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April 18, 2024 - @903.76 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: Yesterweb Forum is shutting down  (Read 3353 times)
lulu
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2023 @178.14 »

disclaimer: I stopped participating in the yesterweb server when it became a major movement. the message was really important to me, the movement I'd been hoping for. I still cared a lot, read the zines, wrote articles i never submitted, listened to the interviews, etcetc. But I didn't feel like there was much I could contribute. everyone was kinda saying everything I wanted to say, but much better than I ever could. Which might be a cop-out, I don't know. I just didn't feel like I would make much of a difference.

Anyway I bring that up just to say my perspective isn't totally detached but it also isn't from the trenches. I want to acknowledge the feelings of people who were enmeshed in this community, or even talk over them! I know folks are grieving, both with members who made this their home and the staff who tried so hard to keep it from caving in. Every huge project started as somebody's baby.

Thankfully we're on a forum instead of a discord server so nobody is getting drowned out and there's space for all of us  :ok: 

it's turning into a drama subject; the YW did a lot of good for a lot of people, but if it's no longer a positive we will need to move on.

Sooooooo   :dive: 

I'm not saying THIS forum is the space to hash it out. No thank you! BUT I believe these discussions are extremely valuable, for the sake of history!  Yes, even the so-called drama. Recorded history is a gift to the future. Like.. I hope we see write-ups detailing the rise and fall of Yesterweb, through different lenses. Get actual first-person accounts from people who were involved in that moment.. while it's fresh, but also after time passes, the big picture takes time to develop... but I think the details are important too.

Because I think that in this particular case, there are lessons to be learned for the future.  There's something very broken with the internet, and it's been seeping into the real world for a long time.   I think.. heck, I HOPE that there will be other people attempting to pick up where Yesterweb left off. Not because it was a flawless movement, none are. But because.. well, I think it's needed. There are people addressing other broken bits of our system, but reintroducing people to personal websites as a social media alternative is still pretty novel.

Look, I don't want to oversell the importance of personal websites. HOWEVER with the way things are now, making websites is a rebellion of some sort. Just like making goofy chalk art on the sidewalk of a serious financial district is a rebellion!! Even for those of us who literally just want to have fun and build stuff online.. we are part of a counter-culture, by definition. Even if you're more Wavy Gravy than Abbie Hoffman. Cultural shifts happen from all angles.

I don't think Yesterweb was a failure. It was a wildly successful experiment. I think if things went differently, if different choices were made, it could continue. I don't mean they made bad choices, btw! There was no map... As far as I know, nobody has tried to create an organized activist movement for building personal websites. And if there has been, I wouldn't know. You know what I mean? So maybe some folks will come along, see what NOT to do, and try again. And maybe they'll fail, who knows.

I think most importantly, my focus here is to have fun; I think the best art comes from fun, and longevity for a community comes from it being lighthearted and kind. The world is full of troubles, but I want every visit to this space to be wonderful

When all is said and done tho, this is the mindset I live in too. The world is full of troubles, and we need people to address these and be serious and fight back!!! Art and activism are allies. But without art and levity and joy, what are ya fighting for?



If anyone reads this, thanks for lending me the voice in your head for a minute! If you think this is long, you should see the stuff I edited out :P
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2023 @362.35 »

I could at this point only repeat the things I already said in the other Yesterweb threads and also what has been stated in here plenty of times about the Yesterweb community, so I will refrain from repeating myself.

However, this is yet another event demonstrating why decentralization is so important for the web revival to survive. People in here are surprised and angry at management not archiving these years of internet history, as if it had not happened uncountable times before: with Geocities, with AOL, with MySpace, with Pinterest, with Tumblr, with Google Plus, the Miiverse, Photobucket...

If you do not self host, you always run at a risk of losing data, history, friends and memories. Imagine it was not the Yesterweb forums that shut down but the Neocities team being unable to pay for Neocities' upkeep; well, there go most of our websites, entire communities, projects, and perhaps even friendships.

