How to Follow Personal Sites


Let’s go back for a moment to the early web. The “Weird HTML” era and golden days of personal publishing. There are no profiles, only pages—each uniquely made. It was messy and sometimes a pain, but the creative freedom was limitless.

Things look a lot different today. Social media has made it dead simple to publish, with more people sharing increasingly frequently than ever. Unified interfaces for each platform are great for accessibility, but creates a homogenizing force.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to publish a personal homepage. There are more resources to learn from, and tools like Cargo unlock almost limitless possibilities without touching code. But it’s easy to forget about an interesting personal site, so you end up following them on social media, or subscribing to a newsletter, creating even more noise in your feeds and drowning out the stuff you care most about.

It’d be nice to just periodically be reminded of good sites you come across. Forget all the algorithmic complexity of social media feeds and cluttering up your inbox.

Kawara gets it.

When you come across a good personal site, don’t follow their social media, subscribe to a newsletter, or create yet another bookmark to never revisit. Just add it to Kawara and assign an interval—time that elapses between periodic reminders, alleviating the overhead of remembering while avoiding the noise.

To get you in the zone here are two favorite sources of great personal sites, and an essay lucidly establishing their importance.

The “Sites in Use” section of Cargo is full of personal sites, both carefully considered and spontaneously improvised. Many of the sites frame the work of individuals in creative fields. Clearly a good eye makes a difference.

For the past few years has continued to provide the goods with an ever expanding archive of fresh sites. Each entry also captures the current state of the site in video, preserving the culture despite how liminal the life of a site can be.

Designer and author Frank Chimero gets to the heart of what a good web feels like, and the personal homepage is a critical component of that place. This is a great example of something which may go forgotten in the noise everything new. Published in 2018, its interval is personally set to about once every eight months.

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