002: Blogging - How to, How Not to, & Ones We Like
Don't get blogged down [≡] 〆(・⺫・‶)
Welcome to Remotely Interesting brought to you by Netlify.
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Blogging is hard...except for when it's easy. We've been blogging for long enough that we'd like to share with you the things that help us, the things that hurt our process, and the things we admire in other's work. We discuss the challenges of being concise, how we deliver content we care about, and more!
- Our blogs / newsletters
- AdaFruit newsletter
- Digital Garden (Chris/Joel)
- Design Systems blog post
- Bear App for markdown (https://bear.app/)
As always, we hope you find it remotely interesting.
Cassidy Williams: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to Remotely interesting.
Cassidy Williams: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to Remotely interesting.
[00:00:02] Phil Hawksworth: [00:00:02] This is remotely interesting.
[00:00:05] Divya Tagtachian: [00:00:05] That seems a little presumptuous.
[00:00:07] Sarah Drasner: [00:00:07] No, no, that's the name on the show
[00:00:08]Phil Hawksworth: [00:00:08] Today, we've got myself, Phil. We've got Jason. We've got Cassidy and we've got Divya. We're talking mostly today about, I dunno, writing blog posts the process of coming up with content.
[00:00:19] Staying disciplined and getting things out into the world, the kind of platforms we, we like and a few other bits and pieces along the way. So we hope you enjoy the podcast. We hope you'll join us all the way through and then times to come as well. He comes to podcasts. Now we'll probably have another little world at the end of the show.
[00:00:36] Okay. Enjoy.
[00:00:46] So who's been blogging recently. I've fallen off the wagon a little bit. Has
[00:00:50] anyone been writing blog?
[00:00:51] I have. Um, I, so I, I did this thing where like, I've been trying to do a lot of multi purposing of content and, and that has been really, really effective usually. Uh, but I tried something that I haven't tried before.
[00:01:07] So like usually what I do is I have an episode to learn that Jason and we build something and then I've got like this mostly finished piece of code that I can Polish up and write a tutorial about. And that's a really easy process because it's like the code's already there. I already built it. So I can just write down what I did.
[00:01:21] Um, but I did this new thing where I, I wrote a post. With, uh, with Dan mall where he and I had this, this big discussion about design systems. And, um, I was like, Oh, this will be easy. It was not easy. It ended up being like a three part series it's, you know, thousands and thousands of words. I'm trying to make sure I'm accurately representing, uh, what Dan said.
[00:01:42] Um, but it's like prevented me from writing anything else, like two and a half weeks, because it's so much work to get it right. Um, but I feel like that wasn't the question you were asking you like w sorry, that's just something that I wanted to get off my chest, I guess,
[00:01:59] straight, straight into therapy.
[00:02:09] No one on this. I was just say, no one on this call really has problems writing, writing content. I mean, there's people like Divya who just can't help, but write a blog post today, or are you over that hump now? Divya, can you, can you resist the urge to do that now?
[00:02:22] Divya Tagtachian: [00:02:22] I feel like, I think, uh, Chris Corea called me out at one point where he was like, you're the kind of person that doesn't blog.
[00:02:29] And then one day decides I'm going to blog every day and then just produces content and then disappears off the face of view. That's my style. I'm okay with it. Yeah. I'm honestly, I'm fine with that. Cause I'm just like, then I'm consistent for like a short
[00:02:44] Phil Hawksworth: [00:02:44] yeah. I love that. I'm consistent for a short period of time.
[00:02:48] Me too. I'm consistent in very short shot.
[00:02:53] Divya Tagtachian: [00:02:53] No, but then I'm consistent when I say I am, I'm just like, Hey everyone, I'm going to be consistent during this time. And then I am. Rather than like forever and people expect things of me. And then I
[00:03:04] Cassidy Williams: [00:03:04] that's one of the reasons why I started, uh, my personal newsletter, I was just like, this is going to force me to like continuously produce something.
