I’ve been blogging for years. Now, when I say years, I don’t mean that I’ve been consistently blogging for all those year. It all started for me when I graduated High School. It was a warm summers day in Oklahoma and I wanted to work on something. At the time I had never written a single line of code or even knew what HTML was for that matter. I explored a few options for starting a blog and finally settled on Blogger.
That first blog was terrible. If I remember correctly, it was red text on a black background. A great combination if you want to piss of everyone who looks at it. I sucked at writing, not that I’m much better now. I just brain dumped into that text input box. I had one reader, thanks Mom. But it was a good outlet to let me voice my opinions. It went reasonably well for the summer and into my first year of school.
When I dropped out of college, for the first time, and went to work I was on the road a lot. I began writing more, posting pictures from my travels, still into that crapy red text black background blog. That fell off when I went to work of an electronics company you’ve heard of. They didn’t want me taking about working there and that’s what I was used to writing about. Near the end of my time there, I got into web development and I decided that it was time to start another blog. Enter Wordpress.
Wordpress powered my “technology company you’ve heard of blog” for about a year. I only posted about once a month and it wasn’t very good, but I was happy with it. Once I started “programing” I decided to write my own blogging engine. I began building one in PHP. I had no idea how dumb of an idea it was at the time, and I was new to programing so it was a great learning experience. It wasn’t anything fancy but it was mine.
I began writing again and quite enjoyed the experience. It was fun and I could do some cool things running my own platform. It evolved over the year, and was completely rewritten at least twice. After a while I got tired of maintaining it and considered moving back to Wordpress. Someone recommended I try Tumblr, so I gave that a whirl. Tumblr is a great service, and I still recommend it to anyone who just want to “put things online.” But the itch was still there to have something of my own.
I was beginning to pay closer attention to the development scene, and all I was hearing was how awesome Ruby on Rails was. I decided to give it a try, but I needed a project. That’s when I decided to create my own blog again. It was slow going, but eventually I learned enough Rails to get something out the door. Just like my first PHP blog, it was bad, but it was mine. I hacked on that for a few year. In fact I deployed a few changes to it just a week ago. Sure it was rewritten more than the PHP site, but that’s what I do. I hack on thing and try to make them better.
It was a great solution. Easy to iterate on. I had complete control, and it was great place to try out new things. But I didn’t want to pay Heroku money to keep it spun up all the time, and I’m a firm believer that having to wait 10 seconds for a page to load is unacceptable. I looked at deploying to EC2 or something like it, but it just seemed like to much hassle to get it up and running on a VM.
This weekend I decided it was time to do something about the blog. I know a few guys that use Octopress. I took a look at that and decided I wanted something a little simpler. Ocotpress is a Jekyll framework so I decided why not give Jekyll a shot. I was in love.
Again I have complete control over my blog. It’s static so there are very little concerns about performance, and I can use GitHub to host it. For me it’s the very best solution possible. I couldn’t be happier.