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Nightdrift
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« on: December 23, 2021, 09:33:54 am »

Whether you have been making personal sites for many years, or have recently come into webmaster-ing, I think there is something very deliberate about the act of hand coding a personal site on the world wide web. Platforms like Neocities help a lot with lowering the barrier of entry while also providing a light framework of community, but even then the process can feel like setting your tiny raft adrift into a vast sea of possibilities. It is a very different kind of jump compared to signing up for a platform that has established templates and expectations.

The call to creating a personal site may be brought on by many things: nostalgia, a desire to have a little home of your own on the net, a place to catalogue your deepest interests, perhaps as a challenge -- etc, etc, the list goes on and on.

So I ask to anyone who wants to share, a few questions. Answer whichever ones you please, and feel free to pose any questions of your own if you've got any related thoughts!

 :pc: What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?
 :pc: What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?
 :pc: Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2021, 05:53:20 pm »

I somehow found Neocities and I joined. Only followed other people's websites at first, but eventually, I took the plunge.
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2021, 06:07:53 pm »

ヽ(・∀・)ノ great topic!! my short-story is, i wanted to make a website for my virtual gallery project on wix, got frustrated that i couldnt use iframes like i remember from my neopets days, then decided i wanted to learn html again and found neocities lol. i've never looked back... ╰(*´︶`*)╯

:pc: What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?

after finding neocities, i wanted to make cinni.net because i felt the internet was missing something, i missed the community aspect of pixel trading and web rings, and finding personal websites that were lovingly hand-crafted. when i was a kid in the early 00's, i was so obsessed with these pixel sites like yume studio or scribbleland (seriously, go experience all the different layouts on the wayback machine, theyre all so goooood.) i loved looking at pixel dolls and adoptables, surfing the internet to find new ones, and designing website layouts on paper haha. then i realized how fragile the internet is, and how undocumented the culture of the early 'net is. i really wanted to preserve these sites and bring back aspects of them like pixel trading, providing web goodies, linking to other sites, and encouraging creativity and others to make their own website. :-3

ALSO, a big part of it was feeling jaded with social media and wanting to carve out a space on the internet for myself. i felt like i had to put up a persona on instagram since so many ppl i know IRL followed me (like old bosses, professors). i felt like i couldnt share anything unless it was 'perfect'. that self-imposed pressure just made me never post... but with my own personal website, i get the satisfaction of learning a new skill, making my own space how i want it with zero pressure to ~succeed~ or whatever haha. i can share my anime figure collection on my site, who cares :evil:


 :pc: What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?


learning html/css as a hobby is a process, lol.. though i think my biggest issue rn is handling all my files, since i didn't plan for expanding my site so much. i do everything manually in neocities so the thought of re-structuring everything is..eep. :ohdear:


:pc: Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?

i've had my site for a good three years now, so i imagine 5 years (i hope) it will still be up, maybe a different layout, more content, who knows! i like to think of a personal site as a record of my life, so even if i don't maintain it i'd like for it to be up as long as possible. (* ̄▽ ̄)b
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2021, 06:09:58 pm »

I always love reading your questions Nightdrift! I'll give it a try.

What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?
The first page I created online was around year 2000-ish. At the time it blew my mind that I was able to create something that anyone could see. As a kid the first thing I wanted to create was a page on Pokemon, my passion back then. :wink: I loved being able to share what I liked, and meet people that shared the same interest. I still do today. I love that personal website can reflect who we are and what we love.

What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?
So many, over the years... But the latest one is being able to draw 88x31 buttons I like!

Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?
I'm hoping to see a lot more "Projects" in the section that has the same name, and a lot more buttons of people I've connected with. Since we're 5 years in the future, I'm thinking a part of the website will be in full 3d, and perhaps include 3d portals to other websites.
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2021, 08:56:37 pm »

:pc: What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?
Well, basically seeing wacky personal sites on Geocities back in the day, and Neocities sites now, and I wanted to take part.

:pc: What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?
Getting it all to work, pretty much, constant trial and error with window sizes and such

:pc: Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?
Hard to say, I think with how long it took to make my current site the way it is, and how difficult it was, I think I'm going to call it complete.

