14 April 2019
So, many years ago I used to keep a Tumblr. Even when the site was bought by Yahoo I still kept posting content, but after a while it felt like the place was dying. I kept constantly hitting strange bugs with the site and after a while it dawned on me that all this content from my life was trapped in a bottle just so that it could be monetized by a fading company.
During the same period of time I also kept a blog on Ghost. They’re still going strong, but their pricing wasn’t inline with what I was prepared to pay to host my thoughts and so after a while I stopped using that too. Yes I could of ported my content over to a self hosted instance of Ghost, and you know what? I did try that. It just turned out that my old theme wasn’t really compatible with the new version of Ghost plus I would of needed to massage the downloaded backup in order to use it.
Do you see where this is going? Whole chunks of my life were being trapped and forgotten because of rotting technology platforms and poor migration options. So that’s when I decided to take a piece of my own advice. Years ago I was a Technical Architect on the Ministry of Justice new intranet project, then later on their cross government publishing platform. One of the things I insisted on was that all the content was in Markdown format. Yes, it meant there was a little bit more work than sticking the propriatary output of some commercial CMS WYSIWIG editor, but it meant that the content was portable without the need of API’s or a bolt on abstraction layer. In years to come as the platform evolved, the content would be portable and still fit for use. Something I wouldn’t of said about the previous content we had to clean, massage and port over into the new system.
This is why my blog’s a hosted instance of Jekyll. Yes, it involves a little bit of work on my part. I don’t have the nice in browser editor that I had in Ghost, but at least my content isn’t locked in or used by an entity such as Medium for monetization.
I was a little bit retiscent to also use this blog as my Tumblr replacement but too, but you know what? It’s better on here than anywhere else so expect to see more random posts as I upload my random thoughts and brain farts.