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Author Topic: encouraging the creation of topic-specific websites  (Read 1115 times)
Frost Sheridan
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« on: April 19, 2023 @616.35 »

lately, i've been building a new website that's all about the Sony Mylo COM-2, a handheld web access device from 2008. i've been doing a lot of original research and reverse engineering, so i wanted to a place to document my work that's separate from my personal site, so that it doesn't just get lost among all the other subpages that currently exist there. (once it's finished, i'll be showing it off here in the showcase subforum!)

while working on this new website, i started to notice that one thing the web revival seems to be sorta lacking in comparison to the old web is websites dedicated to a specific topic, interest, or hobby (fansites, basically!). there's absolutely nothing wrong with just having a personal site full of all sorts of different hobbies and interests, but if you have a lot of info you want to share about something specific, it starts to make sense to break it out into its own separate site. while searching for retro computing resources, for example, it's not uncommon to come across a website from the 90s with a title like "Joe's TRS-80 Museum" that's full of extremely valuable info about a specific computer, all researched and compiled by one guy, and shared on the web just to help out other enthusiasts on their retro computing journeys. creating a website that's dedicated to a specific topic like that means that the information you share on it becomes much easier for others to discover, as it's not buried in a sea of other unrelated pages on a massive personal site. it also gives you space to keep everything organized and offers infinite room to grow as you find or develop new content about your specific topic of interest that you want to share. you can tailor the site's layout, navigation, and aesthetics to your specific topic, rather than be forced to awkwardly squeeze it into the already existing look and feel of the rest of your site, and you won't run in to incompatibilities with your current site's organization as you expand the site with more content.



creating a totally new site in addition to your already existing personal site may sound like way too much work, and i too was initially hesitant to create a whole new site just for my Mylo stuff. however, once i got over these two sticking points, it ended up being a pretty smooth process!

1. i don't want to pay for yet another domain name on top of my already pretty expensive ones!
i thought about buying a new domain name for this new Mylo site, but i then realized that would mean paying yet another $30/year for the rest of my life on top of the other domain names i already own, so instead, i just created a new subdomain for this new website. subdomains are just extensions of your current domain - you can create as many of them as you want for free just by adding new entries for them into your domain's DNS configuration. in my case, my domain cyberdragon.digital points to my main personal site, and mylo.cyberdragon.digital points to my Mylo site. it's not uncommon for web hosting providers to also let you have multiple different websites on different subdomains for no extra cost. i use github pages for hosting, so it was as simple as creating a new github repository for the site, adding a CNAME entry for the "mylo" subdomain to my domain's DNS settings, and setting the repository's custom URL to "mylo.cyberdragon.digital".

2. designing a whole new website is a lot of work!
in my case, i was ready to accept the additional workload of designing a whole new site as i wanted mine to match the aesthetics of the Mylo device, but this is a completely valid and understandable issue to have. building websites is hard! however, there's no shame in simply reusing the layout and/or resources from your existing personal site when making a new one. you'll probably need to tweak it some to make it work for a different subject matter as i mentioned earlier, but you can totally just reuse as much of it as you want! additionally, if all of your websites have a similar look and feel, it makes them recognizable as all being made by the same author - it's always cool to discover a "network" of different sites all made by the same person.



so i encourage you to think about a specific topic or interest that you're deeply passionate about and would love to tell the world about, and consider making a new website dedicated to it! it could be something like a hobby of yours, a piece of media like a game, book, or TV show you're a fan of, or like in my case, a specific piece of technology that you find fascinating.

for some inspiration, here are a couple modern topic-based sites that i've discovered lately in the web revival scene:
  • DISC-CONTENT - PlayStation 1 fansite featuring reviews of some interesting PS1 games.
  • TextureTown - collection of cool texture images curated by Melon.
  • It's Not Stupid, It's Advanced! - fansite for the Invader Zim series containing historical info and trivia, downloads, resources, and fan creations.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2023 @881.78 by Frost Sheridan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2023 @638.04 »

I love making websites in the kind of way which has resulted in me actually having a handful of them now, oopsie. And indeed, most are topic-specific, well they're fansites. I would also encourage making topic-specific sites, but of course everyone likes what they like. I like topic-specific sites, but someone else might not and that's fine. I really like to ramble about stuff I'm into and have stupid amounts of trivia knowledge of it, and a fansite is a pretty good place to pour all that knowledge into :grin:
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shevek
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2023 @686.76 »

Thank you for the great idea! I think I'll add that to my list of projects. I have a thing in mind for that, and it would support multiple of my other projects related to it :)

You're right that it seems a bit rare nowadays; I think through social media, we have gotten used to online presences centering ourselves first and foremost, and tying hobbies and interests back to us as a person; maybe even just mentioning them and showing them off to describe us or convey an image of us. It would be nice to have more pages again that center the topic(s) and are less about the person, or not about the person at all.

