Why Here, Why Now?


So this is my blog/website. I’ve wanted to have my own non-Twitter, non-Tumblr, non-Facebook website for a while now but haven’t been able to pull the trigger. I’ve wanted to make one but have had two main problems, 1) what I should write about and 2) where to put it. I’ve figured those out.

What I write about here

I’m going to use this site to write about things that I’m learning. Specifically, I want to learn more about programming, computers, programming languages, writing, operating systems, math, and some other topics. I’m going to make a concerted effort to learn about these things and write about them here. I’m sure that I’ll write about some of my other interests as well, but I’d like to push myself to keep it on topic. I’ll keep the intended audience small: I’m writing to me.

Why I host it here

As of this writing (March 2016), there are a gazillion places to host a website or personal blog. Currently, Medium is the place to go if you want to write medium-length articles. However, there are two main reasons that I don’t want it hosted on a third party service.

As free Interet services age, they change. These changes are always designed to attract more users. The changes can be great for both the service and the users, or they could alienate older users. It seems risky to make something that I care about onto a service that is not 100% dedicated to serving it. I don’t mind putting my quips on Twitter, but this site isn’t intended for tweets. I’ll be spending considerably more time writing these articles and I want to know the site itself is in service to that.

What am I using to host it? I’ve settled on Jekyll, which means that I can write in Markdown using Emacs (!important) and host it just about anywhere. Currently it’s hosted on S3 with Cloudfront.

The drawback

Hosting this as a stand-alone website in a world where people don’t check websites anymore could be risky. It’s going to be hard for my writing to find an audience without any built-in social network (like you’d get on Medium). I’m OK with that. As of this writing (still March 2016), the intended audience for this website is one person. Audience growth is not the goal.

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