Wow, it’s been a long time since I blogged anything. Blogging turns out to be one of those things that is easy to keep not doing, but over time I found out that I missed it. So I decided to try and do it again.
Why did I stop?
I don’t think it was one reason. The generic answer is that I didn’t feel like I had anything interesting to say, but I still seem to opinionate a lot, so that couldn’t have been all of it.
I really wasn’t enjoying writing software for a while. This may or may not be correlated to working with Typescript. Time will tell on that one as I plan to do more React in the future.
I also hated my personal devices. An annoying personal computer is a hurdle for a passion project. The screwy back-end infrastructure only added to the woes. A failed ubuntu upgrade left the blog unbuildable. Blogging involves publishing and that required a lot of technical work.
Then there was getting caught up in the marketing things. What was this blog really about? How does it related to my personal brand? What is the audience I’m trying to reach and how does that impact my career?
Another, somewhat embarrassing reason, is that I allowed social media to suck up so much of my time. My feeds were perfectly tuned to give me the doom scrolling dopamine hits that prevented creative energy. Thanks to Elon and Steve, that problem has gone away.
Why am I starting again?
Really it started because the blog was broken. Thanks again to Elon, the email form pointing to Revue (bought by Twitter and subsequently shut down) no longer worked. There were also some CSS bugs that looked awful and probably reflected badly on me.
As I started trying to get it rebuilt I realized that I used to find this fun and I had been keeping it going for a very long time. It’s a part of my digital identity, for whatever that’s worth.
As I started rebuilding, I started having thoughts again and decided they were worth sharing.
So I’m back.
While I’m back, it was also time for a reset. The biggest changes are under the hood, with a whole new infrastructure setup powered by terraform and ansible, and completely hosted on AWS. I upgraded Ruby and Jekyll as well. It feels nice to be running on a modernized stack.
I got rid of the old email list. I don’t think anyone wants a surprise email from a random blogger they signed up for years ago.
On the subject of email, I had gone from Mailchimp to Revue. Revue got shutdown so I’m giving buttondown a try.
I also fixed a bunch of the CSS bugs, updated the about me, and made little text changes throughout.
Another change is that I got rid of all the tracking, besides the defaults given by Cloudfront and the email service. Not knowing anything about audience is freeing. I can make this personal site actually about me.
I’ve decided to hold myself accountable for writing something and that’s it. If the post is rambly, so be it. Ship it!
It doesn’t have a consistent voice or does not fit thematically with other content? Doesn’t matter, publish! Nobody reads it? Great!
Lots of people read it? Also great! It gets on Hacker News and there’s a long thread on how engineers can’t write. Well everyone gets an opinion!
So anyway I’m going to try for a more than once-a-year cadence with a heavy emphasis on tech topics. I’m probably going to post snippets on Linkedin for most things. If you want notifications, I am going to publish everything into buttondown.
I hope to see you here again (but I won’t actually know unless you tell me).