Recently I switched from Feather, a Merb blogging app, to WordPress. Here is a small run down on why I made the switch.
First off let me say this about Feather. It is an amazing application. I have contributed a bit to its development and can vouch on the quality of the Product. The creators of Feather, Michael Leung and El Draper, have done a great job putting together a wonderful blogging tool that is both simple and extendable. The team has had the difficult task of trying to keep of with the rapidly mutating Merb and DataMapper code bases and have managed to keep a high level of code quality.
So why make the switch after all the praise?
I love programming. I especially love learning and playing with new languages. I love to dive in and explore and while sometimes this is beneficial (like stumbling across some new, weird framework written by some European), other times it is a serious distraction and causes a loss of focus. Feather became that distraction.
With Feather, ever time I went to fire off a blog post, I ended up working on the code base instead. For a while I was fine with it. Getting my hands dirty with Merb and contributing to an open source project was more important to me than developing an online presence. I like the people, I liked the code, and I was having fun.
But then a few weeks ago I was reading a post by Jay Fields and he was talking about being your startup. In the article Jay talks how important it is to develop your brand. He outlines a few points that he feels are important to accomplishing this. First on his list is having a blog.
At first I said to myself, “Sweet! I have a blog already! 37 Signals, are you ready to hire me?”, but then he made the obvious but overlooked point that you need to write and write often. This was where I was failing. I was using my blog to write code, not articles. Writing code isn’t bad, actually one of my favorite things to do in life really, but writing code when you aren’t suppose to be writing code is bad.