Yes, I know ... what an original way to start the new year: with a cheesy statement in bold characters! In fact, it's already the 13th of January and I should have taken the plunge a bit earlier - looks like we are already well into the 3% and almost reached 4% of elapsed 2019!
Nevertheless - here we are! If you find yourself here and know me (if you don't here's a short summary - and the picture above it's me flying in a Tiger Moth!), you may be interested in knowing why I have decided to set this space up. There are multiple reasons for it:
I used to enjoy blogging. Back in the days, it was in another language and mainly around facetious topics with a sprinkle of geeky/IT talk. I guess blogging in English is going to be an interesting challenge for me. At the same time, given that I am definitely starting to forget how to write properly in Italian, I may as well jump ship once and for all 😉
I've been toying around with a personal website for a while. Initially, I had my personal domain for a while as a redirect to my Linkedin profile. That's not a bad idea, once you realise how common my name and surname combination is! However - that doesn't work too well, considering that most of the users reaching that link would be sent to the Linkedin login page and not to my profile. More recently I set up a static profile on Github Pages but it was too clunky to be kept up to date regularly.
I've been inspired by a talk by Troy Hunt around focusing on your personal branding, as well as opening up discussions to a wider audience and access further knowledge. Perhaps I was already very familiar with "online communities" concepts, having worked at Lithium Technologies for quite a few years, and it may have struck a few more chords in me! I encourage you to watch it if you are interested.
Finally - I want to keep track of my own development and share my learning here. I see this also as a way for me to keep more engaged and follow up with my own goals. Maybe it's a way to set the bar higher and check myself on my progresses.
So - having decided to set up a blog, I followed the advice in the talk and set up a Ghost blog. Historically I was a Wordpress user, but this platform seems to be much neater and simpler, and I will hopefully be able to concentrate on the content. I also thought of using Medium or Linkedin but at the end of the day, I prefer retaining ownership of my own content, on my own platform.
Differently from Troy's advice, I decided to set up Ghost myself on a Digitalocean hosted droplet. This means I will have to manage the underlying VM and software but hey, where's the fun otherwise? 😀 In fact, the whole set up and launch process was pretty seamless. The VM is set up from a pre-configured image and once you can ssh into it, the procedure is guided. Of course, you will want to update the stack & packages pretty much as soon as you have completed the process, and you will have to maintain it up to date yourself over time. I also set up Cloudflare to enhance and protect the site in many different ways. I may expand on the whole set up process in a separate post soon.
ℹ️ Should you decide to try out Digitalocean and use the above link, we will both receive some credits applied to our accounts. Yes, that's a shameless referral link!