What it's like writing on Listed

Okay, okay, but please, just let me get the meta out now? How can you have a blog without starting with meta?

Putting together yesterday's piece was a new experience for me. I've previously written in one of two modes:

  • in vi either directly on the OpenBSD server that also hosted the blog, or on my MacBook to be built with the ancient Felix Felicis and rsynced into place, or
  • in the massive, somewhat overwhelming environment of Atomic Spin's WordPress admin area

The latter part is interesting—I know a lot of my coworkers at Atomic Object don't write directly in the admin area, but rather use some other editor (generally something that does Markdown or one of its many derivatives) and bring their work over. I've always been more comfortable in the "text" tab—not the visual editor, but the one where I can hammer out all the markup as I write. I'm strange.

Listed is a different experience, and yet also familiar. I've been a Standard Notes user for a long time, using it for journals and other secret bits. Now, I'm writing Markdown right into the same interface, with the intent to publish.

What's really interesting about that is that I don't blog much differently than I journal. The singular difference is intended audience. But I have the same writing voice, and I think there might be something to how natural it is to just take on a blog post instead of a journal entry.

I also know my drafts are just as private as any journal entry I might write. I had a similar feel editing my personal blog with vi, minus the crypto, of course. But this doesn't require me to be SSH'd in—I'm writing either on the desktop app, or on the mobile app on my iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard. (I haven't picked at it on my phone, yet. We'll see.)

Once I'm ready, I just hit the Listed menu on my note and say "publish". Edits are made similarly—open the note, change, republish in place.

The remaining mechanics are somewhat interesting. Special notes with header sections can be used to set up pages and header links as well as custom CSS. It's a little strange, but it's also very much blog-infrastructure-as-code, if your code is entries in your Standard Notes account.

I like not having to think about the vagaries of the site, but I also realize I'm constrained a bit. For example—not yet sure if I can use this site as a verified link on my Queer Garden account. Maybe something to chat with support about.

Images are also gonna be a bit of a source of grief, I suspect. To get my header image in play, I went ahead and set up a public S3 bucket. I'll probably explore using that same bucket for images, because images just aren't part of this, as far as I can tell.

So that's where I am on day two. A couple days ago, I had briefly poked at Hugo with the intent of setting up A Whole New Blog Infrastructure, but really, when it came down to it—I just want to write, and Listed and Standard Notes were already there. So why not? I'm positive so far on where this can go.

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