I was about to start writing a blog post about something this morning, but felt a little constrained by my writing workflow. Start writing in Notion/Google Docs, move it to VSCode/Atom, spin up Jekyll, draft, draft, deploy, make mistake, edit, deploy, and so on.

So I spent a few hours building something that I've always wanted: a simple CMS for hackers who write.

Why?

There was too much of a gap between I have an idea and I've written about it.

The Most Important Thing

It's designed to minimize time to blinking cursor. I cut out a lot of the workflow I previously had so I can start writing as quickly as possible.

It has a simple admin site where I can write posts in markdown and see a live preview as I write.

V1 of the editor.

Feature List

Right now, it's almost at feature parity with my Jekyll blog.

  • Supports posts, drafts, and hidden posts: previously, I kept a notion folder for blog post drafts, but that felt like friction. So now I can just start writing here and save a draft as soon as I think of something interesting.
  • Custom Collections: I've also moved over all the custom collections I was keeping on my personal site: Books, Links, Quotes, and more.
  • Basic SEO and Analytics: There's still some more work to do here.
  • RSS Feeds: Fun fact, Rails has had a built in RSS feed library since v2.
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Sitemaps

It also feels pretty fast. Obviously it's hard to keep something like this fast under a lot of scale, but I think under most circumstances, this will be nearly as fast as my static site.

Features to add

  • ✅ Better integration with S3: I should be able to drag and drop an image or video into the text editor and have it automatically sync the assets to S3 and Cloudfront/some CDN.
  • [ ] Twitter Integration: have it automatically tweet when I publish a post.
  • [ ] Spellcheck
  • [ ] Better privacy settings.

I think there's also a lot to be done here with visibility and permissions. LiveJournal used to be able to let you do this, maybe we'll be seeing more of this in the future.

Why not use insert platform name here

  • Wordpress: I've always found wordpress configuration a little challenging. While it has a rich plugin ecosystem, I'd rather build my own.
  • Ghost: Seems like they've shifted away from personal publishing and started competing with Substack. Also, I don't want to have to pay more if I get more visitors.
  • Substack: I'm not cool enough yet
  • Medium: I really dislike how Medium makes people sign up to read an article. Every page looks like this:

screenshot.png

Also, let me know if you run into any issues with this new version of the site.