My Saturday plans got rained out, so I decided to use my time stuck indoors to try something new. I set up a DigitalOcean account, installed Ghost on a droplet, and started this new blog.
I’ve been curious about Ghost since its Kickstarter days, and I’ve been meaning to try novice-level server administration since last spring, when I read Marco Arment’s post Web Hosting for App Developers. This part stuck with me:
Today, the ability to sanely and economically run a web back-end is a basic requirement for a lot more developers, and it’s only going to become more necessary in the future.
The vast majority of my experience with building and maintaining websites is on the front end. A big chunk of it is on completely closed systems, like Blogger and e-commerce platforms, where I have no access to the backend at all. The closest I got to “server administration” before now was copy & pasting my way through some .htaccess incantations on WordPress installs.
So it was weird and mysterious and kind of exhilarating to start up a droplet and SSH into it to set up my site with no GUI to guide me.
It was also surprisingly painless. Thanks to the excellent documentation and tutorials from both DigitalOcean and Ghost, I had a running installation in less than an hour, including time spent trying on a bunch of different themes (I settled on the default, Casper, but I know it won’t be long before I’m tinkering with a custom theme).
I put a collection of links that helped me in my Pinboard, along with notes on what was going on when I needed them.
So, What’s the Plan for This Blog?
I’m going to use this blog to share more about what I’m thinking, learning, and doing. Often those things will be tech-related, but sometimes they won’t. The main point of this blog is for me to have a place to share more without really tailoring what I’m sharing to a specific audience.
I thought about doing this as a TinyLetter, but I kept thinking about all the TinyLetters I mean to read by never do (side note: there needs to be some kind of way to flip through all your TinyLetters in one place, kinda like a magazine. Is there a way? You’d tell me if there was, right?).
I also considered writing on Medium, but after a long time blogging on Blogger I felt like it was probably time to find my way out of the silos and onto my own indie thing.
So, here I am with my new blog. We’ll see where it goes!