Blog Changes

Posted by Phil Weber on June 11, 2012

As this blog approaches its tenth anniversary, I’ve been considering some changes.

For my first year of blogging, I used Radio Userland, a now-defunct piece of software created by the godfather of blogging, Dave Winer. Userland charged $40/year for Radio; when the time came to renew, I researched the available alternatives and chose Movable Type, which is free for individuals. I’ve used it, more or less happily, ever since.

A few weeks ago, Scott Hanselman tweeted about a new service that lets you create a web site by simply saving text files to Dropbox. That concept appealed to me, particularly since it would simplify blogging from my iPad.

Scriptogr.am

It turns out there are several such services. Scriptogram seems the most flexible, so I created an account and began the process of converting my existing content to Markdown format.

I soon realized, however, that Scriptogram creates URLs like this: scriptogr.am/username/post/post-title. The service supports custom domains, so I could do this: philweber.com/post/post-title, but beyond that I can’t customize the generated URLs. If I migrate this blog to Scriptogram, all the existing URLs will change. Not good.

If I were starting a new blog, I would definitely use Scriptogram. But until I can keep my existing URLs, I’ll leave this blog where it is. I am, however, going to start writing posts in Markdown and saving them in Dropbox; I used Byword and MarkdownPad to compose this one. When it’s time to publish, I’ll paste the text into Movable Type (which supports Markdown); not as seamless as Scriptogram, but it’ll do.

I also plan to change this site’s focus (or, more accurately, give it one): Ten years ago, I was a software developer working on my first major ASP.NET project; I wanted a place to capture what I was learning and share it with others. Since 2005, I’ve been a technical trainer, learning instructional design, facilitation skills, and how to create e-learning that doesn’t suck. Watch for posts on these topics in the coming weeks.


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