[00:03:12] And I don't have to like have this record of my blog that I wrote a ton of posts for. And then all of a sudden it falls off the face of the earth, but now kind of like what you said now, people actually care and I have to be consistent and life is hard to know.
[00:03:26] Phil Hawksworth: [00:03:26] Okay. How long have you been doing that newsletter?
[00:03:30] Cassidy Williams: [00:03:30] I think it's this? I think this is year three.
[00:03:33] Phil Hawksworth: [00:03:33] Wow.
[00:03:33] Cassidy Williams: [00:03:33] Yeah, I've been doing it for awhile. Yeah. It's every week. There've been a couple where I haven't done it. For example, when I got married, because that was
[00:03:43] Jason Lengstorf: [00:03:43] very busy.
[00:03:45] Cassidy Williams: [00:03:45] Instead I released the class I made that was a bad week. Cause I didn't do my newsletter, but I released an online course.
[00:03:53] And so like I was getting married, but I was also getting so many messages like, Hey, could you explain this lesson? And I was like, what have I done? It was a very poor planning and I don't recommend
[00:04:05] Jason Lengstorf: [00:04:05] Wow. Yeah. So
[00:04:07] Cassidy Williams: [00:04:07] like
[00:04:08] Jason Lengstorf: [00:04:08] that, the thing is something that's, that's been, um, that's been this battle that I've been fighting for, like my whole life.
[00:04:15] Right. Because I, I have this, my personality type is I either get it right. Or it's not worth doing. And that's led to a lot of situations where I will say like, I'm going to be consistent and write every week or I'm going to be consistent and go to the gym three times a week or something like that. I'll set some kind of a personal goal.
[00:04:35] And then the very first time that I screw it up. I'm like, well, that was a waste of time. I'm a failure. Let's move on to the next thing. And I just never revisit that, that challenge. Um, so like Cassidy, you said, like you said that like, you're that type of person as well.
[00:04:50] Cassidy Williams: [00:04:50] That's incredibly accurate to so many things there.
[00:04:53] There've been so many times, I'm just like, I'm going to do a pushup every day and just increase the count of pushups every day. And then I miss one day and I'm like, well, guess I'm never doing a pushup again. And I haven't done a pushup in five years. But it's it's. Yeah, that's just a small example of that's how I've been with so many different projects of mine, where like, as soon as it starts not being perfect to my mental standards that I've set for myself, I just kind of drop it off because I want everything
[00:05:24] be perfect.
[00:05:25] Phil Hawksworth: [00:05:25] There's something brilliant in that, that you just said as well about, um, I want to do a pushup every day and you know, I'm not going to start bragging and suggest that I can do. More than two pushups in any given 24 hour period. But I love, I love the fact that I'm doing a pushup a day and having something which is bite size is really important.
[00:05:45] And that's, that's for writing content. That's really important as well. I don't want to do like a 10 hour workout every day when I'm racing and I want to be able to do something which is bite-sized and achievable. But that's a different discipline in and of itself, you know, writing something sure. Can be hard.
[00:06:01] And I know that's why I'm, I, I, I really enjoy your, your newsletter because it's really concise. And does that, does that? I take a lot of discipline together, so that's always just like, Oh, well, that's, that's the format you've already always had throughout.
[00:06:13] Cassidy Williams: [00:06:13] It, it has. So it's always been somewhat concise, but man keeping it that way and, and it probably takes like three hours a week of to actually produce it and stuff.
[00:06:24] Just because like, for example, this past week, w there's a little segment in there where it's just something that interested me this week and sometimes I have a ton to write and sometimes I, I just don't know what to do. And last night I, it took me a solid. 45 minutes to put together a paragraph of just like things that I produced this week at work.
[00:06:44] They didn't, it's, it's a lot, that's something yeah. That I admire about Divya. She's able to write very great, concise blog posts. And that's, that's something that man. Aye. Aye. I always get too verbose on the takes too long. And. Conciseness is very,
[00:07:01] Jason Lengstorf: [00:07:01] I think about that a lot. Like there's this quote that I think is incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain.
