Crafting Code

The Movements Reclaiming a Simpler World Wide Web

Unchained from algorithms: the DIY internet rises again

A subtle revolution is brewing in the digital landscape, fueled by a yearning for simpler, more personal—more real human—online experiences.

This revolution isn’t about nostalgia; it’s about reclaiming the internet’s DIY spirit, where creativity reigns supreme and the whims of faceless algorithms don’t dictate your online presence.

At the forefront of this movement stand two rising stars: HTML Energy and POSSE.

HTML Energy champions the art of hand-coded websites, where every pixel and line of code reflects your unique vision. Forget cookie-cutter templates and bloated frameworks; this movement celebrates the tactile pleasure of shaping the digital landscape with your own hands.

POSSE, the “Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Everywhere” movement, champions a different kind of ownership. It’s about building your own online hub—your personal domain—and then sharing it freely across platforms. No more being beholden to the whims of algorithms or the walled gardens of social media giants. You control your content, your voice, and your reach.

These movements aren’t relics of the past; they’re fueled by a growing dissatisfaction with the current state of the web. Platform dependence breeds frustration, algorithmic manipulation stifles creativity, and the constant churn of updates leaves us feeling like renters, not owners.

Here’s the beauty of this revolution: tools like Github Copilot, an AI coding assistant, are bridging the gap between technical expertise and creative freedom. Imagine having a digital companion, suggesting code snippets and streamlining tasks while you focus on the bigger picture. It’s like having a pair programmer by your side, but you’re still the architect of your own digital world.

And, yes, my biases are showing here.

These movements reflect what I am building these days. My personal site, made with help from the incredible Github Copilot, is my central home for my thinking. This newsletter, published via Substack and on LinkedIn, plus shared across my other socials, is how I syndicate my latest personal explorations.

So, these movements are not a call to abandon all the advancements but to harness them for a different purpose. The future of the web lies in a sweet spot: hand-crafted code with AI assistance, a focus on owning your content, and the freedom to share it on your terms.

It’s about reclaiming the joy of creation, the power of your own voice, and the satisfaction of building an online space that truly reflects you.

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Brent is a member of the executive team for Opus Agency, partner to world-shaping brands.
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