Let the failure of the Yesterweb be a lesson: centralized services are a dangerous convenience.
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Melooon
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2023 @439.78 »

Even if you're more Wavy Gravy than Abbie Hoffman. Cultural shifts happen from all angles.
This is a really super post and I think I'll have to think about it for a few days! It reminds me that in my haste to get away from the YW, maybe I forgot some of the good parts that drew me to it in the beginning :ohdear:

However, I find myself wondering how can we have those discussions without repeating the same mistakes?

this is yet another event demonstrating why decentralization is so important for the web revival to survive
Maybe that's the solution, but I also think it's very easy to say, yet almost impossible to practically do - at least, I have no idea how that would work :drat:

Do I personally want to be a Wavy Gravy or an Abbie Hoffman? I don't wanna be either! Not to generalise, but both are North American visions of the world - I half relate to them, but there is also a very European voice in me saying that there's a La Dolce Vita version of the web revival that can and will express its impact by simply expirencing life :eyes:

Where is the balance here? What's our path now? I dunno! I don't want to be told; but I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out :dive:
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2023 @813.75 »

Many people are willing to use a service without contributing to its moderation in some manner. They want to connect with like-minded people, but do not want to deal with the anti-social aspects of it that are bound to arise (e.g.: taking the time to filter out the spam, acting as a mediator of conflicts, etc.) or lack the technical understanding (e.g.: how to implement the cybersecurity practices necessary to run a server).

yeah, that's a super interesting point that's worth commenting on outside of the context of the YW, too.

ive been forumming for a while now, and a /lot/ of forums ive been a member of have been very absolute with their rules: moderators should be the ones to moderate stuff. i've seen it on bigger platforms like Reddit, too, but personally i think that this attitude towards online communication is especially dangerous in smaller communities

it makes sense that a bunch of friends talking to each other will challenge one another over their viewpoints and opinions - so that should definitely carry over to a larger community where more is at stake, at least in my opinion.

from my experience, communities come together more when folks help each other out and work as individuals in a collective to make their space better for themselves and others, which is why i like Melonland so much: it's definitely vibe-based, as @Melooon said, so folks seem guided by moderation but have a say in what's appropriate.
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2023 @41.11 »

centralized services are a dangerous convenience.
I just wanna throw in my two cents that sites like Neocities are important because of the centralized services they provide. I'm sure most would agree that Neocities is great, but I do see it mentioned from time to time that Neocities is dangerous and should be avoided if possible because of the risk of another Geocities catastrophe. I've thought about the idea of self hosting, but my life is as static as an IP address, it changes like. Every five minutes or so, so having Neocities to host my site is important. A lot of people don't control their own WiFi and can't host. I can't even torrent where I live, and many people share this problem. Because of that, I just think newer webmasters should simply be educated, and know how to back up their sites, what to do if everything goes down, etc. It's not an issue of not being qualified by not being able to self-host, it's an issue of dealing with the hand you were dealt.

This is all to say that I think a doomer mindset isn't the right one in this situation. Not at you, /home/user/, I'm just using what you said as an excuse to monologue a bit!!! (Because damn, I love to monologue every once in a while!) I just hate to see Neocoties being ragged on for being too centralized. Things like that are good in moderation and when you know the risks going in. Hopefully the Yesterweb can be a learning experience. Always keep backups of anything you post online that you like. Ctrl+S on a webpage can save a life lmao, and it's always possible to summon web archive crawlers to a site.

Edit: Good god I forgot the topic of the thread lmao, but my opinion on that wasn't much except... Isn't it weird that they're scrubbing the site? That's always a red flag to me. Instead of keeping it "read-only" why burn it down? It just doesn't reflect good on the team, as if they're trying to bury the forums instead of just closing them, ya know?
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2023 @132.45 »

Many people are willing to use a service without contributing to its moderation in some manner. They want to connect with like-minded people, but do not want to deal with the anti-social aspects of it that are bound to arise (e.g.: taking the time to filter out the spam, acting as a mediator of conflicts, etc.) or lack the technical understanding (e.g.: how to implement the cybersecurity practices necessary to run a server).
Yeah, I always feel guilty for that. I have the paid tier on Neocities just to support them, but can’t afford to support anyone else financially, and I’m way too busy to do moderation work, so I’m not sure what I can do to help out with communities such as this.

Conclusion:

I have a lot of friends in the Yesterweb that I hope will stay in touch, and I am sad to see it go. While I do not know all of the details behind its operation, I think Sadness, Madness, Key, Auzzie, Xandra, and many of the other people who helped to run it did a fantastic job.

Oh yeah, I’m thankful for the community they build and giving me many great memories. I’m just really upset they’re closing down the forum and not even at least keeping it up as an archive. Them closing down the Discord is what got me to start using forums again, and I thank them for that.

