Small Web Connectivity
I've been signing up to a lot of webrings recently. My inspiration for this move was this article by Melonking calling on webmasters to make their website part of a journey, and not the end of one.
Eden, owner of foreverliketh.is came to mind. He is signed up to dozens of webrings. The number of outgoing connections from his website is incredible, it feels as if his home page (where they are stored), goes on forever(like this). If you wanted to explore a decent chunk of the personal web using only his site as a starting point, you probably could. It was no surprise, then, that when I was signing up to johnvertisments, I saw he had the third largest number of either views or clicks. Over 10,000!
People who are just starting out wonder who on earth will visit their website, or, how anyone would even know it exists. This is the answer: be reciprocal, be generous, be the start of a journey, not the end of one; be a node in a vast web rather than the leaf at the end of a branch.
If you are looking for a way to get your foot in the door, make an 88x31 button. I always feel quite ecstatic on those few occasions when I see my button on the site of someone I've never even interacted with before. Exchanging buttons has always felt quite special to me, sort of like exchanging cards, or something analogous to that.
Get yourself involved with a bunch of communities in this space: Agora Road ♥, Melonland, 32-bit cafe, lainchan, neocities; make yourself a valued member of as many of these kinds of spaces as you can.
Using RSS, keep up with posts from fellow community members. Share posts you like on other websites so that they will be appreciated by a larger audience. If you really enjoy something you read, be sure to reach out to the author. I'm sure it would mean the world to them.
One of the things social media took from us was a true sense of connection. In our modern net landscape, it is if we are all on our own private islands, shouting out into a vast ocean. You can see the other islands, and perhaps you can hear the shouts of their inhabitants, but you are completely atomized from them, with no hope of swimming the distance.
Indie (retro, small, etc) web revival communities should aim to rectify the appalling state of the broader internet by daring to swim that gap. Have your website connect to as many other interesting places as possible. Let other site admins know you appreciate their work. 'Be heggin based, yo'.
This post was a part of Agora Road Travelogue for the month of September.