What Is a Website?
Short update on Codename WL.
Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly — Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
My ambitions for Codename WL are growing. I aim to create an entire field of roadside flowers. 1000s of flowers, hidden in plain sight, waiting for you to appreciate their beauty.
It is too soon for me to tell more. But if you have a sacred place in the Internet Wilderness, please share it with me. I’m collecting. Estimated date of publishing: Summer 2021.
What if your website was your living room?
How would it smell? Who would you invite inside? What music is playing? What is the color of the walls? White? Do you have art hanging on the walls? Family portraits? Drawings made by your kids? Is the couch placed in front of the TV? Do you have a TV? Or a window to the outside? Are you expecting visitors in your living room? How many? Or are you meeting them in the kitchen? Ready to cook a meal together?
Do you serve tea for your guests? With biscuits?
How many are you welcoming? Is your dog barking? Do you have a dog? Did you have time to clean? Do you clean yourself? Or do you pay someone to come and clean? Are your guests bringing flowers? Presents? Red wine? Do you even drink? Do you ask them to sign your guestbook? Like your house? Share your location? Do you like to argue? To agree? To double-tap your guests on the back? What other rituals happen on your website?
What if your website was a house?
Where is it located? In a city or in the countryside? Next to the river? A lake? Is the water flowing? Or is the traffic? Cars? Bikes? Are the kids playing on the street? Are kids even welcome? Where do you go to make coffee? To close your eyes? To sit and read? If your website was a guest house? How many beds would it have? Would it be boutique? Cozy? Family-friendly? Would the rooms have a view of the ocean? If it had a secret door, where would it lead to? To Narnia? And can you see the stars at night?
What if your website was for only one person?
Who would you make it for? What would you make? Or what if your website was for no one? To never be discovered? Or only to be archived? What if you started a newsletter with only one reader? Or a newsletter with no readers? What would you write? Would you unsubscribe? Would you mark it as spam?
What if your website went to sleep?
When would it wake up? When you are working? When the sun is shining? What if your website was blind? What if it had universal website rights? Or it was a member of a website union? How does your website want you to remember it? Does it dream of retirement? Is your website only for humans? What if your website could never be updated? What if it was a landscape? A garden? A flower? A bug flying towards the light in a field of wildflowers.
The Internet never forgets. Except it does. Because the internet is always rotting, with websites and pages disappearing from their original location. One study of all the hyperlinks on nytimes.com shows that 6 percent of links from 2018 are dead. For 1998, 72 percent of links are no longer working.
Fadeke Adegbuyi with an in-depth introduction to how the younger-than-me generation uses the internet to find strangers to study with. It is interesting to read about the study spaces carved out across the web. However, I am unsure that the described anxieties and ambitions are limited to Gen Z (let me know if you have any readings on this topic.).
I have before shared this wonderful reflection about what a website is. However, I feel it is appropriate to include Laurel Schwulst’s essay again given the questions for your website I wrote further up in this newsletter.
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly — Observations from the Internet Wilderness.
Last week this letter was sent to 770 people. Thirtytwo are crazy enough to chip in every month/year to support me making time to write. Logo by Studio Hollywood. Print by Luka. Photograph by Ana Santl.