[00:07:06] That is, uh, I, I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn't have time. Um, and so like, that's something that I've always, I'm always asking Divya to teach me how to write short content. Cause I don't think I can get under 1500 words if I start writing
[00:07:21] Divya Tagtachian: [00:07:21] one of the things for me, it's like, it's also part of like what Cassidy was saying that.
[00:07:27] I used to write a lot of really super long posts. Um, but the, the, the problem with that is I get bored of it. And then I get tired. And like, what happened? I think in Phil knows this a lot. Cause I would write a really long blog post and they wouldn't, he would just say the attack. Cause I just wouldn't, I'd be so tired of writing it cause I've been like massaging it and it's interesting.
[00:07:51] Cause for longer posts, it ends up being the top half. Like, it's almost like, um, yeah, it's, it's just the top very well done. And then the bottom half is garbage is like the hateful eight movie part one. It was so good. And then
[00:08:05] Cassidy Williams: [00:08:05] part two just got paeds up or like lost. They just kind of gave up that last season.
[00:08:11] Divya Tagtachian: [00:08:11] yeah, exactly. They were just like, we don't know we're done.
[00:08:15] Phil Hawksworth: [00:08:15] Perfect. That's the perfect analogy for all of my blog, post writing. It's like all of this work that I put in at the start and it's like, yeah, I'm really making good points and I'm finessing the language and I'm doing a really good job. I cannot be bothered to finish it.
[00:08:27] Yeah. It was all a dream or they're all dead already. I can't.
[00:08:33] Jason Lengstorf: [00:08:33] How do you break that? I guess. Where did you change that changed that for you?
[00:08:38] Divya Tagtachian: [00:08:38] I mean, I think one of his time boxing, um, and like when I did January, I time boxes. So I was like, I'm only doing this for like X amount of time. And so that gave me the rush of just being like, you don't have time.
[00:08:51] You need to like really get this over with, um, And then the other thing is also like often, and I'm guilty of this even today where I'll write something and then the post, like meanders and I don't know the point that I'm trying to make. And I think it's like, as a writer, if I'm having difficulty with that, can't even imagine from a Rita's perspective, they'd be like, I don't know what point you're trying to make.
[00:09:12] Um, and so for me, it's just like, Trying to be very concise about, I want to explain this thing and then just doing that. And then when I think I've sufficiently done that, that's it. And some, and oftentimes that's really short. I'm just like done the thing explained and then conclude it. Um, and I think that keeps you.
[00:09:34] On track quite easily. Cause one, your posts are short. They explain the thing that you said you will explain, and they're easy to read and digest. So like the trans people are reading. It is also super high because, um, if a post is short, people will read it. If a post is super long people bookmark it
[00:09:51] Cassidy Williams: [00:09:51] and never get to it.
[00:09:52] Yeah. It'll be just a tab that they never closed because it was like, I should read this at some point. There's a newsletter that I really admire on that front. Uh, ADA fruit. Um, the, the heartburn newsletter, they have a newsletter that like, it's literally, sometimes it's just two sentences where it's just like, Hey, did you know, you could do this with a MOSFET or whatever, and that's it.
[00:10:12] And it's great. And it's one that I read all the time, because it's so short. And I think that's a good point that you made, like when it's short people actually read it. And so it's important to have the skill, to be able and, and exercise that muscle to be able to just write it and conclude it. I
[00:10:28] Divya Tagtachian: [00:10:28] think there's value.
[00:10:29] There's also value in longer posts. Like I think it's a balance, right? So like there are times when I'll write a short posts. Cause short posts are really nice to like quickly explain a thing. But oftentimes, I mean, not oftentimes there are times when. A longer pole, a longer post adds nuance and context that a short post con do.