However, I might end up adding more languages to it by 5 years time. I plan to learn Nynorn, Japanese and Korean in the future.
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2021, 11:44:04 pm »

Question 1: Inspiration

So I was watching this video titled "Shmorby's Guide To The Internet!" and in that video, there was this domain titled shmorby.com So I typed it and redirected to shmorby.neocities.org Curious me decided to shorten it to neocities.org I looked around on the sites tab which showed a list of sites including this one. However, I didn't think about making an account but just bookmarked it because I didn't know how to code in HTML. Weeks later, I made an account because I thought to myself "I know how to program in other languages (like Lua) so it should be easy to learn with my skills." Another inspiration came from Kugee's site called razorback95.com which had the quote "Make websites, not accounts." With the inspiration from all of these sites, I was heavily inspired to make my own site.

Question 2: Challenges

Since I am starting out with writing my first HTML pages, I don't really know how to keep my code clean even if I try my best to do so. The second challenge is cost, I didn't know how expensive making a site can be until I made my account. Well, I kinda did know about Wix's prices which were pretty pricy plus the additional cost of keeping up with rebuying the same domain over and over.

Question 3: The future

Honestly don't know, But my best bet is that in a few years I could probably afford to manage my own site with my own money and (Hopefully) could use my coding skills to work on projects that I want to make.
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2021, 01:56:54 am »

My site is still a baby, so maybe this will be an interesting time capsule for myself... or maybe just a forgotten shout into the endless abyss of the internet :grin:

:pc: What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?

Recently, I decided I'm done with social media, done feeling like a pawn in "Meta"'s game. At just the right time, I stumbled onto Neocities. I wish I remembered how.

Surfing through unique and personal websites, all made with love, reminded me of what's good about the internet. Then I saw a bunch of graphics saying "You should make your own site too," and I read some manifestos, and I was like, why not?

:pc: What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?

When I was younger I put a lot of love & effort into making my own little tumblr site. I remember feeling like it was my very own home on the web. On tumblr I would lightly edit templates that other users shared, and add scripts here and there. However, Neocities feels very different as you have to supply all the content by yourself! I am still using a template provided by somebody else, but I've had to get my hands a lot more dirty with HTML. Which is awesome because I'm learning. But at the same time, my limited skills can't keep up with all my ideas and I feel like I don't get enough done even after working so hard

It takes a lot more time, but maybe it feels more rewarding because of it.

:pc: Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?

Well, I definitely want certain pages to be put up by then. I also think it would be cool to share my writing and get more engaged with a wider community by taking part in events or something like that. Hopefully, I'll have some unique contributions that people will come to my site for.

[quote author
i like to think of a personal site as a record of my life, so even if i don't maintain it i'd like for it to be up as long as possible. (* ̄▽ ̄)b


I like this way of looking at it, I'll try to look at my site this way so I don't feel guilty if I get too busy to maintain it in the future
« Last Edit: December 25, 2021, 02:02:45 am by di » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2021, 10:56:08 pm »

Another high quality question, thank you for asking!

What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?

I wish I could remember WHY I was thinking about sites, but I remember one day thinking about all the free web hosts that used to exist and how they were kinda crappy. I wanted to know if any still existed so I was searching free web hosts and found neocities, after looking at a few sites I was like. I CAN DO THIS! It was mainly an excuse to post old projects and junk I had that didn't really fit anywhere else in my life.

I think LGR (Youtuber), Hackers (1995 movie), Keep on Movin (the song by Five) and Mr Rogers Neighborhood (when it streamed on Twitch) and stuff I made when I was 12; were all some of the big influences in my life when I was first making it.

What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?

So my site is now over 5 years old and a lot has happened in my life since then. The biggest challenge has been maintaining it and keeping its spirit alive, while allowing it to change and grow as Iv changed and grown. Many people do total redesigns when they feel they have outgrown a site, I never wanted to do that, I wanted the site to grow with me.

Weird as it might sound, I find the community can be hard! I avoided it for most of my sites history and this year has been an experiment. I think sometimes my site speaks for me better than I do, words have never been my friend :tongue:

Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?

SO, there have been a few times when I felt my site was ":grin:omg:ne" I had nothing new to add to it, sure I could add new features and pages, but I could no longer expand on the vision of what it was, adding new pages would not really make it better. I kinda feel that way at the moment, and that's ok! Every now and then I do discover a new dimension to move into, but also just adding pages for cool stuff is fine.
I always wanted to make my site into a kind of theme park, a virtual disneyland :grin:

+++

In response to some others, thanks for sharing your histories, its interesting to read!

