SH Sean Harding/blog
Mundane blogging update
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I’m sure most of you don’t really care about this, but the changes are visible enough that I thought I should say something. Also, I couldn’t come up with anything more interesting to write about to test this out…

Before I get into the boring stuff, I’ll warm you up with a picture of our new kitty Toby. One feature of my new blog setup is big pictures (sorry if you have a tiny monitor)!


Anyway… When I first started blogging (back when I was still refusing to use the word “blog,” and when most people had no idea what it meant), I cobbled together a really simple home-made blogging system. Eventually I moved onto another home-made setup, then to Movable Type, then I took a break from it all, then to MySpace (yeah, yeah) and then on to WordPress. I’ve been using WordPress for the last few years, and it’s been working ok. But it’s very complex and requires a lot of maintenance (if you don’t keep up with security fixes, you’re doomed to be hacked). So I decided to throw in the towel on that and try something different. I’ve come full-circle, and have again written my own blog software.

Most of the blogging systems out there are way too complex for my needs. I don’t need multiple authors, categories, a search engine, plugins, fancy WYSIWYG editors, themes or trackbacks. I probably don’t even really need comments (more on that in a sec). All those extra features add complexity, security risks and usability problems. There are some simpler options, like Tumblr. I very seriously considered Tumblr, but there were a few things I didn’t like. It looked like it would be very hard to import all my old posts and keep the existing links working without having to set up a bunch of redirects. They limited the size of photos to a smaller size than I want. Etc., etc. I could make it work, but it seemed like it would take almost as much effort as just doing my own thing (since my needs are so simple).

Now, about the comments… Comments are a pain. The vast majority of the comments I get are spam. I really thought about just skipping comments entirely. But I decided to experiment with outsourcing my comments to Disqus. If I decide I don’t like it, I may turn it off at any moment. You can always email me if you really need to tell me something.

I’m experimenting with a couple of other things here too. I’m using fonts from TypeKit, for example. If things are a little messed up, I apologize. If you’re using Internet Explorer and the site looks bad, I don’t apologize. But if you find anything seriously broken (especially broken links), please let me know. I tried hard to keep all the existing links and stuff working as much as I could (category links don’t work anymore because I no longer have categories), but I’m sure something is going to be broken.

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