This is now the umpteenth time I'm (re-)starting my blog. And, as with all the other attempts, there are two driving factors: urge to write more, and temptation of using a new platform.
Now, I like to write in general and the topics can vary widely. This in turn leads to the question: one blog for all topics, or different (smaller) blogs that focus on only one or two topics? And if the latter, why not post on existing platforms such as Tumblr or even LinkedIn (for professional topics)? At this point I've tried all combinations and am now back to creating a single blog for all topics.
The twist time is that I may/will post teasers/summaries on these other sites, and then include links back here for users who want to read more, view demos, etc. I will also limit the list of external sites to LinkedIn (and possibly Github) for technology and work-related posts, and Tumblr for other types of posts. I will, of course, also use Twitter and Instagram for announcements and links back to this blog when appropriate.
I'm also trying to solve a few technical issues that I've encountered, particularly when writing technology-focused articles that require illustrations, code samples, or even demos. Sites like LinkedIn impose some (technical) limitations on what can be posted, and how. For example, showing source code examples can be rather tricky, and demos must be hosted elsewhere (eg. jsFiddle), and so on.
Moreover, when using LinkedIn or Tumblr, one often has little or no control over things like typography and design. Of course, with a personal blog one has more, if not total, control. But the flip-side is that one also has the responsibility of creating - and maintaining! - a well-functioning system.
Being a software developer, I naturally like the idea building and maintaining my own systems, and setting up a new blog is also an opportunity to try out some new systems. I find that there is no better way to learn new technology then actually using them in a live project.
Over the years I've used and even developed components for quite a few CMS (and other) platforms including Joomla, Drupal, and Wordpress. And, as an aside, I'm currently building a custom systems on top of Laravel and Lumen.
There are also a few new (to me) technologies that I wanted to use for this blog, such as markdown syntax and NodeJS. I like the idea of using markdown syntax as it lets me focus more easily on writing and word-smithing. And it seems that markdown content is also easier to maintain and transfer between systems. Moreover, markdown syntax can be written with any text editor. Although I'm partial to the Hemingway application.
Finally I also wanted to learn more about NodeJS, so I opted for the Ghost blogging platform which is built on NodeJS. Now, Ghost has a great built-in markdown editor. But I like to write most of the text for a given article outside the CMS where I will later post the article - that's just my preferred process.
The blog part of this site is now hosted on Ghost.io, while demos (in most cases) are deployed over at DigitalOcean. The theme for this blog was purchased on Themeforest, tweaked a bit, and installed here.
So ... all that's left to do now, is to actually write all those blog posts that swirl around in my head :)