Hello World


I have lost count of how many blogs I owned / abandoned over the years. Although I do not have vivid recollection, I am sure I created each one of them thinking that I was there to stay. Naturally, I am starting this $n^{th}$ blog, fully intending to make this my permanent online home. Why do I think this time is different from any of the previous attempts?

Hosted blog versus blog made from scratch

All of my previous blogs were “rentals”. I would always create an account on a hosting website, say Google Blogger, and start scribbling. Although convenient and low maintenance, living in rented properties comes its own price. I could never fully customize the look of my blog. Even worse, when the property owner closes their business, I would become homeless. I know all too well the downsides of renting. However, with limited technical skills, I never felt ready to build my own blog.

This past year, I finally had a chance to hunker down and pick up some badly needed skills. The current blog is built from scratch with Hugo, inspired by many brilliant tutorials, including this one. I can finally claim this property mine.

Of course, having a blog made from scratch does not guarantee that it will not be deserted. In fact, I have come across too many blogs that also appear to be made from scratch and yet have not had entries for over a year. That’s why I am also setting up some ground rules for myself.

Extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation

Many of my previous blogs were created because I wanted to know how others would react to my content. There were invariably comment sections at the end of each blog entry. It was both exhilarating to receive comments from the audience and exhausting to wait for them.

I may change my mind later. As of now, I plan not to have a comment section built in to this blog. Instead, I will use this space to track my learning progress. A blog may seem unnecessary given that I already take extensive notes for most subjects I need to learn. However, notes accumulate over time and I need to review and summarize them periodically to make sure that I am not just hoarding information in a piecemeal fashion. This blog will motivate myself to do so.

Existing features of my new home

I still have a long list of renovation ideas to be implemented, but the blog is already equipped with basic functions, including a tag system, mixing code with plain text, and inserting images with automatic numbering. I might write about how I added some of those features in a later post.