what defines the me/you/site? ☘ a number of similarities can be seen across pixel-trading and adjacent sites created by girls and young women in the early 2000s. for the purposes of this retrospective, these sites are collectively referred to as "me/you/site"s because they employ the three me/you/site pillars: autobiographical content ("me"), web tutorials or content such as adoptables or sozai offered to visitors ("you"), and meta-content ("site").
shiny star (2008, via wayback machine)
me/you/site visual style ☘ certain visual metaphors and patterns emerged from me/you/site culture. due to the focus on link sharing and community building, sites influenced each other rapidly, creating a degree of homogeneity. some common elements in the me/you/site include:
the me/you/site voice ☘ despite the sugary-sweet appearance of the me/you/site, the content and tone were a touch edgier, tinged with sarcasm and elitism. webmistresses were outcasts and rebels on a few fronts. they typically had niche interests in computers, anime, video games, fantasy, and toy and doll collecting, which were typically looked down upon as nerdy or strange. and their interest in the ultra-cute and crafting also made them outsiders within geek culture, which did (and largely still does) give primacy to boys' media franchises, games, interests, and toys. the me/you/site webmistress of 2002 might have self-described as some mix of quirky, alternative, nerdy, or outcast, which came across in the textual content of the me/you/site. one might encounter the occasional sexual innuendo or playful use of words like "bitch/beeotch," "whore," and "slut" to refer to oneself or friends. but more common to the language of the me/you/site was elitism and tech snobbery.
below are a few quotes from the elite clique devilish (via wayback machine), which accepted no more than 20 members during its 2004-2005 tenure.
It's fresh and new, but yet with an old school flavor. Take a look around, and when you leave crying, don't forget that dying in a horrible car accident would suck a lot more than just getting rejected by us.
devilish looked for applicants with "original design, content, great spelling and grammar, signs of rampant creativity begging to be set free, and [html/css] validation." things that would keep you from earning a spot in the devilish clique:
Advertisements of any kind. Pop-up layouts, bad fonts, blatant disregard for anti-alias, coding in uppercase, backgrounds that are too busy or animated, clashing colors, music that has no end and no stop button, or just music, period. You're not Shari Lewis...give it up! Distastful nudity, discrimination, non-personal sites or sites that have a a list of personal stats but 8,000 pages of "interaction" content (read: e-mail forwards) trying to slither in, stock photos from gettyimages or the like used as layouts, yet another design with a celebrity blend or generic photoshop tricks! Congratulations on your design breakthrough! We don't look at freeserver sites, sites that use redirection urls, journal sites (livejournal, xanga, blogspot, etc), doll sites with just dollls, sites on hiatus or sites that have not been noticably updated in the last two weeks.
Of course, if you're our friend, you can probably get in really easily without meeting any of our requirements because we are, at best, hypocrites! Talk about your perks, right? ;)
the callout of pop-up layouts is notable. by 2004, there was growing shift toward web design that accommodated users' diverse preferences rather than demanding specific screen resolutions and browsers. webmistresses that had previously used fixed-size pop-up layouts had begun to adopt new methods, such as preferring plain html and css over graphics for creating ui and creating layouts that worked for a variety of screen resolutions. these were the beginnings of what would today be referred to as "responsive design." nevertheless, the long list of rules, including that html be written in lowercase, is typical of the unnecessarily exclusive language that predominated the me/you/site.
other influences ☘ third-wave feminism, especially riot grrl, girlie feminism, and the commodity-oriented "girl power" movement, stitch 'n bitch and late-90s craftivism, emulation, oekaki, postmodern graphic design, demoscene, powerpuff girls, sailor moon, pokemon, bratz, virtual pets (tamagotchi, giga pets), chipmusic
~* evastars (me) *~interview
tools + tech
~* pfft (you) *~about
~* reference (site) *~art style + influences
gender + the me/you/site
pfft is made possible with support from femicom museum and welcome to my homepage