I have been meaning to update my personal site for a while, but you know how that goes. I put a quick portfolio site up late last year using the popular Squarespace platform, but knew I’d eventually want to roll something custom.
Well I finally buckled down and built something that will not only be quick and lightweight, but cheap to host and easy to maintain.
I was looking for a platform that I could write and publish blog posts as well as host my portfolio without having to mess with something heavy and database dependent like Wordpress.
I’ve been wanting to start writing for a few years, but especially for the past six months or so. In that time period I transformed the way I consume design and tech content, and as a result have been exposed to much more content originating from personal blogs.
It was incredibly inspiring to discover that many experts1 in tech and design have massive readerships despite not being part of a major website or publication network. I also found myself agreeing with their opinions quite often, but even when I didn’t I found myself wanting to write and share my opinion as well.
I can’t guarantee that my opinions will always be original or even right all the time, but I intend for this new site to act as a chronicle of my thoughts on tech and design with some general life stuff sprinkled here and there.
This site is made possible by a number of new-ish technologies which I’ll explain in depth in another post, but the three key components that made me choose2 this workflow are:
- Jekyll: An open source static site generator created by the co-founder of Github, Tom Preston-Werner.
- Markdown: A dead simple markup language. You’ve probably seen it used in the comments sections of Reddit, Stack Overflow, and elsewhere.
- Github Pages: If you’re doing anything non-trivial in web and/or software development, you’re more than likely familiar with the source control technology Git and a popular hosting and management service for it called Github. They offer free lightweight hosting to members that is — as far as I’ve read — reliable and quick.
What this means is rather than having to use a web interface or an app, I can write my blog on basically any device and format it using simple markdown syntax. I’m actually sitting in bed typing this on my iPad.3
I’ve been accumulating topics that I’ve wanted to write about for the past few months and am excited by the prospect of being able to share my thoughts with friends, family, or really anyone who might find them interesting or inspiring.
Anyway, thanks for visiting and reading this unnecessarily lengthy intro post, and feel free to follow me on Twitter where I’m @burnedpixel.
They’d probably prefer to be referred to as enthusiasts. I intend to write another post specifically highlighting many of the folks I’ve enjoyed reading recently. For now, here are the names of a few I whole heartedly recommend the writing (and work) of:
Okay, I’m sort of cheating with a bluetooth keyboard. It’s the little aluminum Apple one which I have a love-hate relationship with…ugh that’s a topic for another post as well. Adios!↩