I’m a geek. I know that when you want to write and you want to get your writing out in the world, it doesn’t matter how you do it. However, I have found that the tools you use can encourage certain behaviors and discourage others. I have never really found WordPress to encourage me to write.

I decided to change my blogs from WordPress to Octopress for a few reasons:

  • more control: Octopress is built on Jekyll and I am more comfortable with my ability to bend Jekyll to my will easily than I am with editing WordPress themes.

  • preferrable workflow: I like editing plain text in my text editor. I like being able to manipulate an image and drop it into a directory to get it online.

  • no comments: I hate having to moderate comments on blogs. There’s just too much spam and too little useful action these days. A few years ago, it was the best way to go. Not today.

  • upgrade treadmill: Most WordPress exploits seem to be along the lines of privlege escalation for people with accounts on the WordPress installation. Those don’t affect my sites. However, those aren’t the only kinds of exploits, so it’s best to keep things up to date. But why should I have to do that, when all I want is to publish a bunch of pages? My generated HTML pages are never going to become insecure.

  • super scalability: for when I have 10 million daily readers (kidding! While static sites are certainly faster than WordPress, WordPress with proper caching works just fine)

More On Comments

For the types of things that I read and write, comments are likely to be found in these places:

  • Google+

  • Twitter

  • Hacker News

  • Reddit

  • Disqus (if I felt like adding Disqus)

I don’t list Facebook, because I don’t really use it. I list Google+ first because that’s what I want. I want each of my blog posts to have a link to a matching post over on Google+ and for the comments to appear there. I just prefer the way that comments work there.

I also like the way Hacker News comments work and would link over there for commentary for anything I post that happens to show up over there.

In the end, though, I don’t want the comments to appear here, as part of my writing. John Gruber has written about comments (more than once, if memory serves) and I agree with the idea that all comments are not created equal and I would rather link to comments elsewhere at my discretion rather than having them appear here hanging on to the things I post.

Dynamism with JavaScript

I make no secret about the fact that I prefer JavaScript to PHP. I’m happy to add as much dynamic behavior as desired to my site via JavaScript (sometimes connecting to external services) alone.

Up Next

Having converted my wimpy little personal blog, the next step is to convert Blue Sky On Mars, my blog about software product creation. BSOM has been around for more than a decade now, and I believe I’m up to more than 2,500 posts. I’ve gathered that Jekyll is going to spend a bit of time on chewing on that, and I want to make sure that I don’t lose anything in the translation.

I’m also using the default Octopress theme here right now. I want to change the front page of KevinDangoor.com to be a better “home page”.

I was quite happy with the ease of migrating from WordPress to Octopress. The documentation is great and Mark Nichols had both good information and a useful conversion script that eased the transition.