March 9, 2024

Internet Craftsmen

Luxury Media

While the “creator economy” was painted as an internet-native phenomenon, the people we’re talking about when we use the word “creator” are largely defined by their distribution rather than their work. Videos, podcasts, blogs – there’s nothing about these media that depend on the internet. Instead, the internet created a way to easily publish and share their content.

Meanwhile, there’s a whole class of folks whose craft is defined by the web. These internet craftsmen are taking advantage of the form and physics of the internet, building a brand around a type of work or art that wouldn’t be possible without the web’s existence.

Take Judah – Judah designed and built this website for me, and runs a studio called WEBCRAFT where he just builds personal websites. He says one his own site:

I want to make beautiful websites. I want to make messy websites. I want to make websites that feel like a cozy attic. I want to make elegant websites. I want to make painstakingly hand-crafted websites. I want to make unreasonably intricate websites.

To Judah, building websites is a craft, and it’s a craft that wouldn’t be possible without taking full advantage of all the internet has to offer. (P.S. I’d highly recommend working with him if you’re looking to design a new personal site – he’s goated).

Chia also builds websites, taking a much more art-forward approach. While one could argue that their philosophies on the web overlap, Chia’s work differs from Judah’s in that it often strays from what’s practical. Chia’s work is meant to be felt, Judah’s is meant to be used, but the two are never mutually exclusive.

One could argue that there are certain “indie hackers” and “digital entrepreneurs” who could be described as internet craftsmen. Or even the Hyperlink Academy squad. Or Visa. They have a distinct taste that comes through in their work, and they take advantage of the unique power of the internet to bring it to fruition.

Eventually, I’ll try to clearly articulate the difference between “creator” and “internet craftsmen,” but it feels obvious in my head. There’s a networked soul that comes through in their work. I hope to discover more of them.