@Nightdrift, I agree about lowering the barrier of entry, I also think neocities ligitmizes these sites, lots of people are doing it so you dont feel like a weirdo making sites on your own :omg:k:
@cinni, yeah getting away from professionalism was a HUGE draw to personal sites
@m15o, Uggghhh 88x31 buttons!
@Cobra, Nynorn! :omg:
@Icelogist, Wix is a good point, Id like to see a list of site builders as easy as Wix that are good and free.
@di Agreed! Not feeding big companies is a great feeling

« Last Edit: December 27, 2021, 10:57:42 pm by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2021, 07:49:20 am »

Wix is a good point, Id like to see a list of site builders as easy as Wix that are good and free.

Well yes, Wix is a pretty easy and powerful tool for site creators if you don't wanna learn HTML, but it's kinda limiting for people who wanna make something unique like your site. They are kinda left in the dark, this is a problem with a lot of site builders, that's kinda like giving an artist a bunch of templates, paper, colors, pictures, scissors, and tape but no paintbrushes, pencils, pens, or even a marker. However there is a good thing with limitations, limitations force webmasters to think outside the box when making websites.
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2022, 04:31:25 am »

I've been meaning to respond to this thread; lots of really great responses all around.

I somehow found Neocities and I joined. Only followed other people's websites at first, but eventually, I took the plunge.
You know, even though I only discovered Neocities recently, I cannot for the life of me remember how I stumbled upon it either XD

my short-story is, i wanted to make a website for my virtual gallery project on wix, got frustrated that i couldnt use iframes like i remember from my neopets days, then decided i wanted to learn html again and found neocities lol. i've never looked back... ╰(*´︶`*)╯

Sometimes it really is just the little things! Also, it's cool that your site (particularly in the theme) serves as a reflection of the things you enjoyed as a kid, it's reassuring in a sense to know that folks are keeping virtual traditions alive for the next wave of netizens to discover and learn about : D

I loved being able to share what I liked, and meet people that shared the same interest. I still do today. I love that personal website can reflect who we are and what we love.
This is a thought that resonates with me a lot. The internet can really be such a cool form of self-expression, I've always liked the idea of personal websites sort of being like little personal community gardens that serve as an invitation to meet people who share those interests in a digital space. It definitely feels very organic, as far as "networking" goes.

:pc: What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?
Getting it all to work, pretty much, constant trial and error with window sizes and such
Oh this is painfully relatable, window sizes are truly the devil LOL -- perhaps it is a bit of a double edged sword that we have such a great capacity for minute control over the bits and pieces of a site. Still, I wouldn't trade it for anything...even if it makes me want to tear out my hair too sometimes when I see my site for the first time on a different computer.

Question 2: Challenges

Since I am starting out with writing my first HTML pages, I don't really know how to keep my code clean even if I try my best to do so. The second challenge is cost, I didn't know how expensive making a site can be until I made my account. Well, I kinda did know about Wix's prices which were pretty pricy plus the additional cost of keeping up with rebuying the same domain over and over.
Hosting/domain costs definitely add up over time! I can understand why folks moved towards more passive revenue through ads to help offset some of the costs, though I do not personally care for it. It is nice that Neocities does have such a robust free option, a lot of modern site builders can be a little frustrating in the amount of limitations they put on pages, etc. It is definitely a balancing act.

My site is still a baby, so maybe this will be an interesting time capsule for myself... or maybe just a forgotten shout into the endless abyss of the internet :grin: [...]

When I was younger I put a lot of love & effort into making my own little tumblr site. I remember feeling like it was my very own home on the web. On tumblr I would lightly edit templates that other users shared, and add scripts here and there. However, Neocities feels very different as you have to supply all the content by yourself! I am still using a template provided by somebody else, but I've had to get my hands a lot more dirty with HTML. Which is awesome because I'm learning. But at the same time, my limited skills can't keep up with all my ideas and I feel like I don't get enough done even after working so hard

It takes a lot more time, but maybe it feels more rewarding because of it.
Ohh, this is something I have been wrangling with a little. My experience on Neocities is fairly new as of only...three months, and the thought has crossed my mind once or twice, "what if I get bored of my site and just walk away?" Which is technically fine, it is not like I am being paid to make it or anything. But there is something a little existential about it. I like the thought of it being a time capsule of sorts, or at the very least, a testament to trying something new, and proof that you built something, no matter how scrappy it might be. It is definitely a lot of work, and time consuming for sure, but I agree that there's some sense of reward, or sense of growth and learning in the process. I'm rooting for you and your site; it's looking very personalized and fun!

