A New Platform — My Relentless Pursuit of Privacy

This article was originally posted on my blog here.

I have decided to try out a new format for my blog. The site that this article was originally published on can be found at the new home of my blog, here. I thought I might take this opportunity to discuss the platform that runs this blog, as well as my motivation for moving the primary source away from Medium.

Enter Hexo

  • Postleaf — this one was my initial choice, but it has a much smaller community, and doesn’t appear to be actively developed anymore.
  • Ghost — Ghost is a powerful CMS platform with a massive commnunity. However, it has a much more corporate feel, and I’m not wild about running an app vs. a statically generated site. Additionally, it requires a login to their central service and has many features behind a paywall.
  • Wordpress — I’ve used Wordpress in the past. While it works well as a holistic website solution for many people, I generally prefer something lighter that I can modify easily.

Content

Themes

Plugins

Large technology companies like the ones that run the so-called free services that run our lives make their money by selling our data to advertisers.

Okay, but why?

My Medium view/read stats for October/November 2019.

Over the last couple years, I’ve written fewer articles and tutorials than I would have liked, but the ones I did write have done fairly well. I have a pretty consistent 25–30k views per month across several of my stories, including my multipart Raspberry Pi Cluster series. So why would I want to move away from Medium as my primary publishing source? Well to answer that question we need to look at a deeper trend.

Technological Behemoths and the Internet “Consumer”

Large technology companies like the ones that run the so-called free services that run our lives make their money by selling our data to advertisers. In turn, we are bombarded with increasingly strategic ads that try to steal our attention. This is troubling to me.

That, combined with the fact that I am deeply uncomfortable relying on sometimes ephemeral companies to provide me the services I need to use day-to-day. Especially if, in turn, the data I entrust to these services is being analyzed to sell me on AI-selected products.

Public Cloud

I know that a VPS still implies a level of trust of my data with a corporate entity. However, the access that entity has to my data is severely limited. Besides, I’m a college student. Where am I supposed to put a rack of servers. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy that…

So far, this effort has included, among other things:

  • Replacing Google Contacts, Calendar, Drive with NextCloud equivalents
  • Transitioning from Google Docs to LibreOffice on my laptop and a private OnlyOffice instance online
  • Relocating my code from Github to my private Gitea instance
  • Swapping Google for DuckDuckGo, a privacy-first search engine
  • Moving my personal site from Github Pages to a VPS

A Medium Corporation

So, in keeping with my theme for the year, I wanted to find a more data-safe medium (heh) for my content. Hence, this site was born.

What does this mean?

I’m excited to get back in the process of creating write-ups for my projects. It helps me document my work and has given me some really awesome opportunities to interact with people who enjoy these projects as well. So, be sure to check back in the future.

Garrett

P.S. — Existing posts from my Medium blog will be made available here as I have time to transition them.

Hi, there. I’m a software developer and speaker who likes to make things: https://garrettmills.dev/