Returning to Write.as
Over the past week I have worked on migrating this site and related services to the Write.as platform. I moved it here from it’s last home on GitHub Pages, with Hugo as the platform it was built on.
When I first started this site around 2013, my intention was to create a tech news and reviews site, which was hosted on WordPress. As I worked on that project and shifted away from being a Microsoft backer, I determined I did not have a passion for the project vs. My core career as a systems administrator.
Towards 2018 as I shifted deeper into Linux and self-hosting various services, I pared down the complex site, shifted more towards a personal site approach, and migrated to a self-hosted Write Freely site. At the time, I was looking for a service that would focus on writing, and no tracking or privacy tech, and maintained the site there for several years.
In 2020, I fell for the lure of more complex appearance/theming of a tool like Hugo, along with the version control workflow of GitHub and the related tooling. This system worked for me while I was committed to Linux, and was a great tool for learning the process of Git, with some geeky article writing via console or VIM. That being said, I spent a significant amount of time troubleshooting and fixing GitHub actions for automatic publishing every few months, instead of writing. That actions process stabilized more recently, but following Digital Minimalism ideals, I realized recently that this workflow and it’s issues were not in line with my purpose or preference. In addition, while it has been a while, with the Microsoft acquisition of GitHub, I expect it’s a matter of time before even a basic Hugo site would end up with some form of tracking trail embedded due to the hosting platform, which is not in line with my own privacy statements.
That brings me back to this week. I spent time pondering over the Write.as hosted platform via the Pro subscription, with it’s related and included services, and remembered why I originally used the platform via the Write Freely option. Since I originally left the service, and returning to the paid platform, Matt and his team operating Write.as have expanded and solidified the service all while focusing on their ideals. With this service, I’m able to return to having the site @email@example.com">federated as @firstname.lastname@example.org, I can easily support discussion via the linking with Remark.as, and with a recent intention to explore Photography beyond a smartphone, I can display and discussion that via the included Snap.as. Finally, with the support for custom CSS, I’ve been able to do minor theming to my style, while keeping the site simple, reading focused, and free of unsightly graphical advertising or intrusive tracking technology.
I’m writing this piece as a fan and user of the platform, there has been no form of compensation or promotion, but I say, it’s worth checking out if your looking for a place to write with simplicity, no tracking, and no distractions handling administration.