Weird as it might sound, I find the community can be hard! I avoided it for most of my sites history and this year has been an experiment. I think sometimes my site speaks for me better than I do, words have never been my friend :tongue:
Community can be a pretty big challenge for sure. Something that always troubled me about socializing and being in shared space on the internet is the unpredictability of it all, and the risk of miscommunication. Of course, that can be a given for socializing in real life too, but doing it online definitely feels more vast in scale, and also a bit more obscured/anonymous/unclear @_@ When a community is good, of course, this is less of an issue, but when things aren't so good, it can definitely be pretty hairy and miserable.

Thanks again all, for taking the time to share! Also, I guess I can answer these questions myself now too o_o

What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?
Honestly, the usual faire about being tired of social media giants. On a deeper level, I have always struggled with the act of sharing my work/projects/creations. When the shift in social media turned artists into "content creators", that was around the time I began to lose sight of why I was creating and sharing things online to begin with. A personal site felt like a good first step in remembering and "memorializing" the things I cared about or created.

What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?

The urge to completely change up the site theme or make nitpicky, minor tweaks CONSTANTLY when I could be better spending my time working on the projects I want to populate my site with! It is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is very distracting some days.

Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?
I want to have so many projects for visitors to look at. Programs, drawings, comics, songs, a 3D world -- a veritable library of works. An even bigger stretch goal is to have resources other creatives can download for free and use in their works. Maybe some step-by-step WIPS with vague explanations for some bits of process...
As far as the actual site goes, I would like for it to feel like its own little fleshed out world that can be readily explored, with lots of interesting text and visuals. Just a fun place to spend a lazy evening in :]
« Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 04:35:04 am by Nightdrift » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2022, 08:59:09 pm »

:pc: What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?

Over the years, I was fascinated by the old Geocities personal websites and wished I'd been able to have experienced them when they were still thriving. I'd make "webpages" in word documents and make them how I'd want them to look and pretend they were active and online. So I'm sure you can imagine my enthusiasm when I discovered Neocities! I want it to fully represent me and, like me, it is ever changing.

:pc: What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?

Definitely the html/css aspect of it. I have a picture in my mind of what I want my website to look like and I just can't seem to get it just how I want to. And I'm stubborn and refuse to ask for help. I know I'll figure it out eventually, but for right now, it looks how it looks and it's just gonna have to be good enough until I have an epiphany. :grin:

:pc: Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?[/color][/i][/b]

Oh boy, this is a tough one. If I don't hyperfixate on another aesthetic in five years(which is highly unlikely), I want it to look like those adorable cottagecore pixel pages I keep seeing around the web (something a la cinni.net). But I also have an idea to have separate styling for each individual page to reflect my individual aesthetics and moods. I love kidcore, cottagecore, dark stuff, carnivalcore, dark academia, etc. So my website could really go in any direction, style-wise. I also really love the idea of making a website that's creatively reminiscent of old Geocities where the home page has a picture of a house on it that you click on to enter, and there are "rooms" that you can enter and interact with objects in them to go to other pages. Something similar to what MelonKing has. I want it to be cozy and inviting.
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2022, 11:28:52 pm »

It is definitely a lot of work, and time consuming for sure, but I agree that there's some sense of reward, or sense of growth and learning in the process. I'm rooting for you and your site; it's looking very personalized and fun!

Thank you!! When I look at it's a tad embarrassing, considering the giant redesign (from scratch) that I have in store. I really hope I can upload it before my semester starts.. the coding takes me a long time and the clock's ticking!

I've long admired the landing page you had up, and I just clicked to see you've made a big update! Wow, it's absolutely gorgeous!


When the shift in social media turned artists into "content creators", that was around the time I began to lose sight of why I was creating and sharing things online to begin with. A personal site felt like a good first step in remembering and "memorializing" the things I cared about or created.

"Memorialize" is the perfect word! :smile: :smile:

and in contrast to social media I love how personal sites remind us of who we're engaging with, rather than the platform it's on.


for right now, it looks how it looks and it's just gonna have to be good enough until I have an epiphany. :grin:

not to sound like a broken record giving out compliments, but I also love how your homepage looks in its current state! it has such a simple and elegant look while still feeling personal. It partly inspired me to revise my own homepage. however, i look forward to seeing how it evolves in the future!
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2022, 07:36:41 am »

Thank you!! When I look at it's a tad embarrassing, considering the giant redesign (from scratch) that I have in store. I really hope I can upload it before my semester starts.. the coding takes me a long time and the clock's ticking!

I've long admired the landing page you had up, and I just clicked to see you've made a big update! Wow, it's absolutely gorgeous!

