My Blogging Setup These Days
A friend of mine asked me about my blogging setup. I figured I’d blog about it. Definitely skip this post if it’s not the kind of thing you’re interested in.
This blog, inessential.com, lives on an inexpensive shared host. It’s all static files, generated by wildcat. The posts are stored in a Git repository.
Posts from inessential.com are also picked up by my Micro.blog account, where they appear to people who follow me there. Micro.blog also forwards my inessential.com posts to Twitter, to my @brentsimmons account.
I have four additional blogs hosted on Micro.blog: micro.inessential.com, nnw.ranchero.com, xcoders.org, and microblog.omnigroup.com.
The Xcoders blog is owned by the Xcoders group; the Omni microblog is owned by Omni.
micro.inessential.com posts get forwarded to Twitter @brentsimmons. The NetNewsWire blog posts get forwarded to Twitter @netnewswire. The Xcoders blog posts get forwarded to Twitter @xcoders. The Omni microblog posts do not get forwarded.
I use MarsEdit for almost all of my blog writing. I use BBEdit + Marked for blog writing from time to time. (At work I also use iA Writer sometimes.)
I do all of my writing on a Mac. This is because I’m in front of a Mac when I’m working, whether it’s my day job or working on side projects.
(This is not a general comment on the suitability of iPad for work. It’s not there for me personally yet, but that’s fine. It’s making progress all the time, and I’m certainly encouraged by the news from WWDC on this front.)
How I decide what goes where
It’s pretty obvious, usually. Cat pictures go to the Omni microblog. :) Xcoders announcements go on the Xcoders blog; NetNewsWire announcements go on the NetNewsWire blog.
The one slightly tricky thing for my personal writing is deciding between my main blog and my microblog. Long things always go on my main blog. Very short things are also totally okay for my main blog — but they’re okay for my microblog too.
So, for short things, I just make a snap decision, go by feel, and try not to spend more than a second on the decision. Since I’m writing in MarsEdit, picking the destination blog is just a matter of selecting it from a pulldown menu in the compose window. (I can choose a destination, write the post, then change my mind about the destination before posting. Easy.)
I rarely just tweet something, unless it’s truly ephemeral (or a reply, obviously). I prefer to blog first and let Twitter get a copy. This is part of owning my own content.
I use NetNewsWire with Feedbin syncing. I use the Micro.blog Mac app and Icro on my iPhone. (The Micro.blog Mac app supports multiple accounts, which is very useful to me.)
For Twitter I use Twitterrific on my Mac — with five windows open at all times for my various accounts — and Tweetbot on iOS.