After much indecision, I have a homepage on the internet once more - comprised of a domain name of my own, an SSL certificate, a web hosting account, and an installation of perhaps the most forward-looking web publishing platform available.
Over the last few years I have experimented with many of the popular hosted publishing platforms - from Wordpress, to Medium, Weebly, Wix, and even Postach.io - a rather clever Evernote integration. While tinkering, I could never get past the fact that my words were no longer my own - as soon as you publish to a public platform, you become their product in a strange sort of way. What's more, you have no say in the future direction the platform takes - such as Medium's slow pivot towards becoming a walled garden.
So what was involved in the construction of jonbeckett.com ?
It all started with a domain name. I've owned the domain of my own name for years. Each time it comes up for renewal I wonder about letting it go, but happily I never have - otherwise this whole escapade may have been a bit more difficult.
The next step was the choice of a hosting service. I decided on Digital Ocean, who host virtual servers in the cloud - they were significantly better value than Microsoft Azure for my purposes. They also provided a scripted installation of Ghost - a modern web publishing platform that caused something of a sensation when it appeared on Kickstarter a few years back.
After a few minutes, I had a virtual server running in the cloud, an installation of Ghost sitting on the server, and a domain pointed at the server via CloudFlare. A few minutes later I had cross-posted some content, and the site came to life.
I suppose this is where the tinkering stops, and the work begins - emptying my head into the keyboard over the coming weeks and months to share my thoughts, stories, and ideas.