The revival of

2024-07-08 06:00:00 +07:00 by Mark Smith

I've been thinking the past few days about how much effort it would take to get a commercial site up and running again. I previously successfully built a linkblogging SaaS called, it had a ton of great features, worked really well, was low cost to run and very scalable. But I ran out of runway and had to shut it down. Since then I've continued building, mostly just my own stuff. I moved my personal linkblog to a static site and bit by bit added various new features. My static site is now a blog, linkblog, notes blog, newsletter and podcast.

As part of this I built my own static site generator. It's a nodejs CLI tool. It runs very quickly. It's really customisable. I recently wrote a more detailed description of it's features, and had a bit of a think about possible plans for the future. I don't currently have the resources to start again from scratch, but I've been wondering if I have enough pieces to cobble together something that I could open up as a product.

In an ideal world with lots of money and resources I would most likely do a re-write, because what I've been working towards all these years is this thing I call the blogging virtuous circle. I have basically managed to achieve a first version of that in my own personal static site. It's really cool, and actually kind of works, though it's a bit rough around the edges. Posting links on the daily, writing short notes and longer blog posts, is a really great way to consistently create great content.

The thing that fills me with confidence is that it's built around git. That means it is a very robust setup. Even if you get knocked offline, you can still blog, and sync up later when you are back online. This happened to me recently several times, and I was able to blog through it even though I was offline for several weeks. I plan to build better higher level UIs for posting, but I want it to always be possible to fallback to just using git and markdown files. I know for sure that's possible now.

So the question is, can I get something up and running, and over time move towards my long term vision? I have a working first version of my long term vision, I have a SaaS of one core component of that vision, and a static site generator that would enable users to build their own sites should they choose to migrate from the SaaS. The great thing about the SaaS is that it has the billing system all done and fully working. I could theoretically have some paying customers for the linkblogging SaaS, that would enable me to fund development towards the full vision. Who knows maybe once something is up and running, perhaps I could raise some money via a kick starter campaign. The plan is to open source the static site generator. Users would always be able to easily move to their own site.

That's what I've been thinking about the past few days since I finished the everything page amidst a somewhat difficult deployment. I know all this might seem uterly futile and hopeless in a world dominated by Big Tech giants, and everyone is building fancy AI stuff and maybe publishing is boring, but I still believe we can build a better future, and I think writing your own content, and having control of it is the way we get there.

Figured I'd write a short blog post about it, put the ideas out into the universe and see what, if anything, comes back.

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