Isn't it weird that they're scrubbing the site? That's always a red flag to me. Instead of keeping it "read-only" why burn it down? It just doesn't reflect good on the team, as if they're trying to bury the forums instead of just closing them, ya know?

Yeah, that’s the impression I got as well. I hope we’re wrong there.
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lulu
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2023 @190.59 »

Do I personally want to be a Wavy Gravy or an Abbie Hoffman? I don't wanna be either! Not to generalise, but both are North American visions of the world - I half relate to them, but there is also a very European voice in me saying that there's a La Dolce Vita version of the web revival that can and will express its impact by simply expirencing life :eyes:

hehehe, I wrote a few sentences literally mentioning this, both the american examples and the fact that i only gave two examples. I'm always a bit self-concious about how many Americans (specifically of the USA variety) seem to think the world revolves around them.. or at least that there's a perception we do. um I also had an entire sentence about how california in the 60s is such a tired example. but then I figured, well now i'm just over-explaining. anyway I'm getting off-topic, just thought it was funny. like welllp maybe i should have left that in.


yeah, that's a super interesting point that's worth commenting on outside of the context of the YW, too.

a /lot/ of forums ive been a member of have been very absolute with their rules: moderators should be the ones to moderate stuff.

this isn't specifically about yesterweb, it's just something i've been thinking about, in general.. even offline communities.

so, leadership is obviously important ~ if everybody sits around waiting for somebody else to do something, nothing would ever get done. even unmoderated forums/communities need somebody to get the ball rolling, someone to host the space, etc. so i guess there's always going to be somebody with Power. but then you do run the risk of people becoming passive, waiting for permission, and maybe some things get lost along the way..

 this thought isn't fully baked yet okay i popped it back in the oven (linking because this post grew from this reply, but this is not a yesterweb topic, i don't want it to become one! looking forward, not backwards, no depressing horse-beating)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2023 @192.23 by lulu » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2023 @718.61 »

To me, the YW is a cautionary tale about what happens when you take something that should be all about fun, and remove the fun. Their staff got very burnt out on Discord and they started seeing the worst in everyone around them.

I don't like the way they treated me (we had forum admin drama), and I don't like how they are treating their community; but is it correct for them? Maybe! @thesolitarygamer is right, they took on so much so fast! Ultimately, only they can say what's right for them. However, if I ever behave like this to you guys, I hope you'll give me a good stern talking to :drat:


Im glad I´m not the only one who saw this, I too had a bad experience with how the forum got run, when I tried to talk about it on mastodon which was also ironically was being run by the yesterweb folk, my posts were removed. i then privately talked to other people to try to find out what was going on, and I was told they had similar experiences in the past, they  since mostly left, and we still kept touch.

I saw the writing in the wall and decided to cut ties with.
I´m not gonna lie it, it did broke my heart. I had some positive experiences, met some cool people, used some the resources, was even part of their Halloween surfing project.

But damn was it sad to leave it in a terrible note.

I dunno Yesterweb would have been better off if it was just a website with resources.


« Last Edit: April 12, 2023 @791.32 by creaturefeature » Logged


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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2023 @107.73 »



I dunno Yesterweb would have been better off if it was just a website with resources.

It looks like that’s the direction it’s going in.

I’ve had more time to think about the whole situation, and maybe it was for the best the forums were shut down. Not because I think the Yesterweb community is toxic or anything, but because one of their messages is to make the web decentralised again, and them getting as big as they are meant they became an obstacle to this goal.

That said, I still don’t think they should delete the forums, they should preserve them in some way. Last year I made a thread on there about the “permanence” forums, and how posts can last for years. That’s aged well, huh?

I can only hope the forum gets archived by a third party once it becomes read-only. I know there was talks about it on the shoutbox. I hope plans for that are still going ahead, because regardless of anything, the forum is worth archiving.
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2023 @170.94 »

Yeah, I'm honestly really bummed as it's what drew me to Neocities/webmaking again in the first place :/

I feel really weird about it, I understand why they're doing things the way they are.. but it almost feels like, as a user who was mainly there to chatter and make friends, a punishment. Like, I *can't* host things myself, I can somewhat conflict-avoid or solve issues with people as they arise, but if there are moderators on a forum I'm going to approach them to ensure that the issues I have don't become larger. I'm not really sure why that's a negative?
And personally, I think that approach to things somewhat.. excludes those that can't do those things due to energy, or disability.