[00:10:49] Um, so for example, and this is useful for whenever I write something, I'll write something super short and then I'll realize, Oh, I wanted to flesh out this idea and then I'll write a longer post. And like that one ends up being harder to write, but then. It's nice to refer back to the previous, the shorter posts.
[00:11:05] Cause I'll be like, I wrote this post. If you don't have time, go read this other post. It's really short and lacks all this extra context. If you don't want it and don't care what
[00:11:14] Jason Lengstorf: [00:11:14] you just said, kind of connected a dot for me, where I I'm realizing why that design systems post was so hard for me, because a lot of the tutorial stuff is, is very straight forward.
[00:11:24] It's like, I know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm connecting point a to point B. But with something like that design systems post it's like this isn't, this isn't how to build a thing. This is, how do you think about this? Like how do you build a mental framework around this pretty squishy concept? And a lot of it is me like interpreting somebody else's information and then trying to repeat that back in a way that is not disingenuous to the original conversation, but is also representing like.
[00:11:53] An expanded view on that. And I found like, as I was writing this post, my initial intention was to do like a three things I learned from Dan mall about design systems. And as I would get into a thing, I was like, Oh, I need to expand on that. Cause that, that, that idea doesn't make sense. So I start writing like a preface to that section that ended up being a blog post.
[00:12:12] I actually in writing the three, the three parts to this series, I ended up also writing two additional blog posts on my own site. That were like context that I could link to from the series for like an idea that I was going to make. Like, I have this whole thing about drawing the box smaller when you're explaining something.
[00:12:30] I, there was no way for me to make that analogy without being able to link to something for context. Cause it's this, you know, 1500 word analogy of like how to communicate the impact of the system when you're, when you're like trying to get somebody to adopt it. I don't know how to make that smile. Um, but, but anyways did, to reign that back in, I guess what I'm saying is like the, the place of a big post, it makes sense to be long when you're doing something squishy.
[00:12:59] Like when you're trying to argue a point, you don't want to go for brevity because you're going to get misinterpreted or you're going to skim over something. That's actually like the hardest part, you know, you don't want to end up in a situation where you pose an idea and the end of the post is like, yeah.
[00:13:13] And I'll draw the rest of the owl. Um, and, and so I think that's, that's, uh, that's a good heuristic and maybe a good reminder to me to like only write those, those, like conceptual posts once in a while, because they take a lot
[00:13:27] Phil Hawksworth: [00:13:27] out of you. Yeah. I think they definitely do the thing. I find hard when I'm trying to, I don't know, make an argument or make a case for a particular, you know, um, approach or what have you, in a, in a blog post is I, I find that I.
[00:13:42] I find it hard to resist the temptation, to put every point that I can think of in there, like every argument that supports it. Whereas sometimes that can come off. I think a bit as like a little bit, um, I don't know, maniacal it's like, it's like the it's like someone just like ranting and say, Oh, and another thing and another thing.
[00:13:59] And I find it really hard to resist the temptation to try and shoehorn every supporting point I can think of in there rather than just picking the few that people will, I don't know, relate to the best or. Are easiest to convey and just, just putting those in and then leaving the other stuff out because you know, there's a general, yeah.
[00:14:17] It could become noise. I, I find that really hard and that's why I kind of join the dislike masterclass that jam Yuri turned into watching Divya make a single point. And when she could have said 10 of the things about this. But that's fine. There's a lot of other days in the month of January to make a point that you can come and take it okay.
[00:14:37] At that angle as well. And, you know, picking a single thread and making that point. Well, uh, it's something, something I need to do need to do better at. Um, but I've got a bigger problem when it comes to writing blog posts. And that's not about the formulation of the content or. Getting over writer's block.
[00:14:52] It's trying to resist the temptation to redesign the entire platform that I'm blogging on. Every time, every time I write a blog post, um, we're all developers on here and, you know, I think it's a temptation that we've all wrestled with a little, but I mean, how, how, how often have you all read it, engineered your blog or your site or anything like that?
