An interview on the state of the internet

Conducted by my sister

My sister is going to uni for creative arts and technology, for some of her work she needed to talk to people in the industry, meaning artists and web developers.
I, being both an artist and web developer, was asked to be interviewed. The interview is as follows:


Sister: i was just messaging you to ask if you have seen or know of any industry trends or emerging technology that is appearing in the creative arts industry?

Bee: Something I've seen as an independent web developer is that users and especially artists are moving away from major companies like Alphabet (formerly Google) and Meta (formerly Facebook) and X (formerly Twitter) in favor of their own websites, either commissioned or making it themselves on places like neocities. Major Internet Services have been becoming less and less user friendly and bombarding users with unpleasant experiences such as high numbers of ads, worsening service, and poor moderation. Moving to individual sites is giving users, and again especially artists, control over their own media and centralizing their work into one place. This is a familiar sight to those who were on the internet from the late 90s to the early 2010s, and I believe that this will probably be the cycle until the end of capitalistic interests on the web, going back and fourth between individual sites and monopolistic sites as services improve and worsen.

S: You are saying that independent web developers and artists are moving away from major companies in favor of a more user friendly internet service, which is something seen before and looks like a possible cycle for the future aswell?

B: Seen before is not exactly accurate, this is the first time we are returning back to individualistic web, however given how companies usually react to these things, i can very easily see this becoming a pattern, maybe not with existing companies, but eventually new companies will prey on the collapse of old companies market control. However yes, a frequent discussion i find as an artist is where to put your own stuff as each and every service is dying, and put simply having your own website and then linking to it prevents any friction of leaving a platform. This is why people are beginning to return to sites like neocities (the spiritual successor to geocities), as it acts as a barrier against large corporations hurting users.
Many people say that this collapse of quality in services by big companies is the so called "Death of the internet," however i believe that the internet has become too fundamental part of human society, and that it will continue and people will want to share things always.

S: So moving away from big companys and returning to individualistic web for supplying your work as an artist is becomeing popular, as the user interface supplyed by companys like google and X are just nolonger desirable?

B: It is more the general user experience, but the user interface is certainly part of it. I have seen a few people discuss the fact that more and more control over what your online identity looks like is being taken away from users, as an example, myspace would allow almost entirely full customization of everything from the background of the page to the colours of the text to images on the page to even music. X (formerly twitter) allows you to change your profile picture, display name, and bio. Other user experience issues are moderation, in which users are often unfairly treated and companies are regularly vague and inconsistent on the implementation of their rules, and the reasons why a user has been written up by their moderation team. Moderation teams are more and more being replaced by automated services, causing users to feel like there is no human at the other end, as there often isn't. And finally, the quality of the services are just degrading, as companies make labor cuts, monetary cuts, remove features, replace features with worse alternatives and then increase the price after doing all those, users just feel uncared for by companies, and that greed is their only motivation.

S: So via creating your own website, there is a gain of control over the experience and the identity of the person creating it?

B: Yes, or even commissioning a website can have that same effect. When i am commissioned for a website, my job is to listen to the commissioner, understand what they are looking for, create that, and then work with them to refine it. While it is my fingers doing the typing and my knowledge of programing making it possible, it is an extension of them. My personal website is probably the biggest extension of me there is, and there isn't a single company that can change that. I and anyone who has their own website* can take that website and move to a different host, with no issue.
* This doesn't apply to website builder services, such as square space or wix, which is why i generally advise against them.
Whereas on something like X (formerly twitter), if a moderator doesn't like the image you picked for your profile, a word you have in your bio, the name you have chosen, they can decide to take that away from you. This applies to any silo service.

S: amazing, i think i have everything i need  
thank you for taking this time to talk with me

B: No problem, it was an absolute pleasure to get to share my thoughts on the state of things