TagCMS

Tinkering

Yesterday flew by like lightning. I was setting up the Ubuntu desktop I have on my desk so it is usable as a web server to test out a CCTV solution for my house as well as some CMS tools I wanted to play around with.

WordPress Thought: I’m tired of WordPress because every single theme looks exactly the same!

I installed a local copy of WithKnown, a self-hosted tumblog, but its Markdown plugin does not work which in 2018 is a deal breaker for me. I don’t want to use a GUI to make links or bold text. I don’t want to

I found a nice little tool called Bludit. But it refused to see the .htaccess file very clearly at its root. If I removed the file completely, it threw an error, but when I added it back it complained about not finding it. Which it clearly found because it errored out without it. After much too long, I gave up trying to use it and moved on.

I installed Pico. Remembered I didn’t want to mess with hand coding and deleted Pico.

I looked at Grav again. And Hugo. I didn’t get as far as installing either yesterday, but I thought about it. Only to remember why I never end up using them. Either something doesn’t work (that I can’t figure out) or it’s too much work.

I want a simple place to write text, style it with Markdown, add a photo or two, and post. I don’t want a hacker’s solution. I don’t want to mess with plain text config files. I don’t want to spend more time tinkering with the writing space than writing.

After the day of tinkering I didn’t come to a good conclusion. Nor did I get anything written which was part of the reason I was setting something up. I still yearn for the place to dump Markdown files but when I set those up, it’s too fidgety to dump them and there ends up being extra work I need to do to get it either looking nice or working. At all.

Medium over Message

The medium doesn’t matter. Ever.
You could be furiously scribbling into a notebook fueled by black lights and caffeine.You could be typing frantically into Xanga, LiveJournal, MySpace, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, Textpattern, or some home-brewed app. The medium isn’t important. It’s the message.

As a geek I tend to get distracted by the newest, shiniest blogging platform. Some new way to get my thoughts out of my head and on paper to share or just to get released. To a degree I’ve cared too much about where and how I display my words.

Writing was always my release. All through school from 7th grade, where I had a teacher who introduced me to the power of my own written words. All through high school and some of college. I wrote.

I wrote poetry. Rambling prose. Techno-laced metaphor mind trips into my deepest fears. In college, humor was the refuge of my passion. I wrote an anonymous humor column for a few years. Until my time ran out as did the funny.

Nowadays, there’s such stigmas about certain places. LiveJournal is as a wasteland of whiny teens penning complaints to their peers. Xanga is practically the lower caste of writers. MySpace is… well… simultaneously the meeting place of musicians and artists and a place I actively avoid due to its eye-bleeding graphics and pages. It’s the worst of GeoCities/Xoom/Homestead 1990s reincarnated.

Then there’s Facebook, the college public square. Now infested with the same skeevy corporations who push credit cards for T-shirts online as they do on campuses.

And of course Twitter, the medium quickly becoming the goto spot for…. everything. Promotions. Announcements. News-sharing/gathering, inane breakfast lists, and anything else you can possibly think of.

It’s not where you write, it’s what you write.

I started a blog in 1998 as a badly coded HTML page on my members.xoom.com page. After NBC bought it up and turned it into nbci.com and killed the hosting I moved to Xanga where I wrote for a few years. Then LiveJournal when I was able to secure an invite. (Remember those days?)

Then I experimented with WordPress/MovableType/Textpattern/Expression Engine and a hand full of others until finally deciding to live in the Textpattern camp.

And now, I’m more in favor of Tumblr’s simplicity and ease of posting and sharing. Mix in a bit of twitter and it’s a delectable soup of inane banter and commenting.

My blog withers away while I try to find my voice and my focus. As this piece wanders haphazardly along so does my writing.

What I’m trying to say is it doesn’t matter where you write or how your words make their way into the world. Just write. Just let out the feelings and stories locked inside your head.

Find a lovely font to type in or a comfortable pen and favorite notebook and let the words flow.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter the medium. It’s the message that’s important.

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