Just a quick note.

If you want to read some good coverage of the US vs Google monopoly trial I strongly recommend: Big Tech on Trial.

I think it’s better that you read that than me trying to unpack Google’s choke points on the Web because it’s not just their market share for search and ads, it’s many layers of control working up the Web food chain that when all put together gives Google an iron grip on the Web.

Things like:

  • Chrome Browser
  • Android
  • ChromeOS
  • Google’s Advertising network
  • Paying Apple to make Google the default search on iOS and macOS.
  • Google’s search market share.

It’s all these things combined and more which keep Google without competitors.

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It’s Time to Add a little Analog Goodness to the Directory


Note Taking | Analog Zettelkasten | (Fountain) Pens & Paper | Typewriters


I’ve written about adding more analog things into our lives several years ago.


Now I finally got around to adding a top level category to the directory entitled:

Click below.


So far with sub-categories about: Analog note taking, Analog Zettelkasten, Pens & Paper and Typewriters.  There are a good set of starter links in each subcategory.


In the future, I plan to add Analog watches and clocks, and maybe general office supplies depending on what links I can dig up.  If you can think up any other subcategories for Analog leave a comment below.

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Digital Garden | Personal Knowledge | Commonplace Book | Website


For a long time there have been two types of personal web pages:  1. static, old school, personal homepages, and 2. personal blogs.


A digital garden is a place to keep your public notes, partially formed thoughts, ideas, crazy ideas and personal knowledge as you think about them, add on to them as they grow and finally harvest them for some sort of publication either as a blog post, scholarly paper, book or whatever. A digital garden is very different from a blog, but it may well share a website with a blog, or not.  A digital garden is somewhere in between a fleeting thought and a polished essay on a blog.

It’s the new thing and the buzz is catching on.


Digital Garden Defined


There is no sense in me rewriting what Maggie Appleton has already written better than I can.  Click the link below for her history and description of a digital garden.

A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden


The above is well worth reading.


I’ve added a new category for Digital Gardens in the directory.  This will provide you with numerous examples of different DG approaches.


How to Build Your Own Digital Garden on Neocities Using TiddlyWiki


Here is a step by step guide on making a garden with TiddlyWiki.


If you want to publish your digital garden on the web (after all, the point is to foster collective thinking), you can host it with any free static website hosting provider, such as GitHub, NeoCities, Netlify, or Vercel.


How to build a digital garden with TiddlyWiki


Other ways to Create a Digital Garden


Digital Gardening for Non-Technical Folks


This is a good guide for people, like me, that don’t know how to code their own.  This is so new that there are not digital garden scripts out there yet except for some roll your own on Github.  A lot of people have been pressing wiki scripts into service for this so you might look into that route.


Other Reading:


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July was a busy month with lots of new features and changes.



Stumblizer –  In July I cobbled together a random website finder, sorta like the old StumbleUpon.  This has turned out to be surprisingly popular.  There must be a lot of bored people out there.  I keep adding a few new websites to the Stumblizer index when I find something that fits with the theme.


Directory Stumble – This is another random site finder like Stumblizer (above) only filled with different types of directories.  It would appear that not everyone is as enamored of directories as I am since it gets almost no use. *sigh*  It was an experiment and just never took off.  But it is unique.  Still, I’ll keep it up because, you never know, somebody, someday, might enjoy it.


Retroweb Ring –  Our new webring has gotten steady interest and I invite you to join.


Webmaster Page –  I added a page listing various free things and guides we have for webmasters.


Changed Weblogs Category –  Weblogs was always the category for personal blogs so it made sense to move it from under Internet to being under Personal Pages.  Like this: Personal Pages > Weblogs.


Made a button – W00t.  I made a button for Indieseek.  You can see it on our Link to Us page.  It’s not fancy but it’s a button.  I used Sadgrl’s Button Maker and the excellent Online Converter to convert the image from png to gif.



Added a bunch of directories.


We got listed in – Smooth Sailings Listings , List-Me and Link Lane Listings.  These directories may be small but are well established and have already sent traffic.


Turned off Comments on individual Link Listings – only one or two people have ever left comments besides me since we started in 2018 so best to turn them off.


That’s the roundup for July.

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Old School Site Promotion 1998 Style


To set the scene, back in the late 1990’s everybody on the web was trying to come to grips with web discovery.  That is the discovery of different websites.  There were search engines, lots of them large and small, and frankly none were any good.  There were thousands of general web directories again large ones, smaller ones, many regional ones.  There were also thousands of niche directories: dedicated to different genres, some dedicated to Star Trek, Star Wars, sports, collecting, hobbies etc.  And there were webrings and banner exchanges.


Even the best search engines of the day were unlikely to find a personal website by crawling, in a timely manner,  like they do today.  So that raised the question: How do I get people to notice/visit my website?