[00:15:13] Is, is that something you do over and over again? Or is that just me? I
[00:15:18] Cassidy Williams: [00:15:18] definitely have built just a little code pens for myself where, like, for example, I have an interview question of the week in my newsletter, as I gather people's responses to it. I have a code pen that process. This is everything in generates the, uh, HTML and Mark down that I can put into my, uh, Like little newsletter, CMS.
[00:15:38] And I basically have been doing that more and more and more so that way I can do it just ever so slightly faster. Cause I was manually writing every single link, every single name, every single thing in there. And that gets long.
[00:15:52] Phil Hawksworth: [00:15:52] That's not smart. I haven't really thought about using code code pen as a tool for that kind of thing.
[00:15:57] I always think of it as like demos and, you know, and, and that kind of, that kind of stuff, but using it as a tool, as part of a workflows. Interesting. I like that.
[00:16:15] I can just put it in there and go.
[00:16:17] Jason Lengstorf: [00:16:17] I feel like I used to redesign. My personal site, like langstroth.com constantly. And then a few years ago, I, it, it's interesting because it's like, I, I have the thing that I fiddle with. And so I fiddled with langsdorf.com forever. And then when learn with Jason started, I suddenly had a new medium to fiddle with.
[00:16:40] So now most of my fiddling happens with like interactive stream stuff, as opposed to like personal site stuff. But at the same time, I also just pushed a whole bunch of changes to learn that Jason's not dev like over the weekend. Right. So it's like always influx, but I haven't done the, I haven't raised it to the ground and like redesigned the site quite awhile.
[00:17:02] I'm, I'm much more incremental about it. But I think I actually, something that I thought about that I, that I think is a really, really good point. Um, is Crispus guardian, Joel hooks, and a whole bunch of other people in the community have been having these conversations where they've, they've been trying to change the idea of a blog into something that they call a digital garden.
[00:17:23] And the, the goal of that whole thing is to remove these barriers. Like you don't have to have the site perfect. Before you ship. You don't have to have the post perfect. Before you publish it. You just kind of take notes as you're learning, you know, make changes as you learn them. And the sites slowly evolves over time.
[00:17:42] The posts might evolve over time. Like maybe they started as a bulleted list. That's like, Oh, I learned how to do a thing. Step one, step two, step three. And then as you do it a couple more times, you're like, Oh, I have some nuance. Let me expand this into a tutorial. Um, but it, it starts to really lower this barrier where like, ultimately what you're doing is, is journaling.
[00:18:00] Or, or if you take it like way back to, you know, like Darwinian trends, it's a, it's something called commonplace where the idea is that you like capture and catalog things that you're learning over time. And it starts to let you create this external mental map of what you're doing, learning what, you've, what you've started to connect, how you are thinking about things.
[00:18:22] And that's how like big ideas emerged over time. Um, so getting away from that idea of getting it perfect, like you don't have to wait for your site to be perfectly designed before you ship it. You don't have to have every single feature in place. You don't have to have every word. Correct. Just hit the button, send it live, make it better later.
[00:18:40] It's it. You can always have time to them.
[00:18:42] Cassidy Williams: [00:18:42] There's a tool that I highly recommend for this and it's called a dabble me. Uh, it's dabble.me is the website. And it's a tool that I've used. For years I've, I've used it since my freshman year of college. So it's, I've been using it for a long time, but what it is, it's, it's like this digital garden thing, it's, it's, uh, it's an online journal, but the way it works is it emails you every day.
[00:19:04] And it just says, how did your day go? And you respond back to the email and that logs it as an entry. And then sometimes in that email, they'll say, Hey, how'd your day go? Five years ago you wrote and it'll explain it. And so I have these posts from years and years and years ago, and, and first of all, it's fun to see the technical ones where it's, there's one where I like learned Emacs.