Shucks, thank you! It is a little silly, but I think getting that under construction landing page looking just so took about as long as it took to create the final website as it stands now XD. I really sank a lot of time tinkering there LOL, always thought there was something very appealing about a cool and self-expressive start to one's site. I really need to find some way to sneak it back in the site somewhere eventually.

Definitely the html/css aspect of it. I have a picture in my mind of what I want my website to look like and I just can't seem to get it just how I want to. And I'm stubborn and refuse to ask for help. I know I'll figure it out eventually, but for right now, it looks how it looks and it's just gonna have to be good enough until I have an epiphany. :grin:
Sometimes the stubbornness is half the fun; it really feeds into the whole DIY joy of building something from the ground up, and feels so great when you figure something out!
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2022, 09:24:47 pm »

What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?

Over the decades I've always had a homepage/website of some sort on the go. I cannot recall the initial inspiration. It may have been the small homepages that others on the local IRC server I first jumped on had for themselves. That took me through the process of setting up a page on my ISP's server (ISP's used to provide users small amounts of diskspace to host homepages!) and then Geocities.

I then got right into it and subscribed to local Netguide magazines that were published (physically) monthly and contained various tutorials about how to do various things on the net. I also got stuck in and did any type of class at school that involved computers. One of them we learned how to create a homepage, I ended up helping classmates as I was already well versed in what HTML was at the time :smile:

Whenever I get into a new hobby or Interest, in most cases I usually end up creating a website/homepage around it.


What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?

For me, the biggest challenge has always been the graphical aspect. I've always been great at having the vision of what I want, but I was always challenged by bringing that vision to life in pixels on the screen.

Luckily I've always mostly had friends and contacts who were very skilled in graphic design who were able to help me.

This continues to be a challenge for me to this day.


Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?

So, this has been one of my biggest regrets over the decades where I've not properly preserved my websites/homepages. Recently I've been proactive in either building sites statically, or converting them to static sites when I'm done with them to preserve them for years to come.

I've managed to recover a number of old versions of my biggest project and will eventually get around to restoring them into static versions to host as a museum of types to what they used to be.

Very envious of how Bytemoth has managed to do this for himself :smile:



That's most of my story anyway, have really enjoyed reading everybody else's story too!

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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2022, 11:21:55 pm »

:pc: What inspired you/made you want to create a personal website?

It was back in 2018 when I got bored and thought "Man I really wish I could make something as cool as those petpages made by Neopets users who made it to the Neopian Times a couple times and the official Bionicle website back in 2001-2002." But why would my dream be my dream, when I can work it to make it a reality?

So I decided to practice my prior knowledge of HTML and CSS, but soon realized it wasn't enough. I wanted to make something cool that I can proudly show towards the world, so I decided to make a personal website. After searching across the internet to find a place where sites are published for free, I stumbled upon Neocities. The rest was history.

:pc: What are some challenges you've faced in the process of creating and maintaining a site?

During the early days of the website, I had to constantly update it to get the HTML and CSS elements right. That was before I enrolled college courses for web development. Nowadays I use Visual Studio to make editing websites quick and easy instead of using the in-browser editor.

The navigation bar was the worst offender, because you have to copy and paste it unless you made a blank template for yourself to duplicate. And if you decide to add a new link in the navbar, you have to copy and paste the link to every single page! Thankfully, I've learned to solve this problem by putting it in Javascript thanks to the first person I ever linked to: Ikewise Online!

:pc: Imagine your site five years from now (even if you may or may not be running the same site five years down the line, or may have closed it out as a completed project)... What do you think it will look like, or what would you want it to look like?

I feel the website would be more 'dream-like' than it is now. Not only it would have an enormous collection of dream entries, but also their lore/personal interpretations as well. It would have a shrine dedicated to the mobile game Honkai Impact 3rd, and would even have a monster/Honkai Beast review like none other than Bogleech!


:pc: Besides your website, what are you working on right now?

You mean my college homework? (laughs) It's not just that. I'm also working on a work of fiction. It involves a universe containing tons of interesting characters I'd love to write about, such as a vine-wielding influencer, a pair of psychic rivals who happen to be brothers, and an assassin in a gimp suit. But after a brainstorming session one time, my mum and I decided that a story about Taco Man and Weed Man teaming up to take down Bacon Man (who may or may not be real) has the most interesting hook of them all. So yeah... that's the direction I'm going with, and I'll build it from there.
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Web design is my passion!

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