‹ nikblogs

A new blog (again)

Apr 06, 2020

warning, this blog entry has a lot of terribly boring platform/app talk that you can probably skim through or skip entirely. i promise that future versions won’t be like this. thanks, love you!

I think I’m addicted to making blogs. For whatever reason, every year or two, I make another one. I’ve never been a super consistent blogger, so it usually means that I want to end a hiatus from writing by bursting back into the blogosphere, only to discover that I no longer like whatever my most recent blog looks and feels like.

My last few blogs were on Tumblr, Medium (not really a blog, just a bad platform), Wordpress.com (not self-hosted), and blogspot, so I wanted to finally feel like a real blogger and host myself. Thankfully, technology has come a long way, and doing that is easier than ever before. In less than 30 minutes, I was able to go from nothing to a deployed blog on a subdomain by using a site builder called Hugo (and a theme called Rocinante) and deploying via Netlify. I’ve wanted to self-host a blog, with Wordpress or something else for the longest time, but I never really got around to it. That’s what led me to having a Squarespace site for a year and not wanting to pay for anything else. Squarespace’s blogging offering was also pretty weak, so I’m glad to finally be on the other side of that.

My plans for this blog are to

  1. migrate some of my older posts from my tumblr over
  2. figure out how to get my new RSS feed working perfectly
  3. actually customize this theme to be something more interesting
  4. use this blog for the foreseeable future!

We’ll see how it pans out, but at worst, I’ll have a bunch of blog posts saved on Github as Markdown files that I can easily move to other places. My biggest issues with my other writing sources is how awful they are to work with. Mailchimp is just a disgusting behemoth that I continue to work with because they’re the only platform that give me any creative control over the appearance of my emails! Wordpress had okay exporting and Tumblr did as well, but I don’t love the idea of having to write python scripts just to be able to import my blog posts into different platforms, but that’s neither here nor there.

Before I started this, I had begun working on a blog to house my newsletter outside of Mailchimp’s horrible UI. Essentially, I’m self-creating an individual version of Substack because I think it’s the Medium of newsletters. Around that time, I started to get excited about the prospect of having a blog I could post on regularly! But I didn’t get around to it until I re-recommended that Robin Sloan post I’m obsessed with:

A blogger can simply

  1. love a thing, and
  2. write about it.

I realized that I could only go for so long pouring my heart out with love for blogs without actually having an active blog. So here it is! Ya blog boy is BACK and ready to SHARE stuff I LIKE.