do you remember staying up all night downloading mp3s on Napster? do you remember laughing with friends about Flash cartoons like Homestar Runner and ::ick:: Salad Fingers? what about "blogging" on Live Journal or posting song lyrics to MySpace or being on AOL Instant Messenger until all hours of the night? before the internet was overtaken by corporations and ads and before there was technology to make ads follow you from site to site or send you emails about abandoned carts and no one cared about "stats" or "conversions" – just making something for others to freely enjoy because you love to do it. All of these things were free to use, but they cost money to run and it would be awesome if there were some public government funded servers we could use to rebuild this – the internet is about sharing – not just sharing a photo of your lunch or a sunset or a travel photo – for sharing ideas, stories, aspirations and creativity. there used to be platforms that would let you do this for free. now EVERYTHING is paid – subscriptions, paywalls, "lifetime" access (as if you will perish before their platform does...). the cost of "creating content" has grown too as folks expect more and more and are insatiable for "fresh". i want to hear a story without someone stopping to tell me about Audible or Squatty Potty in the middle. i want to watch something funny without counting down until I can 'Skip Ad." i want to listen to any song i want without paying a monthly fee. most of all, i want to be able to tell my story (and you yours) without burdening other people with fees to 'consume' my 'content.' luckily, i know a thing or two about making websites using open source technology, so i can do this. but i remember when we could all do this, with any level of skill. there used to be places where online speech was free and we didn't linger in comments and tear each other to shreds. when we weren't here to buy or sell and take advantage of each other -- we were here because we wanted to connect with each other in meaningful ways.
i don't want to go back, i just want that feeling back.