We’re seven months into our Cosmic Maelstrom and we have started writing blogging software. What the why?!
First, let me say that, yes, I do realize there are probably 100s of blog software options out there. In terms of static-site generators (SSGs) alone, there are probably fifteen or twenty options. There are big behemoths like WordPress, and there are exciting newer options like Bear Blog and Write.as. There are maturing things in between like Micro.blog and Blot.im. And there are just-starting ideas like Postcard and Scribbles. What could we possibly add to this conversation?
To be honest, I’m not sure. I have tried many of the above options before and always struggled to keep up with them. SSGs have been too fiddly (we use one for this very blog and several of us just don’t enjoy the process). Micro.blog probably comes closest to working for me. It has a wonderful community, but it’s always been a little hard for me to grock, and building my site template with Hugo just doesn’t interest me.
My favorite version of my site was when I was running a simple Ruby app, logging in with a hard-coded password, and just posting Markdown text. Recently I have tried an HTML-only version of blogging, and while that was kind of fun/kitsch, well, it’s a pain to manage.
So I want a blog/site, I don’t want to use SSGs, I don’t want to deal with complex templating engines, and I don’t quite fit with what the existing offerings offer. So why are we writing blog software? Because I decided that I want to rewrite the software running my website and I figured maybe some group of people out there will like the way I want to run my site. Will this work for others like me, people who have a “just so” idea about what their site should look like and include? Probably not! But it might work for others whose tastes and preferences just so happen to overlap with my tastes and preferences.
I have been blogging for nearly twenty years. In those early days blogging was my social network, and I’m hoping those days are in our futures. It would have been silly of me to spend 2023 in this Cosmic Maelstrom and not attempted to build a little blogging/site platform. So the question wasn’t really why, but rather why not.
It’s wonderful that there are a number of new blogging platforms coming online, and it’s great that some of the slow-growers are growing a bit faster now. Publishing online is a wonderful activity. The more options available make it more likely that there is an option for everyone. Let’s keep building!