New year, new website (backend)
It’s a new year, so it must be time for new web connections! Well, I finally decided to shift from a hosted Wordpress site to go all in on micro.blog.
It was fairly easy to migrate, just following the instructions. Things already feel easier and less complicated.
Why did I decide to make this change?
- I need a simpler system for online writing. It’s been clear for some time that Wordpress was holding me back. I know: “poor workers blame their tools”, and obviously there’s something wrong with me if I can’t just log in to Wordpress and write a line or two from time to time. But really, it felt as though the user interface was presenting a psychological barrier. Every time I logged in it seemed the WordPress UX had got more complex. Anyway, that’s my excuse. I’m hoping that a switch entirely to micro.blog hosting will help the writing to flow a bit better.
- I like the IndieWeb. Although I had some Indieweb plug-ins set up on my Wordpress site, it didn’t feel as though they were getting much use. The Musky shenanigans at Twitter have made it even clearer that independence on the web is essential and that the true social network is the web itself. Switching to micro.blog will hopefully connect me better, and if I ever change my mind, there’s no lock-in.
- Updating the app feels like a chore. When I checked my hosting dashboard it was clear that there were several insecurities caused by a lack of updating. I just hadn’t gotten around to it for ages. But really, I don’t have much interest in which version of PHP I’m supposed to be using, or what version the plug-ins are - so I’d rather not think about this side of things. If micro.blog can do this for me, I’m not complaining.
- I also quite like Mastodon. Micro.blog has a certain amount of compatability with Mastodon, through the activitypub protocol. So I plan to try that out.
- Writing in Markdown syntax has become more and more intuitive to me, despite its limitations, and I like the relative simplicity of static sites. Micro.blog uses Hugo as its site generator, so now I’m now using Markdown to create static pages.
Look, I’m not really complaining about WordPress. I like it, and Automattic isn’t Apple/Facebook/Google/Twitter/Amazon, so there’s that. If I had to choose a dictator to rule the world, Matt Mullenweg would be on my shortlist. It’s not Wordpress, it’s me. I’m ready for a change.
Writing about reading
Also, I’m making a commitment to writing about my reading in 2023.
I love reading. Each year I read about 30-40 books and this year I’ll be writing about it here. There’ll soon be a ‘reading’ category at the top of the webpage. Why am I doing this?
- for motivation, and
- to leave a record, sharing what I know and
- to encourage you, dear reader, to stop scrolling and go read a good book.
Micro.blog has a series of companion apps, one of which is Epilogue. You can set an annual reading goal and every time you blog about a title you’ve finished, your goal moves one step closer to completion.
Micro.blog also has some other great book-related features, including a handly bookshelf, and this is one of the things that made me want to switch.
I keep a private TiddlyWiki Zettelkasten in which I already reflect on my reading, so the only real change is in making it public.
So that’s what’s new. But don’t worry, whatever happens I’ll still be writing slowly.