The Web is ours

The Web was created to connect people, to share information, and to help us all become more culturally aware. At least, that’s what its creator, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said about it.

Before there was a Web at all, there were smaller networks: military, academic, scientific. Once those networks were linked, creating what we now call the Internet, a sort of “commercial Eternal September” descended upon it. Soon, someone realized that many of the people using the Internet to explore and create also had wallets, and the race to empty them began.

Now, the Web is a chaotic place, crowded with an ever-growing surge of businesses using every possible tool to coerce as many people as possible to open up their wallets. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that the Web didn’t always exist as a marketplace. That people used to create websites just to do it.

The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.

—Sir Tim Berners-Lee

But the Web itself hasn’t changed all that much. Its technologies have advanced substantially, but the same simple tools that were used to put up a webpage in 1995 can still be used today. If anything, it’s cheaper and simpler than ever!

You can do it. The Rebel Web can help.

The platform paradox

As technology has advanced and appetites for mobile access and other features have grown, for-profit platforms like Squarespace and Wix have rushed in to fill that need. In exchange for the ease of posting your content more effortlessly (without having to manage the plumbing that makes the Web work), you only need to give up your control.

That’s the paradox of the platform. Though a sophisticated system like Squarespace or Wix allows you to click and drag your way to an interactive image gallery or mobile-compatible blog, often what you place there becomes “stuck.”

Of course, having everything you have labored to create “stuck” on a platform that offers no reasonable export function is part of the business model. Marketers and product managers discuss “stickiness” of their tools as a big benefit. The harder it is for you to leave, the more likely you are to just keep paying.

But even though creating websites is a little complex, it isn’t magic.

When you understand things, there’s no more magic.

—Sir Tim Berners-Lee

When you create your own website, you control everything. There is no corporate interest plotting new ways to use the fruits of your labor to convince you to purchase upsells or simply keep paying your subscription.

If you don’t like the way you’re treated by any organization that you choose to work with (for domain registration, web hosting, etc.; the necessary evils of a global network operation) you can just leave. Your visitors won’t even know the difference.

It’s just the Web

The Rebel Web is a resource to elevate your knowledge so that what may appear to be magic becomes routine. We are the webmasters, we are the creators.