I first started blogging here at JoshGuttman.com using TypePad in 2004. Around 2007, I got to know the guys over at Automattic and made the decision to switch to Wordpress, where this site (and several others I managed, including BergenCarroll RIP) lived ever since. In recent years, my blogging became more sporadic so when I recently recommitted to writing, I decided to look around for ways to optimize the efficiency of my publishing experience. In August, I posted this tweet:
Looking for a wordpress ninja to help me make some magic happen. Please reach out if you have skills or know someone great.— Josh Guttman (@JGut) August 25, 2014
Fifteen or so people replied from around the world, offering help in the form of advice, development or both. One of the people with whom I connected was Adrian McShane from Cambridge, UK who works in digital publishing and is founder of Tech.eu. He introduced me to Ghost, a streamlined, open-source publishing tool founded by John O'Nolan. John was Deputy Head of Design at Wordpress and helped build blogs for the likes of Microsoft and Virgin. With Ghost, he set out to build "the best publishing tools on the web for writers, editors and publishers in a hyper transparent, not-for-profit way". He launched publicly a year ago via this Kickstarter campaign and early growth suggests that he hit on a nerve. I asked John about the not-for-profit, open source structure and he explained that he wants to build a company that was "legally and philosophically aligned with the interests of all constituents". He manages a team of six developers with 170 open source contributors around the globe. True to the distributed ethos he learned at Automattic, he was living in Egypt when we spoke, capitalizing on the uber consistent kite surfing winds. According to Ghost's website:
The Ghost application is free. Free to use, free to modify, free to share, free to redistribute. You can do anything you like with the software, without legal restriction. When you download a copy of Ghost, you own it. It's completely yours.
Ghost is created almost entirely by volunteers. The project is organised and run by a small, Non-Profit Organisation called the Ghost Foundation - but it is developed in public, by a large group of contributors all over the world who donate their time and skills to creating a blogging platform for everyone. You can help!
Ghost uses Markdown, a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers, originally created by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz. I felt some initial reticence over learning a new language, but with a few posts under my belt, those fears are long gone. Markdown is easy, quick and intuitive. It makes blogging fun again and I'm thrilled to be learning a new writing/programming language at the same time.
So, look for more regular blogging on JoshGuttman.com. You can subscribe via Email or RSS and I've moved Disqus commenting and Zemanta TechCircle over from my WordPress site. I'm aiming for 1-2 posts per week, but let's see how it goes. If you have any suggestions for the site, please let me know in the comments below.