Blogging with markdown and dropbox

June 20, 2013

Tags:Tech

It's always easy to read, hard to speak, and harder to write. We consume loads of information everyday but without digesting them, they can hardly be utilized.

Markdown

Image Title

I was trying to keep blogging, but always give up after a few posts. I used blogger, wordpress, tumblr before but I increasingly feel that they are too bloated for simple task such as blogging. Ideally I want to just focus on writing content rather than fumbling around different configurations. As I started to enter "programming" world, I found people use markdown to do quick html markup. Markdown syntax is easy to read and independent of what system you are using. They are just text file, which can be easily converted to html. With some css, it can become good-looking blog post.

Static blog engine

Static blog engine turns markdown file into blog. They are fast at loading the perfect for non-interactive website like blogs. Jekyll might be the most widely used engine out there. Octopress is a framework based on Jekyll. Octopress comes with HTML templates, CSS, Javascripts and default configuration that you can start to use right away.

Ruhoh and Pelican are two other popular static blog engines written in Ruby and Python respectively. Their audience are basically programmers though, since you have to install and host somewhere.

Scriptogr.am and Calepin.io are two online services using markdown and dropbox to host your blog. They are much easier to use, because you don't need to install any application except dropbox of course. Right now I am using Scriptogr.am for its simplicity and ease of use. With Mou, I can publish blog without even open my browser. That's exactly what I am looking for: concentrating on the content, rather than medium.

Markdown editor

Search "Markdown editor", you'll get a lot of choices. Personally I like to use Mou. It's a really simple but powerful editor. Sublime text with several markdown plugins is also a good choice. Especially if you are already an avid sublime text user.

Hosting

Heroku offers free tier account for different applications. They are almost enough for a simple blog usage. Github page is a free service to host Jekyll based blog.

Conclusion

With markdown, dropbox and scriptogr.am, my blogging is stripped down to a folder of text files. This gave me a great peace of mind. I don't need to go to a website to write my blog. I don't need to worry about whether the website is still up or down, or what is the url of that website. Every time I want to write, I can just start a simple text editor, and all the files are stored in dropbox, which is same as everywhere. Text files are also easy to work with on mobile phones or iPad.