The solution was to Add Your URL to as many search engines and directories as you could.  The idea being that no matter what web index a visitor used you and your site were listed. People would see the name of your site over and over again and eventually check it out.  Mind you, this was all before SEO and link popularity was a thing.  This was about navigating the web, not about getting inbound links like today.


Modern search engines have made us webmasters passive about building traffic and recognition.


What went Wrong?


All this came home to me when I built site submission guides for personal static websites and personal blogs.  I’ve written up similar guides 20 years or more ago and back then I could come up with 20 – 30 quality free directories without even trying.  Today I was hard pressed to come up with a dozen.  It showed me how much of the underlying Web 1.0 infrastructure has been lost.  It wasn’t just the homepages on Geocities that went dark, it was also all the infrastructure that supported those free websites that also has disappeared.


Help Bypass the Big Tech Silo Overlords


The few tiny search engines and directories that still have a means for you to Add Your URL, need your support by doing just that – submit your URL to them.  This helps fight the Big Tech silo duopoly of Google and Bing, Twitter and Facebook. It helps you to reach beyond Neocities to the general public.  It all helps raise your “Channels of Visibility“.  The more channels you are on the better off you are.


The Common Wisdom Tips of Old School Self Promotion


  1. Submit your URL to every search engine and directory you can, as mentioned above.
  2. Be sure to include the keywords that describe your site in any description requested.
  3. When a new search engine or directory is announced, submit your URL right away.  It is easier to get into a directory or search engine when it is new and needs URL’s to satisfy search queries.  Later on they get fat with both real submissions or spam submissions so getting listed gets harder or they change the criteria to make it harder to get listed (ie. only allowing top level domains and forbidding subdomains, or requiring payment.)  The point is, get in while they really need you and while it’s free.
  4. On personal websites, static or blog, only YOU know what is important on your website.  Don’t expect a directory editor to intuit and find everything on your site and then custom write a description for you.  The editor is busy, has 20 other sites waiting in line they don’t have time to really ruminate on your website contents.  This is why you should not wait for a directory to find your site and maybe add it.  You need to be proactive, if the directory allows you to add your URL you should do it so you have a chance of getting the best description.
  5. The above holds true webrings.


The New: Social Networking


What did not really exist back in the 1990’s was social networking as we understand it today.  The practice of POSSE: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere, is another way of bypassing the Big Tech search engine gatekeepers.  It helps, but the effects are fleeting.  A directory listing lasts a long time but a mention in a Tweet might give you a burst of traffic but then that disappears.  So do use POSSE, where appropriate, but don’t rely on it alone.




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Note:  To do – make some 88×31 buttons.  Maybe a banner. Needed for Link to Us purposes.  Might need a paint program.

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Before we start, I am only talking about this in the context of non-commercial exchanges for equally non-commercial personal homepages.  I will be talking about and listing resources for graphical banners.  These are not for paid advertising but are another way to share traffic amongst personal homepages.  Banners can fit in well with the retro 1990’s look.

Free banner exchanges come in two types:  1. rotators, which simply show a different banner on each page refresh, and,  2. banner exchanges where you earn credit to show your banner on other sites by showing other people’s banner on yours. (ie. a 2:1 exchange means for every 2 banners you show on your site your banner gets shown once.) Both are free.

Below are a few non-commercial banner exchanges I found for personal sites.  I will also put links to resources for making banners at the end.


Free Banner Rotator Services

These are already running services that you can sign up and join.

  1. NeoLinks – 300×250 banner rotator service for Neocities sites only.
  2. WSMZ –  468×60 banner rotator service.  I have seen these ads on a fair amount of retro sites.


Run Your Own Banner Rotator


Free Banner Rotator Code – it only can control a total of 10 banners.  I suppose you and nine buddies could go in on this.  Better use would be if you have several of your own websites and promote traffic to each site.

Cgifree – also has an ad rotator code.


Banner Exchange


Easy Banner (Free) – this is a php script you install and run on your own server and you can run your own free banner exchange.  There is a Lite version which gets rid of co-branding for a small fee and a Pro version for more that has more features.  This runs on a ratio as I described above.  Excess impressions would show a banner advertising the exchange to get more members.


Advantages of Banners


  1. Low Maintenance – put the code in place and forget it.  Swap out a different banner every couple of months to keep things fresh.
  2. Relentless – Those banners keep showing on other websites with every page refresh 24/7 and you don’t have to do anything or pay anything.
  3. Branding – people see your banner even if they don’t click on it.  They may remember your brand if they see it enough and click through at a later date.
  4. Harness Junk Traffic – Does Google send a lot of traffic to a particular page on your site but visitors almost never stay for more than a second? Put a banner exchange code on that page and harness the page impressions from the wasted traffic. You might as well get some benefit from junk traffic.
  5. Bypass the Search Engines – it is a way to promote your site without the Big Tech search engines acting as gatekeeper.
  6. It is Free – enough said.



