Letters from Somnolescent


Tag: Somnolescent

The cult we call home.

June 2, 2024

How to Host a Site Network for All Your Friends


So about a week ago, I got a very nice email from a Somnolescent reader named Cyrano. I don’t normally post reader mail–for starters, I don’t get enough of it to make mailbag posts a thing–but this time, I got a mailer daemon every time I tried to reply. There’s nothing personal in it, so I’m gonna take the risk and post things on the blog. Hopefully you see this, Cyrano, and you don’t think I simply ignored you. Your reply address isn’t working is all.

Somnolescent has a pretty unique setup as far as little amateur indie Web stuff goes. Everyone on somnolescent.net has their own account where only they can access their subdomains’ files, and potentially the files of domains outside somnolescent.net. Because I know Somnolescent attracts people who are in little online art collectives and Web groups and sometimes would like to know how to start their own site like ours, I’ve elected to lightly edit the book I wrote for Cyrano and post it here to Letters instead. Hopefully, someone finds the information useful.

December 1, 2023

Happy Five Years: The 2024 Infrastructure Upgrade Plans


Normally at this time, I’d be bringing you the next installment of First Draft, but I just had no desire to work on it this past month despite having a wallop of an album to do it on–chalk that up to working 35 hours a week at retail, I suppose. Instead, given that it’s December and that means the Somnolescent retrospectives and prospectives start rolling off the line soon (five years of the group being officially reborn on the 20th!), I figured I’d ramble a bit about the group instead, and more specifically, updating things around here.

We fell off the site stuff a little over lockdowns, and when things opened back up, obviously, we were more concerned with going outside and getting on with life than updating our silly animal people pages. This has left some of them out-of-date, sometimes woefully so. I think we’re all feeling the desire for it again–dcb_v5 just launched in October, fwd_v2 has just launched–so let me tell you about my own plans to update Somnolescent’s web presence. There’s a lot.

November 16, 2023

matfloor is No Longer With Somnolescent


I debate making posts like this. Letters is normally a place where we as Somnolians come to share what we’re into or what we’re up to, but it’s also the only spot I truly have for making announcements about group matters. I feel supremely silly every time someone leaves the group, given how private we are and how Somnolescent is nothing without each person that’s a part of it. That’s why I often don’t make mention of when people go. That said, I’ve seen people try to attack us in parting, so I’m defending my group.

Devon, matfloor, has been removed from Somnolescent. We’ve seen her become increasingly unhinged and flat out out of pocket racist over the past few months. This came to a very violent head this afternoon. We hope she gets healthier and comes to her senses, but as of today, she is no longer associated with the group. Her sites will remain up on archives and her posts on Letters, as is customary.

Tags: Somnolescent,

August 25, 2023

What Even is Somnolescent?


I’m standing around at work, tidying the shelves, and something pops into my head: no one has ever been able to make heads or tails of what Somnolescent actually is. We’ve been called a tilde, we’ve been described as a community of Windows 2000 users and MSN Messenger reverse engineers, a group of Furcadia friends, people have said we built toyhou.se, all sorts of wild shit. Those Somnolians, they get around!

Some of this was promulgated by me wanting to make Somnolescent sound spooky and cultlike, so I was intentionally vague describing it to people for the first year or two. We’re almost at five now, though, and whenever we’re mentioned online, folks still try to put us in a box–and they keep getting that box weirdly wrong. I didn’t think we were doing anything all that complicated, but apparently, Somnolescent perplexes people.

Tags: Somnolescent,

May 6, 2023

Five Neat Things From the Somnolescent Archives


If you were to ask me my favorite part of the Somnolescent site network, archives would be it. archives started back in 2020 as cold storage for file hoards, but more and more, it’s become my obsession to use it as a living museum of all the websites that the Somnolians have built over the past six years or so. We’ve had so many cool ideas for pages, so many memories around our sites, so many neat looks and layouts for them, that I feel personally responsible to keep it all intact. I want it all as browsable, speedy and functional as the day we unveiled them.

archives has been eating tremendously well this year. All of Caby and dcb’s sites from the Neocities days are finally present on there, patched, restored, and usually fully functional. I just finished restoring dcb_v2, a BeOS-styled site that used an embedded Gopher proxy to display Gopher menus in lieu of pages, last month. Now that’s fully functional again, using locally-stored copies of the proxy’s output back when our Gopher looked like that. I’m supremely proud of it–and just happy to have it to click around again!

Only counting full sites (not components of sites or subsites), we’re up to 54 of them. That’s a lot of sites! And I built half of them, probably! There’s so much on archives, you might not know where to start, and that’s what I wanna spotlight. Here’s five cool, nostalgic (if you’re of a certain age and web background) sights from Somnolescent’s past you can go visit on archives right now, just as if it were still live on our sites today.

December 30, 2022

Four Becomes Five: Find the ones that get you


As the year draws to a close once more, it’s the perfect time to get all retrospective about it. How the last year has gone, what I’ve enjoyed, what I’ve not enjoyed, and just how things have changed, hopefully for the better. I’m currently laying in bed with a wicked case of acid reflux thanks to far too much Christmas food, so what better time to ramble?

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