What exactly is a "Cozy Homepage"!?
Have you ever stumbled upon a small website that is just so humble and personal, that it feels as if you accidently walked into someone's home uninvited? A virtual space that is so meticulously decorated, that it feels like you're sitting in someone's bedroom, just looking at the posters on their wall, and how they arrange their things by their nightstand. These sites often get little (or no) traffic, or at best, only a certain kind of traffic (for example, portfolio sites for a very specific kind of art might only attract a small circle of industry clients). Not to mention, most of these sort of "personal pages" have been largely replaced by massive social media sites. Instead of posting your music on your homepage, you'll get more traffic on BandCamp or SoundCloud. Your writing will get more traffic on Medium.com. Your art will get more traffic on Twitter, or Instagram. Etc, etc.
There are many homepages like this scattered accross the internet. Most of them abandoned, or neglected to time, and suffering from a phenomena known as link rot. These tiny personal sites thrived in the age of GeoCities (and seems to have seen a revival with NeoCities), when the young internet was a proverbial "wild west," and no one really knew what to do with it. So people used the internet to do what people do naturally: talk about things they like, explain who they are, setup fan pages, pour their hearts out, share art, poetry, and music. In short, self expression.
Before the advent of major social media sites, people had to make the internet a social space, directly. Human connections weren't centralized in large databases, and served to us on complex interactive programs (basically what modern sites are: programs executing scripts). In the age of static web pages, a website was just a document. And there is so much you can do with a blank document. Websites of this period were less like the empty text-boxes of Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit... and more like an empty canvas.
The subtlest of details could tell you a whole world about the author: the font choice, the background color, what kinds of GIFs they used. For better or worse, these cacaphonies of (what often was) sensory overload were very... personal. Very human. Stumbling accross these abandoned personal sites over the decades is what inspired me to make this page. I want to archive the weird little corners of the internet I find, and also record my thoughts and feelings about them - In turn, making my own "personal cozy homepage" as a personal reflection on these very sites, why I'm drawn to them, and what they mean to me. Maybe you'll start to get a feel for who I am simply by reading this list and exploring the sites yourself. Who knows... one day, 40 years from now, maybe someone will stumble across my page and have their own weird personal experience with it - and generate an indescribale sense of relatedness that will carry with them over the years.
In a weird way, stumbling across these kinds of sites has an almost... anthropological, or archeological feeling to them - you witness a period of the past, with aged design trends, old Bush-era worries, thoughts, and feelings that are decades old now. But you experience them right here in the present. It's not unlike the experience of finding a stray stone arrowhead in the forest, and wondering who made it, who shot it, when did they live, what kinds of creatures did they hunt and see? And most curious of all... were they happy? Did they feel in the same ways that I do? Did they also feel connected to (and sometimes dis-connceted from) others?
Below you'll find a list of some of these interesting sites I've found.