Reviving the Blog

January 2, 2024

It is purely by chance that this is happening today, as I have been working on this for awhile. New Year’s seems as good as any day to revive my blog officially. Who knows how much I will actually post, but having my own site where it is even possible makes it way more likely than not having that. The last year, I have seen a bit of a revival in the blogging world. Things like Twitter X becoming a disaster, enjoying my time on Mastodon, and following quite a few more personal blogs started giving me the itch again. Honestly, I have been wanting to do this for awhile now, but two things mentally blocked me.

First, finding the right tool for the blog. Being in web development, there are lot of different ways to create a web site. Spending all of my work time using Drupal, it could definitely do the job. The biggest challenge is finding a place to host the site. I don’t want to pay for shared hosting that is terrible or manage my own VPS or anything like that. I love the ease of use with something like Netlify where I can push an update to a repo and be done with deployment.

Over the last few years, I have tinkered with all sorts of static site generators (SSG), Jekyll, Hugo, Gatsby and Eleventy, but none of them fit me well. They are all great tools, but just didn’t click with me. Gatsby was the closest, but I actually preferred it for something more data heavy like my Bowl Report site. The built-in GraphQL engine worked great for that, but seemed like overkill for a blog and some of my other one-off pages.

In the last year, Astro grew in popularity and I decided to take it for a spin. Specifically, the Content Collections feature caught my eye. It fit in the sweet spot of not being too heavy but let me do the filtering easily that I wanted. Over the last couple of months, I have slowly been rebuilding my site using it and really enjoying the process.

Finding the right tool was great, but I needed to get over the second issue. See, I have owned a domain for my personal web site since at least 2004. I started with, then moved to, then back to again. At one point in there, I even had the terrible pun domain, which was pointing to a web server hosted in my partment. However, through all of these changes and transitions, content has gotten lost along the way. I didn’t backup the right database from Wordpress one time. A couple of times I decided to start with a clean slate, but also didn’t back up the HTML files. At the time, it seemed like the right move, but now, I feel guilty about it.

While there is a lot of cringy content from when I started my site, at the same time, it is a reflection of who I was then. Starting with a clean slate might have been my way of trying to ignore it, I don’t know, but at this point, I felt like it was wrong to launch the site again and not having the archives there. So I started to do some digging on to see what I could find of my old sites. It isn’t perfect, but there is enough there that I can slowly start bringing it back. It is going to be a lengthy process, but I will be happy having as much back as I can, even the cringy stuff.

The goal isn’t going to be to blog every day or anything like that, but to have a spot where I can write something if I want and try to bring back as much of my web history as I can. Oh, and also to enjoy the process along the way.