Friday, July 25, 2008

Why Blogger?

I had talked about some publishing systems in the post, Why Choose Blog. However, in mid-2008, I decided to move everything to a platform that's managed by a more stable and committed provider, Google, thinking it would save me a lot of time maintaining the technical side of things and enables me to focus more on the contents themselves. This decision involves new technical consideration, life priority, and the trends of the time.

On the technical side, Serendipity is a very good product. Otherwise I wouldn't have chosen it and spent so much time hacking it. However, after a while, it became too time consuming to patch my mods onto every new release.

The other major problem of the old system is MySQL didn't support Chinese search. I highly doubt any PHP (or Perl, or any script) based solution would include a Chinese Segmentation Engine for good Chinese searching. Therefore, I either have to rely on an external search engine, or give up the hope on local Chinese search.

Professionally I have to be very familiar with Drupal and Movable Type, and I do find Drupal very promising. The Drupal community is excellent and I think the framework is very mature and elegant. However, one thing that I learned about myself in the past few months is my current life priority does not allow me to throw in too much time maintaining a production site. Therefore, I made a decision: sacrifice the flexibility of coding things myself in exchange of precious time for my First Life.

Another important lesson that I learned after I started to work is the power of team work. DIABY (Do It All By Yourself) is not the trend in modern professional world. I learned to accept imperfection (or my intolerance of things not being my way) in exchange of the benefit of balance of life -- if I insist on doing everything on my own, I will be too occupied and exhausted to actually live. The trends nowadays are collaboration, outsourcing, and openness. Doing everything on my own is just not feasible at all (although the image of Mac Gyver or any of those heroes came to mind) and heavily customizing my personal blog satisfies nobody but myself. I think I'd be a better internet citizen if I contribute more meaningful contents instead of a very customized look of my blog. By using a more common platform, more people can have access to it with their own familiar tools.

So that's it. A Blogger now I am.

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