After some years of self-hosted statically-generated websites, I am back with the love of my life that is WordPress.com. Reasons are as follows:
- I deal with technical problems 8 hrs a day. I don’t want to troubleshoot CI, AWS, SSL or whatever other issues that stop my website from being successfully built or deployed in my free time.
- I cannot stress this enough but the new editor that WP 5.0 comes with is just amazing. I ❤️ it so much that I don’t want to be writing markdown anymore, even if it means I can’t compose my posts in vim. (does anyone really want to write blog posts in vim?)
- WordPress.com’s personal plan is actually amazingly good value considering what you get for the money.
- I’m not a designer, I can’t frontend well. Themes I was able to find for my static generators didn’t please me, and I want my website to look good.
So there, I’m not a hacker anymore. But hopefully I’ll become an amateurish writer again.
I started blogging quite a long time ago, in 2006. The first platform I used was Polish Jogger — a blogging engine centered around Jabber (aka XMPP) protocol. It was very cool (and unique) at the time, you could interact with your blog via IM (posting new entries, replying to comments), and it gathered a specific crowd of open-source/linux/free software enthusiasts which made for a nice community. My blog at the time was called Das Nichts, and it was like most other blogs at that time — about everything. It was written in Polish and my audience were mostly friends from high school and college. Das Nichts later moved to WordPress, and finally evolved into a tumblr, but in 2009 I stopped writing it, considering it too childish and wanting to switch to English.
I did. I created Sound and Complete, a blog in English, and hosted it on WordPress.com. I tried writing about more technical subjects (linux and free software and the like), but quickly realized there’s a ton and a half technical blogs on the internet written by people closer to interesting communities (in my case free software communities), with deeper knowledge, and more engaged into certain projects. Obviously I could have become one of those people, but I was just about to start a PhD in logic, so my efforts concentrated more on modal logic, model theory, recursion theory etc. I figured that perhaps I could write about academic subjects, but I ran into trouble. With academic subjects (and logic/mathematics especially) you can either write introductory posts about things you know/you’re learned (but that’s a bit boring and not really something people want to read; modal logic is not as exciting as quantum physics, so it’s hard to become Brian Cox), or you can try publishing posts about details of your work. The latter is definitely more tempting, but in practice not really feasible, because it requires looong texts, lots of technicalities and it’s best suited for academic papers. So I ended up writing about everything again, just like in college. And that’s in principle ok, as long as there aren’t as many social network users as there are today.
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