Why the switch to Ghost Pro

Since the Posterous blog service went down some time back, I have been using Tumblr to blog about my technological misadventures and tips. Tumblr has been a great service but a few things annoyed the crap out of me.

They are:

1. Markdown plain rocks

While Tumblr has a decent WYSIWYG editor and raw HTML access if you need to have some fun with the HTML, it was just very annoying and limited. Markdown is simple and expressive so I can actually post stuff in a manner is see more fitting than being hamstrung bu the VERY small window used to post stuff which makes it hard to do HTML for the more advanced layout stuff that the WYSIWYG editor cannot do.

With markdown, I have full control over the layout and presentation of my posts which has more or less eliminated the need for me to play with the HTML. When I do need to play with the HTML, I don't need to change views or do things that feels unnatural. It is all there in one place (it also helps that the screen real estate is HUGE in comparison to Tumblr, a big win).

The very responsive live preview is a big win as well.

2. Easier to post code snippets

With Tumblr, I need to either write fancy HTML to make my code snippets legible or embed GitHub Gists. Both of which are less than ideal because:

  • Fancy HTML
    • This takes up time, time which I don't have between my day job and working on my side projects.
  • GitHub Gists
    • Gists are awesome as I can embed them directly without the need to do fancy HTML. However, they contain several drawbacks. They are:
      • Need to switch to HTML to embed the script from Gists in Tumblr's VERY small publishing window.
      • No preview in publishing window or in the Tumblr stream/feed. Can be quite a pain as I need to be careful not to screw up my layout.
      • Not visible in the mobile app, bummer.

In Ghost, all I have to do is tab indent or use <code>.

Win incarnate.

3. Simplicity - form meets function

Tumblr while an awesome platform, it was just becoming too busy, all I want is to publish my thoughts and move on. I don't really want to navigate very busy interface only to get to a publishing tool that is undersized.

In Ghost, I have everything I need, nothing I don't and everything I need is practical and does not sacrifice function over form.

4. Extensibility

The plans for the plugins for Ghost seem promising, in Tumblr, you are preety much stuck to what they give you.

5. Open Source

Ghost is an open source project with people contributing and all that. If Linux is anything to go by, there should be good things in store for Ghost.

This also means I can easily migrate to my own hosted version without too much of a hassle. That is not an option in Tumblr.

6. Node.js

Ghost is powered by Node.js, an awesome technology that I know scales well and is a joy to use.

If you are willing to take the plunge into a cool new platform that seems to prize functionality and simplicity (plus part with some of your hard earned cash to keep these guys going), I hightly recommend you give this new playform a go.