[00:19:23] And I was just like, man, this is the coolest thing I've ever
[00:19:26] Phil Hawksworth: [00:19:26] seen
[00:19:27] Cassidy Williams: [00:19:27] that changed, but fun to see those really old posts. Cause there's like technical ones and also personal ones. Like it was fun to be just like, Hey, I think I might move to New York city or, and stuff like that. And, uh, It's been really great just to have that little thing kind of like what you said, Jason, you just write it and you don't have to worry about what it looks like.
[00:19:49] Yeah. And, and because it's something hosted by someone else, I don't worry about the look and feel of it. It's just about the content. And then if there's any, if there's anything in there ever, anything that I want to remember or pull back later, I can just go get the content and put it on something more public.
[00:20:05] But yeah, it's a nice personal tool that I, I highly recommend again, I've been using it for years and. It's absolutely worth it.
[00:20:12] Phil Hawksworth: [00:20:12] How often do you get those emails back from yourself? Is that, is that
[00:20:16] Cassidy Williams: [00:20:16] okay? Every day now? So again, because I've been using it. Oh, dang. When did I start using it? 2010. Yeah, I've, I've been using it for a long time.
[00:20:25] Uh, I'll get those emails constantly because I have so much content, um, like a, I I'm starting to get the like, wow. I graduated college, ah, type of things because it's like early may and it's fun to see those old ones now. Um, but, uh, they, they start coming pretty quickly. Once you get like a month worth of content.
[00:20:46] Um, and sometimes it'll be just like, Hey, one week ago you wrote, and then sometimes it'll be. Much longer, like three months ago you wrote one year ago you wrote that kind of thing. It's great.
[00:20:55] Phil Hawksworth: [00:20:55] We worked just to relive some of these things. Yeah,
[00:20:59] Cassidy Williams: [00:20:59] yeah. No, some of it is very cringy.
[00:21:01] Phil Hawksworth: [00:21:01] Yeah, I can never really depend on the good decision making of past affiliate.
[00:21:06] He was
[00:21:07] Cassidy Williams: [00:21:07] an idiot. It's fun. There's some of them where it's like me trying to decide what class I'm going to take in college or, or what job I want to interview for and stuff. And it just says like, dear, future Cassidy, I envy your resolve and I'm just like summer child. That's great.
[00:21:26] Jason Lengstorf: [00:21:26] Cassidy. Uh, if you were going to start your blog today, What would you build it with?
[00:21:33] Like if you were going to start from only, I
[00:21:35] Cassidy Williams: [00:21:35] first started from zero, zero, uh, I'm kind of anti CMS. Myself. So I'd probably, this sounds like I'm just going to be plugging the blog post I wrote recently, but I would probably build it with next and have it marked down enabled. Um, and I would have a lot more custom components than I put in my tutorial.
[00:21:56] Like, uh, what's great about it is it has all of these, uh, Great. Just static generation tools that you use. You can customize the head, you can customize all of the different navigation and links yeah. And things. Um, and so, yeah, I'd probably use next and Mark down and build a bunch of. Widgets. So that way I could have like embed a code pen in this post or, um, enable search in certain posts and, and, or among all of them posts and stuff.
[00:22:23] I, that, that's probably what I would use. And then yeah, work way too hard to add lots and lots of features to it.
[00:22:32] Phil Hawksworth: [00:22:32] I think it's reasonable by the way to say I'm anti CMS for your own, your own blog. You know, if you're, if you're the author, I think that's completely reasonable. I mean, I, I kind of I'm in the same boat.
[00:22:43] I like to abstract the content from the style so that I can move things around, but I don't need to have an entire CMS to do that is, you know, it's whatever means that you can expedite kind of creating stuff, I think. But, um, I'm curious about the, like the. The widgets and the different content types you're talking about and how, how much those might kind of drift into the content itself, you know, does it, does it mean that you're, you invest more and more in some kind of cool things there, but later on, if you need to move around, it's harder.