My thoughts feel very muddled right now so if this makes no sense I apologise! I'm just trying to puzzle out how I feel, because unfortunately this keeps happening to me in particular - it's been friend groups/group chats in the past, but losing Yesterweb forums/discord also stings a bit :notgood:
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2023 @507.14 »



My thoughts feel very muddled right now so if this makes no sense I apologise! I'm just trying to puzzle out how I feel, because unfortunately this keeps happening to me in particular - it's been friend groups/group chats in the past, but losing Yesterweb forums/discord also stings a bit :notgood:

There´s no need to apologise, I felt the same thing. I think I was in the same situation as you did.

I started getting this feeling When I saw one of posts being removed for very weird reasons, and being rebuffed and talked down to by a mod because I reported a user who was using vitriolic toxic language despite it actually going against one of their rules specially since they had their new policy of taking out and posts that seem to lead to controversy ( regardless if that even has any actually merit)

I initially wondered at first if I was just overeacting, or if it was really a sign of some cracks or flaws in the community that were sorta always there but i just didnt noticed it until now.

You know that feeling when you just know something is off, but just don't know how to put into words specially when it looks its very small thing, and you don't wanna rock the boat in case you might be wrong?

That was what it felt like.

And it nots a good feeling specially if it involves a community that you invested time and energy too.

And for whats it worth, talking about it does kinda help.




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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2023 @142.11 »

Yeaaaa I could go on and on about my thoughts on the fall of yesterweb but, it would be kinda negative? And I don't wanna spread that here lol, so here's a different more positive take from all this...

Work hard to make welcoming, kind, awesome communities on the web. Teach and listen, take their etiquette and actually authentically apply it wherever you go. Come to people in good faith and good discussion, and listen without judgement. Fight against hostility and hypocrisy. Always keep your heart and mind open.
You can remove people who just seek to harm the space, but don't go in always assuming those a little odd or different are here to harm. And don't get so lost in finding a greater purpose you forget to be human.

Yet, I understand that's very hard to do simply because modern web and social media have indeed bred people to be much more harmful lately. So it is so much safer to assume, isolate, and protect. But that fear breeds hostility that creates the perfect self fulfilling prophecy and the isolation it creates can be very painful.

But from the wonderful people I did meet through YW, I've come to realize a lot of us do want to fight that fear, and that's a very good sign. It was very inspiring to see people socialize in a good faith, open minded manner again. In a way where we didn't see eachother as threats. In a way that wasn't full of fear.

I don't want any of us to lose that. I want us to grow stronger so we can keep our hearts open and change the hostile tides of the modern web. Because we all are human and we truly want to connect ya know? And the internet is such a vast and accessible place, wouldn't it be the perfect tool to use for that? So let's use it, and make that happen!


*Disclaimer of course that nothing is perfect, mistakes and negativity are apart of life. Just do your best to be as kind and authentic as possible!
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2023 @380.15 »

So we are only just seeing this thread now and yikes. We already knew it was shutting down and all however have you seen the stuff that's being said on their forums?

As for the people here, you are all very nice. We will admit we only joined this place after hearing about the YW crap so eh, please keep up the good work, Melonking! :cheesy:
« Last Edit: April 17, 2023 @433.66 by Sinclair-Speccy » Logged



Alphonse
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2023 @435.43 »

So we are only just seeing this thread now and yikes. We already knew it was shutting down and all however have you seen the stuff that's being said on their forums? In the words of one of the staff members, they had intentions the entire time to attempt to turn the YW space into their stringent set of values and had done it before in other communities.


that's not what i gleaned from the YW thread at all...the YW was always very clear about its values. it was up to you to read its manifesto and decide for yourself if those values aligned with yours. YW fumbled the "community management" side of things, but the core beliefs of the staff were not some kind of insidious secret operation?
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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2023 @451.54 »

that's not what i gleaned from the YW thread at all...the YW was always very clear about its values. it was up to you to read its manifesto and decide for yourself if those values aligned with yours. YW fumbled the "community management" side of things, but the core beliefs of the staff were not some kind of insidious secret operation?

I edited my message as I had assumed wrong, but regardless my mind still thinks there was sus stuff behind the scenes :P

And yes I have read the manifesto but due to the forum posts I have been reading there I find it hard to feel that the manifesto isn't so great
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