  1. Very Low Traffic – frankly, you will get more traffic by joining a descent webring or exchanging fixed buttons with other websites or submitting your URL to all the directories you can.  The click thru ratios are very poor for banners.
  2. Might be Mistaken as Commercial Ads – this might be a turn-off, particularly for blog visitors.  Also some directories might think you are commercial.


Banner Making


There are banner making resources here.




I had fun running a banner exchange back in the 1990’s.  People have not seen retro style graphical banners in a long time so you might get some novelty clicks.  Banners might provide an old time feel to your page and fit the aesthetic of your site.  However, people get banner blind fairly quickly so I would not expect this to be a major traffic earner for you. YMMV.  But if you are having fun – go for it.

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I made a Thing!

Actually I made two things.

Two site randomizers to entertain you and help you discover things on the Web.  And … Adventure!

  1. Stumblizer – this is my cobbled together version of the long gone StumbleUpon.  It is a site randomizer so you click the link and you get a random website.  It’s for entertainment.  These are not quick one-shot sight gags, there is stuff there, if you have a curious mind the sites could turn into rabbit holes to explore.
  2. Directory Stumble – This was my test bed and proof of concept.  This is for hard core web surfing. Like the name implies, every directory in Directory Stumble is a web links treasure box, with hundreds of links, that can act as a starting point for further web surfing adventure.  Just follow those hyperlinks.


I know there are a lot of stumble type sites on the Web already and all of them have a nicer UI than mine.  But maybe there is room for my two stumble-thingies as well.

There is no advertising, they are about having fun with hyperlinks, surfing, exploring odd corners of the Web at random and also discovery which is what Indieseek.xyz Directory is all about.  Also, unlike the original StumbleUpon, this is just a randomizer, it does not try to tailor recommendations for you personally. It just gives you, a. random. site.

I hope you enjoy them.

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June 2022 was a busy month here at Indieseek.xyz.  I cranked out 16 new posts on the blog which ties my record.  This includes two website promotion guides one for static websites and another for personal blogs.


New Webring

I started the Retroweb Ring, a new webring for non-commercial, personal pages like static HTML sites, but also personal blogs and directories that list them.  You are invited to apply if you meet the criteria.

Webrings are undergoing a revival and there is high demand to both start a webring but also join a well managed ring.



I installed a new guestbook.  I’m taking a cue from the old Web and many personal homepages, and giving people a chance to give feedback or just be neighborly and say “Hi”.  Please sign.


New Listings

Lots of new listings in the directory both submitted and found.


Did you know we have a separate RSS feed that shows only new directory listings?  Just the new link goodness.


Site Promotion

I submitted the site for inclusion in several directories.  I won’t name which ones because that wouldn’t be fair to them.  I’m not sure we will be accepted but I guess I’ll find out in time.




Things get broken on a website.  After a few years of constant updates to both the directory script and the blog script certain pages quit working or got scrambled or the menu got messed up.  Anyway I spent some time fixing things and clearing some dead wood out of the directory.  It always pains me when an old time website finally goes dark.  It’s sad, just sad.  But still more to do because it never ends.


More to come in July!  Stay tuned.


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The elves that build search engines are really kicking into high gear, and I’m loving it.  If you have been following my writings for awhile you know that I want a Web with 5 to 8 major search engines and bunches of smaller search engines and hundreds of directories.  The Web is being harmed by having a Google and Bing duopoly controlling the gateways to the Web.  So I’m rooting for all search engines with their own indexes and crawlers and I’m always on the lookout for new contenders.


The following have been added to the directory.


Small Search Engines


  1. Alexandria Search – being developed as a non-profit. It’s index comes from the Common Crawl so it’s in the billions of pages.  No crawler is mentioned on the website so I’m going to guess they totally rely on Common Crawl for additions to the index.  I’m impressed by their algo.  I’m getting really good results considering they don’t have a humongous index.  This is one to watch
  2.  Yep – this is a beta commercial search engine started by an SEO tools company.  The company already has crawlers scouring the web building reports about who is linking to who for SEO purposes.  And they had crawl data going way back.  Somebody decided that they could expand what their crawler already collects to include data about each page like a real search engine.  Since they are crawling anyway this search engine makes a heck of a lot of sense.  Results are mixed but I expect them to improve because these are SEO’s and they do know a lot about search ranking.  You can tel with the current results that a lot of their data is linking data but the results are interesting,  This is another one to watch.


Really Small Search Engines


These are small and not really usable – yet.  But you have to start somewhere.  These have their own crawlers and are building their own indexes so major points for that.

  1. Bloopish
  2. Crawlson



Again hat-tip to Seirdy for these.


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