June 2020 Weblog: Past, Future, and Now

A month that has us all looking towards the future. But as we forge that future, we also need to look towards the past

Make the Web Yours

This month I wrote a post about the origin of the “webmaster” role and the ways in which it has evolved over time. It ended with, I hope, an inspirational note about how we can reshape the web together. Well it must be in the ether because Max Böck drew many of the same connections I did in his post The Return of the 90’s Web. Böck walks through all the way the old is new again, and how we’ve re-invented the web for the individual developer once again. Don’t believe me that having your own site is important? Chuck D of Public Enemy agrees.

Listen and Watch

I came across two things this month that I’m amazed I’ve never seen before. The first is a documentary called Home Page (available on Tubi for free, and elsewhere). It follows the life of Justin Hall, an eccentric web personality and one of the earliest bloggers and web evangelists, all the way back in 1994. It has interviews with so many wonderful people that helped build the early web. The second is the podcast series from Red Hat, Command Line Heroes. In particular I was listening to Season 3, with a focus on the origin of programming languages. But each season takes on a different thematic arc, with interviews and new insights, and I can’t recommend it enough.

The History of the Future

I don’t know exactly how to segue into this article, but The History of the Future, a blog adaptation of a talk by Audrey Watters is some of the most incredible thinking I’ve seen about the ways in which we get stuck in our predictions for the future rather than learning from our history to build something better.

A Twitter Thread that Should Have Been a Blog Post

I keep coming back to this thread from Marie Le Conte a few months ago. In it, she describes the ways in which our semi-public lives become super-public lives because of the amplifying effect of social media, and the web. The solution, as always, may be better platforms and more compassion.