I really admire people who know a ton about something because it's their life-long special interest, and how much time they dedicate to it and how detailed it is. I love reading it or listening to it.
That used to be me, but I have found that the past few years, all my old special interests I could hold hour long monologues about faded away and my autistic brain hasn't found a new one yet that is quite as intense and long lasting as they used to be (or at least, is too fresh to call it so), and it also feels like I am not as good at remembering the stuff I really like about something than I used to be. I used to research the hell out of stuff and create Word docs and Excel sheets and binders and sideblogs etc. and once I read a fact, it was glued to my brain forever, easily. But now I seem so comfortable just enjoying something without knowing much about it. I should get back to the way I used to do things and a site would help with that! :)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2023 @688.34 by shevek » Logged

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Y2KStardust
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2023 @132.84 »

Personally, I currently can't afford a domain so I get around that by having a fansite-homepage that links out to all of my pages based on various topics and fixations  :dive:
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2023 @492.57 »

I actually want to do the same but the cost and effort of multiple domains is just eh.

I just keep all of these subpages on my website.
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creaturefeature
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2023 @534.55 »

actually that is what i´ve been trying to do with my creaturefeature website! I wanted to make a site mentioning cool monsters in fiction their designs, and also talk about real animals as well?

Granted its taking a bit long getting there  since life keeps getting in the way/sidetracked.

So far I´ve managed to upload two animals articles, and one about aliens in the 90s superman cartoon
« Last Edit: April 20, 2023 @561.49 by creaturefeature » Logged


TheFrugalGamer
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2023 @608.83 »

Yes, I love topic-specific sites! There's almost nothing more fun than finding a rabbithole of someone's special interests that I can just chill out and spending time reading and clicking through. So much better than the fandom wikis that get bogged down with ads (though the research that fans do for those is amazing, and deserves a much better host).

I've been slowly putting together info for a sub-site about off-brand and lesser-known virtual pets--basically everything besides Tamagotchi and Digimon pets, since there aren't very many resources for them on the web that are centralized. I've been compiling all the info into my personal wiki and I've got around 100 pets catalogued so far. I just haven't yet taken the jump to put it on its own subdomain yet.

Pretty niche, and it probably won't get all that many views, but it's something I enjoy.
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creaturefeature
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2023 @791.10 »

Y

I've been slowly putting together info for a sub-site about off-brand and lesser-known virtual pets--basically everything besides Tamagotchi and Digimon pets, since there aren't very many resources for them on the web that are centralized. I've been compiling all the info into my personal wiki and I've got around 100 pets catalogued so far. I just haven't yet taken the jump to put it on its own subdomain yet.

Pretty niche, and it probably won't get all that many views, but it's something I enjoy.

that actually sounds amazing, I love the idea of a virtual pet site catalogue
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TheFrugalGamer
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2023 @874.68 »

that actually sounds amazing, I love the idea of a virtual pet site catalogue


Aw, thank you! Weird internet nerds unite!
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debleb
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2023 @473.82 »

Yes, I love topic-specific sites! There's almost nothing more fun than finding a rabbithole of someone's special interests that I can just chill out and spending time reading and clicking through. So much better than the fandom wikis that get bogged down with ads (though the research that fans do for those is amazing, and deserves a much better host).

I've been slowly putting together info for a sub-site about off-brand and lesser-known virtual pets--basically everything besides Tamagotchi and Digimon pets, since there aren't very many resources for them on the web that are centralized. I've been compiling all the info into my personal wiki and I've got around 100 pets catalogued so far. I just haven't yet taken the jump to put it on its own subdomain yet.

Pretty niche, and it probably won't get all that many views, but it's something I enjoy.

i like your wiki it’s really fun to look through

now i want one of those littlest pet shop vpets
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2023 @344.04 »

You know, I'd been going back and forth on this, since I just couldn't think of anything to make a page about. But tonight, I finally thought of a good shrine idea, and I think I'll even go the extra mile to host it separately on ichi.city!

Thanks for the inspiration! :unite:
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bingus_baby
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2023 @832.35 »

I've been marinating a fansite for a game I like on the back burner, and I was wondering how I would go about the domain and if I would just add another Neocities page to my account, but that subdomain thing sounds awesome! Is that something Neocities supports? If I add another site to my account, can I just subdomain it out? Bc it would be really epic to have subdomains!!
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