Blog about blogging
In the beginning
I have been meaning to do this for the longest time! I’ve been in computing as long as I can remember but for whatever reason never put aside the time to share something back or just write about what I have been working on. So here it is, this is the beginning……..
TL;DR - I started a blog, tried a number of different hosting options, learnt heaps, found a solution and resolved to write something on a regular basis.
Giving back to the community
I’ve been following Scott Hanselman for years and when I read this post on blogging, I thought it was about time I did something. As per usual life carries on but then I started following Troy Hunt and he also encouraged people to start blogging, even his non technical wife which he wrote about here
Choosing the right platform
I think part of my procrastination was that I hadn’t found the right platform. I wanted to make it easy but I also wanted to try and make a learning experience. My rational here was that if I was learning whilst doing it then I would be more invested and keep at it…….this was a mistake
The techie in me wanted to build something, one of my colleges had been raving about Vue and I wanted to see what progressive js could look like. So I messed around, found a few starters like this one from Snipcart, which is beautiful, and I had grand plans of hosting this on Azure Blob storage use Azure Functions Proxies, giving me a super low cost site that was all client side.
Needless to say, this all got too hard due to time, dedication and probably most my lack of JS experience
I wasn’t done yet!! I had reread Scott’s blog about this and some stuck with me
Blogs are owned by you - Scott Hanselman
Sure I could post on Medium, GitHub or LinkedIn but I guess I wanted something more traditional, old school even.
So I guess I am a .NET dev at heart, I started all those years ago on VB6 and Access, so I thought here was another chance, to quote myself
I get paid to write code, but nobody pays for the code I write!
These days I mostly write code for demo purposes, during hackathons or just for fun, so I thought great .NET Core was something I wanted to put some time into. I had been recently using Docker to push some old .NET 2 apps into Windows Containers and wanted to do more around this with .NET Core. In steps Mads Kristensen and MiniBlog.Core
I had some fun with this project, it was still using XML and saving the files locally on the web server. I thought I would try and change this as I wasn’t sold on the idea and wanted to play around with hosting, like using Azure Web Apps, containers and Kubernetes. Having the files locally felt like a risk, so I forked the code and wrote another service to use Azure Blob to save the xml payload too.
I thought I had got it working but there was a couple of bugs, I had to incorporate the changes Mads has done recently but then I figured I wouldn’t be focused on blogging and would have to maintain this forked version.
I’m still not decided yet, this is more of a statement of where I am at today and may actually go back to this
So after reading Troy’s blog about using Ghost I thought what have I got to loose! It is open source and looked nice and clean, then I found an Azure Marketplace deployment here, I was sold. I had the blog deployed in one click and started writing this 5 minutes later!
I found this excellent article by Tim Wheeler on setting up Ghost on Azure and extending with Disqus and doing backups! Which made me feel a bit better about spending time saving content here!
Edit - 2 month later
I had created the site but hadn’t gone the extra mile and created a custom domain name. So fast forward to now and I was looking at this again. So now I tried GitHub pages using Jekyll!!!! Forth time is a charm! I used a template here and worked sweet! I can now blog in markdown using VS Code on my local machine and local repo and then just git commit && git push!
Done! I just hope I can keep this going for more than one post before I change my mind again!
Experiment in progress
Like I said I’m still not finished but I felt like I had to publish SOMETHING! I’ve spent a long time thinking about it, so it might not look like this in a few months and I might just use LinkedIn instead!
If you made it this far then awesome, let me know what you think!