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An Architect's View

The Blog Is Dead. Long Live The Blog.

June 20, 2014 ·

I've become increasingly frustrated with blogging software. I use MangoBlog here. I used BlogCFC before that. I used WordPress before that (a long time ago - but I've worked with it for a few friends more recently). I just don't enjoy using any of it. Back in January, I toyed with the idea of using my Google+ account for blogging but that hasn't really worked out - because I don't much like Google+, even with all its improvements since I last tried using it. So I'm starting a new blog that doesn't need software to publish anything!

I'll keep this site running since there's a lot of legacy material here that is heavily linked but I won't be posting here any more. I'll probably add redirects to the new blog (with a link back here for Google-friendliness). The new blog probably won't have any CFML stuff on it since, well, I don't really do that any more. I'm still committed to maintaining and enhancing FW/1 - Framework One so don't worry about that but my blog is not really the best place for announcements about that: I'll continue to post to the mailing list and Twitter, and I'll probably set up a I have also set up as a blog and documentation site now that I've seen how is going to work.

Tags: blogging · coldfusion

11 responses

  • 1 Jim Priest // Jun 21, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Static blogs rule. Funny how we spent so much time making everything dynamic and complicated and then end up back with static HTML. :)

    I tried Octopress a while ago but had issues with Ruby on Windows. Moved to Pelican (Python) and have been very happy.
  • 2 andy matthews // Jun 21, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Jim, Cactus is a great option as well. It even has a Mac app for publishing should be you be into that.
  • 3 Sean Corfield // Jun 21, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    I didn't need to do anything with Ruby on Mac (of course) but I set Ruby 1.9.3 up on Windows 8.1 last night so I could work on the FW/1 site. It wasn't too painful: there's a Ruby installer and you also need the devkit (download, self-extract, add to PATH).
  • 4 Raymond Camden // Jun 22, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    I would also recommend HarpJS for folks looking for a good static blog/site solution.

    Curious - how are you handling the new site in terms of writing content and such. I know about GH Pages, but afaik it doesn't provide anything but the actual hosting. You aren't editing HTML by hand, are you?
  • 5 Raymond Camden // Jun 22, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    Oh - Jekyll I assume. :)
  • 6 Sean Corfield // Jun 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    Yeah, Jekyll, augmented by Octopress. That provides a better workflow and a lot more "bells and whistles" out of the box.
  • 7 Brian Ghidinelli // Jun 27, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    Sean, you might consider the implicit risk you're assuming by building SEO around a domain you don't control. I don't know if you can CNAME the domain, but I would be wary of investing professional effort in an address you don't control.
  • 8 Sean Corfield // Jun 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Well, right now Googling for Sean Corfield brings up that domain as the first result, followed by my Twitter account, followed by my page - and is fourth.

    And I'm not letting go of - I'm just not blogging there (er, here) any more. I don't want to CNAME it to the domain because I want all my old content to remain available and I don't want to migrate it.

    I consciously want my name / "brand" associated with the open source work I do on Github - so it makes sense from that point of view to host my blog there too, as a repository that I work on, and in published form.

    Do you think it's a risk to "build SEO" around your LinkedIn page? Your Twitter account? Your Facebook page?

    The fifth Google result is my LinkedIn page, the sixth is InfoQ (for the one sole talk I have published there) and the seventh is my Facebook page. So six results out of the top seven are domains I don't control.

    I do find it interesting that despite several people enthusing about how Google+ integrates with the Google ecosystem and is supposedly great for SEO, my Google+ page is nowhere to be found on the first four pages of Google's results!
  • 9 Brian // Jul 3, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    To the question about building SEO on facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc - yes, I think there's personal brand risk there. LinkedIn is probably the safest because their mission is related to professional careers. But remember on Facebook and Twitter, you are what they're selling. Facebook over the past 9 months has become almost useless unless you're doing paid ads - nobody sees your content. Someone from FB was quoted as saying you should expect over time to see your organic reach approach zero. That takes an incredible platform and makes it only valuable for those with pockets.

    Who knows what will become 5 years from now?
  • 10 Sean Corfield // Jul 4, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Your Facebook comment is valid for businesses - and I don't think I would bother with Facebook if I was a business trying to market to Facebook users, except as somewhere for customers to provide feedback and to respond publicly to it. I might still buy ad space in Facebook, the same as I'd buy Google ad space etc. But Facebook is about people, not businesses and having your Facebook page public and searchable seems to work just fine for _people_.

    Do you have an opinion on Google+? I've heard a lot of small businesses complain about Facebook and say they're all off to G+ - but certainly Google doesn't rank my profile highly (despite posting similar content independently there).

    Given the huge volume of software hosted on Github - and with used as a documentation hub for so much of that - I don't have much concern about it going away, although the company has only existed for six and a half years (only slightly more than half the time I've had this blog on
  • 11 Tof Albrech // Jul 11, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    My experience with authoring a blog is as limited as it is recent, but I thought I'd mention my setup here just because it is fairly uncommon.

    Really, it all started with Evernote. It's one my very favorite web apps and I use it to manage many aspects of my personal or professional life. I could go on and on about why and how, but for the sake of this post, it comes down to this:
    - On top of the web/mobile apps, there's a desktop one which you can throw anything at (or paste anything into). links, formatted-content, pictures, videos, pdf and what not.
    - a full API allowing for plugins and integrations of all sorts was leveraged last year by some smart guys who wrote an evernote-based blogging software called pistachio with it.

    It's all very easy to use, but probably far less flexible than popular apps. Basically, you nominate a notebook as your blog on the website, and each note in there becomes a blog-post automatically.

    I use google+ to repost manually only because it offers additional features and brings the google exposure to the table.

    Here's an example of the same blog-post in different format to give you an idea:

    The Evernote note in the desktop app: i[dot]imgur[dot]com[slash]toUqx8C[dot]png
    The Evernote note online: goo[dot]gl[slash]ucJDBO
    The corresponding blog post: goo[dot]gl[slash]PYMkLl
    The corresponding G+ post: goo[dot]gl[slash]hwY4xT
    The G+ bird'eye view: goo[dot]gl[slash]GnQV3V