After a ton of thinking about it and very little doing about it, I’ve relaunched this little version of a blog - started in 2008! - as a static site, built on Jekyll. It’s a simple site design, but my two goals are:
Write more frequently. This new setup lets me open a text document and start writing, without logging into a blogging service, and do most of the publishing without any other dependencies
Own my own content. I’ve been spending this semester preaching to a group of college kids that they should take the opportunity to control their own corner of the internet, and not rely on a big silicon valley service that can own their stuff, or change it, or discontinue it when their funding runs out, or get hacked and lose your stuff. This new setup is a static site generator, where I can write content once, publish it to the web as a static set of html, and then walk away. It’s the most reliable way that I can think of, short of hand-coding every possible view.
Granted, I introduced a new dependency - Jekyll is a gem that executes ruby and so there’s a bit of setup and I’ll be relying on it staying up to date, and I barely understand what it’s doing. But at least the output is static HTML, which I understand pretty well.
I’ve had a site up and running at mattkirkland.com for almost fifteen years now. I doubt this setup could run for ten more, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.