Sometime last year I discovered that the blog I previously hosted at this address had become slowly riddled with spam links due to a security flaw in a Wordpress extension. I had been dutifully posting to it since 2002, as raw html and then as a Blogger site, finally as Wordpress. The spam was insidious- nothing overt enough to gain my attention at first, years-old posts were having random words linked to spam sites. I was able to fix the security problems, but the amount of effort it would have taken to scrub the posts of the links was too much for me to consider. Also, as I was flipping through the posts, I had an impulse to flush them all out and start fresh.
The landscape of online content has been radically changed in the last twelve years by the social-media/advertising model- RSS and feedreaders were largely killed off, lots of independent blogs were abandoned. It disturbs me a lot how many layers of advertisers and gatekeepers a piece of news or a page goes through before it finally gets seen on social media. Anybody with a sore wallet and a bone to pick can make it disappear. Considering that it’s now sort of like yodeling alone on a desert island, a self-hosted blog almost needs some justification to exist, the most common being software developers posting technical articles. My reason for wanting to maintain a self-hosted blog is that I don’t like providing free content for someone else’s advertising scheme. That, and also I am an incredibly interesting person and you should drop what you are doing and hang on my every word.
These posts are being generated by a static site generator called Jekyll. Markdown documents on my iPad, phone, and computer all sync to my server via Dropbox, and are automatically build into pages by Jekyll. I’m looking into weird extra automated posting that I can do using Dropbox hooks in IFTTT and Workflow. We’ll see what I come up with.