[00:23:15] And does it matter? I mean, it doesn't necessarily matter does it, but I'm kind of, I'm always interested in kind of weighing those things up when I'm tinkering with my employees.
[00:23:23] Cassidy Williams: [00:23:23] Yeah, no, I, well things like, for example, lay tech formulas, like. I don't do a lot of things like that, but I love being able to have them in there if I, if I wanted to.
[00:23:33] And so being able to have those kinds of smarter widgets are really cool. There is one quick side note, one person that I saw recently where they actually hacked their notion, um, and like pointed a website on top of it. So they actually did all of their blogging and all of their management of everything in notion, but they like.
[00:24:09] Jason Lengstorf: [00:24:09] themselves. Bill, I want to ask you the same question.
[00:24:12] Like if you were starting from zero, where would, what would you do?
[00:24:14] Phil Hawksworth: [00:24:14] I think I'm pretty close to where I would. B, I would tidy it up a heck of a lot, but I mean, I've, I've my, my blocks traveled around a little bit, you know, I had a WordPress blog for a long time. Um, and in fact, before I had a WordPress blog, I just had a site that I made my, made myself out of, you know, with hammer and chisel.
[00:24:35] Um, and then I, you know, then it moved to WordPress. Um, then it moved to. I think it went to wordpress.org and then a self hosted one that I kind of built myself, um, then to Jackal, um, big fan. And that's probably where I started getting into, you know, starting size rented sites and all those kinds of things.
[00:24:54] Um, yeah. Uh, the, uh, for a little while it was on Hugo, um, again, I was like, Oh, try and just trying out other tools that will make what I'm already doing a little bit easier. Um, at the moment I use eleventy to, to, to rent it out. And I'm really happy with that at the moment. Cause I understand the pieces for me.
[00:25:12] There's a, there's a lot to be said for understanding all of the pieces, which I cannot say that I've. Always had there's very often been lots of magic for me that I like, Oh, this works for some reason. And I can just about finagle it to do the things that I need. And, you know, the I'm remainder it, remembering, just writing bits of Ruby in my writing gems for my, uh, Jekyll site to do some of the things that build time that I needed to do that.
[00:26:16] And at the moment it's all marked down the content content. Um, I don't really feel the need kind of like Cassidy to add a CMS. So I would like to re. Do all of the stuff that I have, but using the same tools, but use it doing it better. It's more of a refactor than a replatform. Um, and I ha I'm kind of midway through doing that with tailwind CSS.
[00:26:38] So I can use utility CSS because I find that that's a fun corner to turn as well. We could probably have an entire different discussion about that. That's. That'll probably elicit some opinions from people. Um, but, uh, I've had fun doing that, but yeah, I think I'd just like to refactor rather than replatform in the moment.
[00:26:56] Surprisingly happy. Vivian, do you have
[00:26:58] Jason Lengstorf: [00:26:58] a, uh, a differing opinion here?
[00:27:01] Divya Tagtachian: [00:27:01] Really? I think, um, I see the value in a CMS. I don't use a CMS. I actually use Hugo. Um, and I only do it because like it's, it's pretty simple and it's really fast to build, um, And super lightweight. It's a really lightweight framework with like a lot of theming and stuff like tooling around it, which is really cool.
[00:27:22] Um, yeah, I think I echo Phil's sentiments in that there are parts of Hugo cause Hugo has like so many different pieces to it that it can get pretty complex when you want to do anything custom. So you have to know a lot about you going in order to do a lot of that work. Um, so like my blog isn't super.
[00:27:43] Like fancy in any way, just because I'm purely, like, I don't, I don't want to think of too much on it. Cause I tend to also do that and then get distracted from what the point of having a blog is. Um, but yeah, I think there's value in having a CMS as well, because I think for me, I mean, I think I've shared this opinion before, but I kind of feel like I'm in, I'm in the minority in terms of not really enjoying writing Mark, Don, um, Just because I find it really clunky and, uh, it's not very pretty.
