Version 4.0

“Woah! What happened? Why is everything all stripped down?”

I've decided to move to a new platform. Write Freely offers a new experience and, while it's not as flashy, the stripped down model works well for what I want to do with the site going forward.

Truth is, you don't really need all the bells and whistles if you're publishing to the #fediverse. The idea is that data which is interoperable with a number of different layouts or allows the data to be manipulated in any number of different ways makes your content easier to consume.

Plus, I've spent a lot of time researching and thinking about whether to go with something like #11ty, do a full #reactjs setup (because that's what I learned and spent my money on), or go with something entirely different like Ghost... I could continue to spend my time doing research, but that means I'm not actually writing.

As far as blogging platforms, Write Freely and Ghost were the two I was leaning toward. The differences are why I chose to go with Write Freely.

“What are the differences between Write Freely and Ghost?”

Quite a number of things. For starters Write Freely is written in Go and Ghost is a Node.js application.

While Ghost more or less tends to be a cross between traditional Wordpress and Substack, it also is entirely up to you to build an audience, there's no way for it to interact with the greater internet.

Write Freely is built with the fediverse in mind and uses ActivityPub to allow content to be shared across all kinds of different servers and environments.

“Why not just focus on writing for/on Medium or SubStack?”

Originally, I wanted to go with hosting my own instance of something—and I was thinking of building a static replica of the old in eleventy—but then the benefits versus the price came into play. As much as I would prefer noodling around and administering a Node.js backend, or pushing changes to a git repository that then triggered Netlify to do it's thing, all of that stuff would probably keep me from writing.

But moving to Medium or Substack was a though that I had. I already have a Medium account, and they can do custom URLs... But they can't federate your content (or they choose not to do so as a tactic to keep you in the walled garden).

I'm REALLY into the idea of the fediverse and decentralized social media right now. The organic nature of the way information spreads, it reminds me of the old internet, BBS systems and the like. And there are some really cool progressive web applications that are coming out of this movement. Write Freely is almost there, I'd say that technically it is, even if installing the editor to a desktop isn't a simple one-click operation.

With SubStack, I don't know how to build an audience there, and I don't want to be just another random name in a sea of random names. I'm already active on #Mastodon, and the people I follow, and who follow me all seem like really good people.

“Will you continue writing posts in the same style?”

I don't think so... I might keep doing short lists of different articles I've found interesting, but I'm going to try and focus my writing a little more.

The last version of the site gave me somethings to think about. The metrics about which articles were popular have given me some ideas on how I'm going to try and proceed.

That being said, I might end up porting some of the old posts over to the new platform; specifically the ones that did really well on the last incarnation.

“Hey! Aren't you missing some posts?”

Yes and no. I've gone through this before. Nothing is ever truly deleted from the internet. Once you've put your data on someone else's computer, just assume that a copy has been made that you cannot control.

That being said, if there articles that I go back to that I enjoy reading now, I might port them over to this new format. All of my posts are going to be in Markdown format going forward for the foreseeable future, so I might consider re-writing or remastering some of my old writing for this incarnation of the site. If there is a specific post that you want to see again in the new format, just let me know. You'll notice I did bring the fiction with me. Looking to increase that segment of my writing, but I know how I am.

“What font does this site use?”

B612. You can find out more about why I chose it from this Mastodon thread. Someone suggested it because it was originally developed as a cockpit font by Airbus. I've found that it works really well for my terminal. Because of that, I've grown fond of it, and thought it would be a good regular reading font as well.