Having a blog has always been a hobby of mine. I never found my way to writing consistently but I enjoyed the act of choosing a technology, customizing it, and deploying it. Over the years I moved from Blogger to WordPress, to a very early version of Ghost, before finally ending up with a static Hugo site.
I never amassed more than a dozen posts on any one platform and rarely felt that anything written had enough lasting impact that it warranted being migrated between services. Each iteration was a fun exercise in scratching a technical itch and a failed commitment to publish more often.
Recently, thanks in large part to turning over my brain to Obsidian, I have been writing a lot more. For the first time, I had plenty of thoughts written down that were a few revisions away from a solid blog post. When I started working through the publishing process on my Hugo blog I was left wanting a more refined tool.
I loved writing blog posts in Markdown using tools I love (Neovim) and workflows that are second nature to me (git). With some technical know-how or the willingness to follow one of the many guides, you can have a site set up and deploy to the host of your choice quickly.
Static sites are also very cheap to host, very fast to load (usually), and easy to customize.
In the end though if you desire to grow and brand or expand beyond just traditional blog posting things get complicated quickly. As I sat down to start publishing my writing again I adjusted my approach. The last time I replatformed my blog my life was completely different. I was married but I had no kids. I was managing a single team and my day-to-day life was just less complex. Now I am 8 years older and I have become much more aware of how I am spending my time, energy, and focus.
Ghost was a platform I had used briefly when it first launched. It was very rough at the time. The editor wasn’t very good and themes and customization options were extremely limited. I eventually moved on to a static site but I continued to monitor the platform's progress.
In the years since I last used the platform it has come a long way. Editing, scheduling, and posting are much easier.SEO has improved. Sites are still fast and there is always the option to self-host should you desire to do so.
The ability to self-host is huge even though I am not using it at this time. I dislike platforms like Substack and Medium that own my data and potential audience.
The big motivator for moving was that Ghost has provided an onramp to further growth and community building. Something I am not sure I want right now but it is much more likely that I decide to test the waters with communities and newsletters if the options are trivial to implement.
The software engineer inside still itches to roll my own or heavily customize a static site but the mature engineering leader I’ve become is screaming loudly about pragmatism and focusing on the projects that are of high value.
So here we are. Welcome to this iteration of my site. It isn’t quite finished yet but you have to start somewhere.