For a long while now, I’ve been seeking a way to discover other peoples’ amateur websites.
The big web engines, google, bing, and the like, are perfectly good in some respects, but they’re been corrupted by the money they breathe. If you use those engines to search for amateur web sites, or home pages, you get a list of companies trying to sell you stuff to set up a home page, and no mechanism to actually find such pages. Those engines’ lust for dosh prevents them answering the query, and since their purpose is to answer queries, it follows they’ve been corrupted. The matter has similarities to the corruption of the English civil legal system.
Yet, oddly enough, a competing American business has the solution. Unfortunately, you have to know where to look. AOL, godfather of the internet at home, supports DMOZ, once the Open Directory Project. This curated index of the amateur web, amongst many other things, is exactly what I sought (and what I’d forgotten I knew, embarrassingly).
I’ve been dipping my toe in their home page index for the last few hours. As is usual with anything amateur, there’s a great deal of drivel and broken links. Browsing this index is like browsing record shops in 1977 London; in among those rushed out garage singles (thank you Desperate Bicycles) are un–lied–about delights. Here are a couple of gleams: Paul Kohl’s Vietnam poems; Brandon Harris’s blog (no relation, but I was looking at the surname). I’ve a lot more dipping to do.