If you’re reading this, it’s happening - The Tao of Mac, spanning around eight years of blog posts, many hundreds of links and around 6000 Wiki pages, is being rebooted and shrunk down into a tumbleblog.
The reasons are many and not entirely obvious, but boil down to personal choices and lifestyle changes - with my move to SAPO I no longer need the creative outlet of coding my own CMS engine, and the incredible amount of content I have amassed over the years has, as usual in such cases, become quite hopelessly outdated and of little interest to anyone but to myself - but, more to the point, has reached a point where it is now virtually impossible to keep the Wiki up to date in any meaningful way.
Also, blogging has changed profoundly over the years; it’s not just about the downward trend in average post size, depth, or quality, but also about the ephemerality of things - in the technology world, a good opinion piece must now be timed to the minute to have a chance of garnering enough readership to carry its message effectively, and even if you’re only writing for fun, the rat race effect often makes it hard (and unrewarding) to get your point across.
Plus with two kids, a much more engrossing (and motivating) job and the recurring need to simply switch off every computer in the house and actually live a little every now and then, it’s hard for me to commit to writing long-form stuff to the extent of maintaining my own infrastructure, especially when there are plenty of free options available.
In case you’re curious, AdSense revenue vs. VPS hosting costs went into the red sometime last March and stayed there - not that I can’t afford the delta, but it just makes no sense to pay for the privilege of running my own public Wiki engine when I can use Google Apps for Your Domain, Dropbox, Evernote or iDisk to keep my stuff online.
This has been on the cards for a while, given that since I started the site’s link blog a while back (and eventually tied it to both Twitter and Facebook) I pretty much established my baseline commitment towards the site - i.e., it was going to be a part of what I do, but not all that I do online.
A while back I wrote:
Good writing takes time, and the kind of writing I prefer (short, concise, focused) takes at least twice as much. Pascal (not Mark Twain, like a lot of people think) said it best: “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter.”
To cut a long story short, the reason I chose Tumblr was that it made a lot of things simpler:
- it frees me from having to think about site layout (and let me tell you, it was incredibly hard to let that go for someone like me who has to control every single bit of their web presence).
- it has an absolutely brilliant iPhone app (that also comes in Android and Blackberry flavors, and which I hope will become an iPad app) that makes it easy to post snippets, photos and links.
- it has a decent API, so I can glue stuff to it on the side if I really, really want to.
- it ties in to Twitter and Facebook in a sane way that means I don’t have to actually maintain a presence there, and
- lets me post stuff as Markdown (which I still don’t like much compared to Textile, but which is tolerable).
Plus it lets me maintain a few add-on pages, which is where some of my staple content (like my HOWTO on switching to the Mac) will eventually end up in. Other stuff will end up on github, iDisk, Google, etc. as time allows.
So buckle up, let’s go for a ride.