Friday, April 17, 2020

New site, Newsletters, and Old Platforms

I've decided to start a solarpunk-type weekly newsletter called Beamspun because a) you can never have enough blogs, can you? and b) I clearly don't have the time for it right now. I figure if I can run a quick weekly post when things are chaotic, then surely it will get easier when we begin to get some routine back. Right? Riiiiight?

[Anyway, the newsletter is 'solarpunkish', but I'm aiming for a bit more of a mix of practical things around reducing energy, drawing on renewables, considering our sources, but also more around the more spiritual and mystical nature of living in accordance with the earth and the universe that bears us. So it overlaps with the old Empty Technology thread and Taopunk, of course. Everything is connected.]

But this post is part announcement, and part musing. In particular, why did I choose to start the new blog on blogger.com?

I mean, there are at least 3 newsletter services and softwares out there which I was going to try, in addition to the option of running something more 'modern' like Wordpress. What gives?

I started on Blogger back in July 2003, apparently. I've used it to run a few blogs over the years, as well as said Wordpress. I self-host my work weeknotes on Wordpress on a Raspberry Pi, for instance. It works, for the most part. It could do it.

It feels ... antiquated to run up a new blogger.com site. Google don't have a great track record in keeping services going. Blogger doesn't get much love or attention these days. Am I just middle-aged and stuck-in-my-ways? Am I even nostalgic?

To break it down, there were a few requirements I had in mind for the new blog:

  • People need to subscribe to posts via e-mail
  • People need to subscribe to posts via RSS or Atom - this is important for me, at least
  • I like running blogs under a subdomain of exmosis.net these days
  • I don't want to pay money?
The requirements were slightly different to other outlets I have - I want to ensure uptime, I don't really need to email in (which I often do for shorter posts, via mobile), etc.

So I went with blogger.com because it was a pretty minimal viable setup, and I could get it up and running in less than an hour, including feedburner setup and integration for email subscriptions, and adding a custom subdomain with HTTPS enabled. All went super smooth.

I do still worry about Google taking blogger.com away, and yes, I do still prefer to self-host. But blogger.com seems to be outlasting all their other social efforts like even Google+. It's like a rock which has stood since the roman days of the internet, and you don't even need to pay for it, or run ads? (Tell me if you see ads. I have adblockers switched on all over the place.)

I'd better go and find something wooden to touch now. Ulp.

So yeah, blogger.com. Oddly, it's still there, and still does what I want. WTF?

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