[00:28:16] The thing that I do that makes writing markdown nice is I use an app called bear. Um, and it makes it beautiful. It's still marked on cause you use the tags, but it converts it. So it's easy to like, right. It feels like a better writing experience overall. But in general, I hate writing Mark Don. Um, and so for me, I'll write stuff in bear and then port it over to, to like the Hugo template, which is in Mark Dawn itself.
[00:28:43] Um, and so with CMSs, um, particularly I've seen like so much, so many people use the CMS as a way of like, it gives the writer more control, especially in terms of layout. Um, There's often a lot of tooling around CMSs that give you control. If you're not technical. I mean, all of us are technical, but if you're not technical, you can like drag and drop stuff and make things look beautiful.
[00:29:06] Also for on the go writing. It's really nice. Cause sometimes you're like, Oh, I want to write a blog post and I'm on my phone. And I cannot ride my
[00:29:14] Cassidy Williams: [00:29:14] tunnel on my foot.
[00:29:16] Divya Tagtachian: [00:29:16] I mean, you could there, but you would have to like port it and you can't really publish it easily. Um, and so if you were to use a CMS, you could easily do that.
[00:29:25] You could just like ongoing or whatever, just like do it on your phone and then publish. And then it's out in the world, even though you're not on your computer, which I think there's so much value in doing that.
[00:29:37] Cassidy Williams: [00:29:37] I really love the bear mobile writing experience and they actually added a plugin that will let you deploy a note to WordPress.
[00:29:44] Um, Oh
[00:29:45] Divya Tagtachian: [00:29:45] yeah. I just see that.
[00:29:46] Cassidy Williams: [00:29:46] Yeah, it's cool. Pretty dang. Cool. I love it. I wish it weren't iOS only.
[00:29:52] Divya Tagtachian: [00:29:52] Yeah, I know I'm on Android, so I can't.
[00:29:55] Cassidy Williams: [00:29:55] Yeah. Yeah. I've definitely started making a web version of it and editors are hard, but someday.
[00:30:04] Jason Lengstorf: [00:30:04] So I guess the takeaway from this is that for someone who is going to start their own blog, uh, if I'm understanding what everyone just said, you should use a tool that you like.
[00:30:19] Don't overthink it. And remember that you get to iterate over time, uh, both the code and the content. So, um, just get something out there and start creating content because the content itself is valuable, no matter where you are in your career, no matter what it is you're teaching about, no matter whether a thousand other people have written, what you consider to be the exact same article, um, your perspective, your, your moment in time, your takeaways.
[00:30:45] Are going to help somebody else go forward and, and, uh, and so, you know, make sure that you get your voice out there and, and, and just do it. Don't get bogged down in the technical details. Don't get bogged down in the editing details. Just, just ship it. Any, any parting words from anybody before we
[00:31:00] Cassidy Williams: [00:31:00] basically sounds like the conclusion is don't do what we do.
[00:31:06] Jason Lengstorf: [00:31:06] Like
[00:31:06] learn from our
[00:31:07] mistakes, please.
[00:31:11] Phil Hawksworth: [00:31:11] I'm
[00:31:11] trying to remember if it was Jeremy, Keith, who was, who had this really nice point about drafts folders? I think he was saying like, drafts folders are your enemy. That's where blog posts and ideas and thoughts go to die. Um, so just don't have a drafts folder, just write stuff and ship it, which I know is easier said than done, but I think that's, that's wonderful advice.
[00:31:35] Cassidy Williams: [00:31:35] Well, I hope you, I found that remotely. Interesting. Ha. I know I did because I'm remote and I hope I'm interesting. Yeah. I haven't been interesting in a long time anyway, peaked early. So I hope you enjoyed this podcast. If you'd like to learn more about us, you can check out our show notes, then you can also ping us on Twitter.
[00:31:54] We're all pretty online people. And so we will respond to you as soon as we can. Thanks so much until next time.