screen readers, or people sensitive to flashing lights and images, who are pretty much barred from exploring these glittery hellscapes. (I ended most of these web sessions with a slight headache.)

Party pooping aside, I can't deny that I love the glitter explosions on some of these sites. Here are a couple of my favorites to leave you with.

Flashing images warning

Cinni's Dream Home

Nuange's Blog - Shooting Stars


The Gif Gallery