This Weekend: Start Blogging with Calepin
I’m a big fan of blogging. I started writing my own personal site in 2007, and have kept up righting in some form or fashion since then. Where do I blog? Sometimes I wrote on TypePad, sometimes on WordPress.com or a self hosted Worpress installation, Tumblr and event, recently, set up a Ruby on Rails application called Obtvse.
The biggest problem that I’ve seen with these blogs is that its really hard to actually get down to the posts. The files where your writings are stored. Unfortunately for me, I’ve lost my fair share of posts during blog moves. Importers and exporters don’t work as well as they should and ultimately you don’t have as much control as you’d like in many of these blogging platforms.
This is where I’ve found Calepin.co to be a interesting option. It’s an incredibly simple blogging platform that encourages users to take control and self-host their files that are updated through the power of Dropbox to Calepin’s service.
To write, you use a special type of markup language, similar to HTML (but even easier) called Markdown. It takes about five minutes to master and makes reading marked up documents super simple. The files are then synced from your Dropbox account to Calepin’s servers. Just log into Calepin with your Dropbox credentials and you’re all set. It will make a folder that you can sync to Calepin at the click of a button.
If you’re on your Mac there are a lot of apps, including my favorite iA Writer and another great one called Byword that let you edit Markdown natively. However, any text editor, even TextEdit or Notepad would allow working with Mardown to be pretty simple.
Some of the downsides of Calepin’s service are pretty obvious. You can’t theme it or customize the look and feel of your Calepin blog. At all. Adding pictures is a bit of a pain and embedding video doesn’t seem to be supported at the moment. This blogging platform is centered around your writings and keeping control of your writings. It’s not made for a big community feel like Tumblr.
If you’ve lost posts on your blog before, you might try out Calepin. However, if you can’t seem to leave Tumblr, remember to back it up using the Tumblr Backup Utility.
Enjoy your weekend!