Andy Nicolaides

January 11, 2022

Site Updates

Hey, World 👋

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Historically, when I’ve sat down to write an update about the blog it’s been to put forward some excuses or justifications about moving my blog to a new platform. If it’s not a move, it’s a sob story about how I don’t know what to write about and that I’m giving up again. This time the post is about a couple of actual updates however. No platform moves, and no giving up quite yet.

Since moving back to Ghost a few months ago I’ve actually been able to post quite frequently, when compared to my previous outputs at least. Some of my posts even managed to pick up a little traction within my small internet circles. All in all, I think I’m happy with both the performance and volume of content I’ve been putting out there.

So far, I’ve not stuck to my plan of writing a bit more about interests outside of my usual tech sphere, but I’ve got a few things planned for that. My next post is going to be about my favourite Apple Arcade game, for example. It may surprise you … More writing about video games is definitely my plan, so keep an eye out if that’s your thing. I also want to post more short book reviews, utilising Matt Birchler’s ever improving Quick Reviews service. I have one to write up for the book Gerald’s Game and I’m reading through Billy Summer’s as part of the Clicked Book Club, so I’ll be sure to share some thoughts on that too.

With regards to the blog itself, I had quite a few issues with my hosting recently which saw the site go down for longer than it was up in a day. Luckily, somehow, all of my thousands of readers managed to never notice the downtime. Strange that. But, in seriousness, it’s a bit of a shame I had a few weeks of paid hosting with Digital Ocean that was just not working. After looking at the logs it appears there were some strange CPU spikes that took have over 100% which, in turned, seemed to kill everything. After some Googling I found an article about adding swap space. This, touch wood, seemed to have done the trick, because the site hasn’t been down since. So, hopefully, from here on in everything should be solid.

I’ve continued my efforts to move away from using generic Unsplash images and, instead, included my childish cave drawings instead. I’m enjoying doing these, though I’m under no illusion they’re getting any better. While I appreciate they don’t look great, and I should probably revert to Unsplash again, I’m going to keep using them. Good, or not, I’m happy they’re doing what I want them to, namely giving me something fun to do whilst posting and also adding some character, to a certain extent, to the blog.

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The last topic I wanted to touch on is my HEY World page. I’m happy with the look of my Ghost site right now, and posting to it is a lot easier and smoother than it was with Micro.blog, but there’s something about HEY World that keeps me coming back. I’m not going to use it full time, due to lack of customisation options and the fact that, to be frank, most people now hate the service and parent company. It’s not really a good look I suppose, but I still like the look of the pages it generates and of all the blogging platforms I’ve tried it’s the nicest to just write and post to. As a barebones platform that gets everything out of the way and let’s the writing / posting me the sole focus, it does a fantastic job. For now, I’m posting to Ghost first, and then copying the post over to the HEY World page. I know it’s a massive waste of time, but it’s quick to replicate the post, and it gives me a back up should I decide to move it over.

A feature of HEY World is to not only host a post, but for you to email it to your subscribers. Despite my subscriber count increasing slowly, I’m generally not actually pushing any of my posts out to peoples inboxes. In the long run, if I can keep some momentum up, I might continue to post to both, but actually mail out a monthly round up newsletter type post which will highlight some of my own posts published in the last month along with some other interesting points. Just a normal newsletter, essentially. I’m not going to commit to that right now, or push for subscribers. I’m going to quietly keep the posts being added there and see how it goes.

That’s it for now, nothing major, but I wanted to share a few points in my head about the site and how things are going.

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