For too long, the web has been stagnant. The places we spend most of our time rob us of agency and snatch away magical moments from us.

We spend so much time on the internet, so why does it feel so foreign and unapproachable? Why doesn’t it feel like we can actively shape this place, to personalize it to our wants and work towards spaces that empower the behavior we cherish?

This is an area of exploration that many startups and billion-dollar companies alike have repeatedly tried and failed to solve. It’s really unsolvable because it’s not a problem at all. It’s a very human condition: the desire to make any place our own. We merely feel limited by the capabilities offered to us by modern technology, where we are forced to spend so much time. Despite all the practical concerns and factors weighing against investing time in this space (poor business, easily copiable, etc.), for the past couple decades we have seen (and continue to see) vast amounts of investment into this space. That shows me that it’s something that people care about at a fundamental level, regardless of what trends arise in the market.

We want an internet that feels like ours, that can feel like a home. We want the internet to feel like a solarpunk city, like sharing an orange with your friends, like a candlelit room on a rainy night, like a park bench sharing secrets with a stranger or a new friend.

  • what is the problem with the web today
    • it feels loud and overwhelming and impersonal
      • this is fine if it’s just a tool (something personal and focused on effectiveness) but at it’s core it’s about the human connections. its name is literally derived from the connections that are formed.
      • it is social at its core, so what kind of activities do we want to do on there?
    • because we can’t actively shape it to ourselves (we neither have the ability nor the space to)
    • people have explored this problem for years
      • geocities
      • nostalgia experiments, little pockets of connection (wechat, etc.)
        • a lot of them are instrumental
      • new “web”
      • new browser (internet computer)
        • multiplayer browsing (this is a tiny slice of the problem?)
  • what do we need instead?
    • tiny internets
    • what is a tiny internet?
      • natural, emergent, playful
        • vs. explicit software
      • small, cozy, not scalable, frictionful, slow/soft, about maintenance and care and decay
        • local safe, comfortable, neighborly, hole-in-the-wall
        • vs. overwhelming public / auditorium / simultaneous lonely and crowded cant get alone feeling
      • flexible range of expression
        • vs. discrete forms
  • connect internet back to emotionality, we’ve focused on utility for too long
    • how do we facilitate vast innovation in interaction design?
    • what organizational container does this fall under?
    • how do we advocate for and enable common behavior that may be regressive?
      • public internet infrastructure?
      • what are you opting-in to?
    • how do we connect these little islands of apps that are personal expressions?
    • physical metaphors are very grounding, but how do we not let them limit us? when are they appropriate and when are they not?
      • when do we want natural things and when do we want artificial things?
      • how do we make villages on the internet rather than a huge megapolis


  • we want to make creations that last (we should not lose the ability to use them), but we also want mediums for creation that are ephemeral and susceptible to decay
    • we want to selectively choose when things are permanent vs. not and we don’t like when they are chosen for us without consent (jarring both ways)
  • we want software to “just work” but we also want to feel in control of the technology we use and to have the agency to change them to fit our needs
  • we want software to be personal but also generalizable for other sot use. We want human-scale software.

why do people keep spending effort in this? why does it feel like so much is lacking?

  • the web should be more natural, encourage emergent behavior
    • how can we be social constraints limited rather than possibilities limited
    • also what is the positive variant of this? how do you empower the creation of shared experiences, traditions, and context?
  • how do we balance end-user agency and shared experiences?
    • what is the line for divergence and personalization?
  • what is lacking in browsers today?
    • do we need a new browser?
      • how do we make it easy to create a new browser?
      • is it a useful exercise to make a new open-source browser?
    • do we need a new web?
    • what is lacking in our metaphors for browsers?
  • how do we balance internet with infrastructure?
  • what would a common internet infrastructure tooling layer look like?
    • how do you get all browsers to support this?
    • what is history of browsers converging and diverging and how do we ensure they converge?
    • what would an organizational container for this look like?
    • what underlying infrastructure or tooling do we need?
      • user-owned data cloud pods for local storage
      • interoperable, queryable browser history
      • easy manipulation of structured data
    • what nouns do we want for the internet vs. what nouns exist today?
    • what verbs do we want for the internet vs. what verbs exist today?
  • what would it look like for the internet to be write-native?
    • #ideas tobuild as a thought-experiment, write-only mode where every page is default writable
      • document.designMode = 'on'
      • save edits to local storage so it all saves as edits to the tagged element?
      • fork and publish your website?
        • fetch the original website and then apply edits, might break depending on original website changing
  • what emotion are we seeking from the internet?
    • what emotion do we get from the internet today?
    • what emotion do we wish we got from the internet that we don’t?
  • how do we get people to want to be more inefficient?
    • what are real-world examples of this?
      • physical book vs. e-book

what is the end goal of this?

  • solidarity, encouraging of “conspiracy” rather than activism?