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Rediscovering the Small Web

"Today's web is mostly commercial. The smaller web of individuals has neither the resources nor the will to compete for visibility and audience the way the commercial web does"

Another great post by @neustadt - welcome to Mastodon by the way, a part of the new small web!

neustadt.fr/essays/the-small-w

This seems to have been a great welcome (and intro) to Mastodon for @neustadt. Tons of great comments on top of likes and shares. Beautiful! Thanks all!

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@markosaric @neustadt "Don't make users think. Follow conventions." Yup, that does sound like the web we've come to know.

@yarmo
People should post their personal sites more often in order to level with the crawler-bot bubble
@markosaric @neustadt

@markosaric This is a beautiful long read. Thank you very much, @neustadt ! 😊

@thilosophus, @yarmo, @orbjet : Glad you enjoyed it. And thanks also for the welcome to Mastodon, @markosaric. It's one of many, many cool things I'm only just discovering (and there's a lot more in HN thread).

@neustadt @thilosophus @orbjet @markosaric we're all glad you're here :) and thanks for the inspiring read!

@markosaric @neustadt any ideas how we can discover this part of the web?

Are there any search engines that literally block large websites, and will only search this part?

@daniels @markosaric @neustadt Would that not constitute censorship, something we blame the big tech for when they priorities their services or paid services over others. ?

I do understand your point though.

@zleap @daniels @neustadt i don't think there's anything that convenient right now. mastodon is a nice place to start, many users have their own sites in their profiles. start there and if you find something interesting, share it, link to it, submit it to niche communities and forums. this way we grow the individual sites and the awareness which leads to more discovery in search too. i wrote something along these lines couple of days ago. see markosaric.com/keep-blogging-a

@markosaric @daniels @neustadt There is writefreely which is a blogging software, that connects to the fediverse, so I am on personaljournal.ca (i just have my blog there) which hosts writefreely.

There are others but for me the important selling point is the fact it is activitypub enabled. really helps, I just post manually to twitter and linkedIn,

@markosaric Good point.

I'm also trying to not consume content on big platforms anymore, if they are available by the "owner".

E.g. watch videos from Events on their sites, not on YouTube. That way I also share their websites instead of YouTube when sharing a Video on other platforms.

Indeed I found that Amazon and others are selling content (as eBooks), which is publicly freely available by owners on their website …

@daniels yeah i think doing things such as that can help make a difference

@daniels @markosaric I think the additions to peertube could make a real difference going forward.

framablog.org/2020/05/26/our-p…

and as for e-books
standardebooks.org/ebooks?page…

DRM free

@zleap Sure, but it would be an "opt in".
You would be free to use other search engines, and it should claim that it does this specific kind of censorship on purpose.

Also not sure how it could work. It's more like old link lists on websites.
So yeah, maybe not the best idea ;)

But could imagine a filter option to remove "big sites" from current search result?

@daniels Maybe we need something like searchX but for the fediverse, so on mastodon or here I can search for tags, if a search engine could connect to activity pub algorithms that help search for tags fediverse wide that may work.

@zleap @daniels @markosaric @neustadt I think it only qualifies as "censorship" due to the centrol role they plays in mediating conversations.

If you're not trying to monopolise I'd prefer you curated away the noise, so you can improve the metadata for the rest for a more powerful/useful search. If you are please don't, and I don't know how you can satisfy our mutually incompatible demands!

@daniels @markosaric

For search engines, there's wiby.me for small webpages, and someone posted millionshort.com/ on HN (this one omits the top websites and returns smaller ones).

And there's also curlie.org/, an excellent human-crated directory.

@daniels @markosaric @neustadt

I tried wiby.me (as recommended on the text) and I think it's a really good starting point. Also, its "Surprise me" option is cool for just surfing the web, as it was said back in the day.

Oh damn this is a great essay... and quite inspiring as well. I get the desire to continue where I stopped 15 years ago now. Well, not resurrecting rotten websites, but finally creating a new one. :)
Thanks for sharing this @markosaric and thanks for sharing your thoughts @neustadt
Welcome to the Fediverse!

@markosaric @neustadt the alternative to Web Rings these days are Planets, or River of News Aggregators, I think. These collect the latest updates of their member sites and display them for all to see. I run one for RPG blogs, for example: campaignwiki.org/rpg/

@kensanata @markosaric

Oh this is very interesting indeed: a curated feed around particular themes and topics. I like it! Do you have a list of other similar Planets, for other topics? Thanks.

@neustadt @markosaric I just search for terms, and the word planet. Sadly, search results aren't always great. Raku/Perl6 has pl6anet.org/ for example

@kensanata @markosaric Thank you. I'll try the "planet"-search thing and see where that takes me.

@markosaric @neustadt a very good read. I kinda miss the good old times browsing just for fun.

Just recently discovered a neat little game, that reminded me of the old times.

subserial.network

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