This title is pretty cliché for the first post but I kind of like it.
A bit nerdy, I know! But quite the contrary, I’m not a programmer. The only thing I’ve ever learnt remotely related to coding was some simple HTML for my first personal blog site, which I built several decades ago while managing projects at Ogilvy. I learned that in their lunchtime special interests classes. Those classes were really practical – I also learned mind mapping from one of the earliest practitioners working who was working very closely with the inventor of the concept.
The Many Versions of YAMMIE.NET
This is in fact the third version of YAMMIE.NET. The first version mentioned above was demolished for some reason I can no longer recall. The second version (~2007-10?) was actually quite successful, focusing on fitness and my marketing career in the field back then. It was called Yammie’s Cyberhome back then, and hosted on my other domain, yammie.org. I made a lot of friends from all over the world (which I love!) with this blog, and it was an awesome experience. However, as I transitioned to work in Mainland China, the blog just vanished out of neglect. All content and photos were no longer retrievable. 🙁
One of the remains from the Facebook archive, where I promoted blog updates. I was just moving from Shenzhen to Shanghai for a new job. Life was getting pretty hectic, and it was difficult to get out of the Great Firewall. So I guess that’s probably how I stopped writing.
Blogging Is Still Relevant
Fast-forward 12 years, and here I am, trying to start writing again.
Why am I doing this? You might ask. The reasons are quite legitimate (so I reckon…)
- Simply documenting. I have wanted to do this for a long time. In fact, it’s been on my to-do list for over three years, but it’s very often least prioritised when other things in life become a little overwhelming. The thing about documenting is that it’s usually not as interesting while you’re doing it but becomes exceptionally valuable when you look back after several years.
- Reinforcing & solidifying my knowledge. I’ve been doing a lot of research and learning new concepts and ideas ever since I started developing my current start-up project. As with most founders, I had to start from scratch and spend a fair amount of time finding out how everything works. Putting it in words is simply the best way to remind me of what I’ve tested, failed and learned. And I thought maybe somebody out there would find it useful, too.
- Practising my writing skills. I guess people are rarely born genius writers. In fact, I never knew my writing capability was so bad until I started writing critically for my academic assignments at Falmouth University for my MA degree. So yes, I am a strong believer in “practise makes perfect”.
- Finally, I really like the idea of serendipity which Ali Abdaal talked about in this YouTube video.
Setting Up My WordPress Site
Building a website or blogging has become so much easier now compared to 10+ years ago. Back then we didn’t have much choice – either you code it manually (imagine trying to properly lay out a page with tables… yucks) or you self-host a WordPress site. Instead of using a subscription service, I’m still choosing to create this with WordPress. I just love the flexibility, and it’s always useful to keep up with great skill.
If you are curious, here’s the setup:
- I’m using a paid theme, Kalium, and I quite like it. It’s pretty simplistic and easy to set up. I previously tried another paid theme. It was so painful that after several months of trying to customise how it looked, I lost interest and moved on.
- My site is hosted by DreamHost, a provider I’ve used since 2008. Probably not the cheapest, but I’d say comparatively reliable for its price. It offers excellent support (though I think it was even better before. Lately, their chat support took a bit longer to respond and sometimes provided irrelevant answers, which made me wonder if I’d been talking to an AI).
- Talking about AI – I’m not using any app to write this post, though I do possess quite a few. (I want to practise, remember?). However, I’m trying out a new app called Linguix, a Grammarly alternative, to ensure my grammar and spelling stay on track.
* Links provided above are not sponsored. I’m just sharing my personal preferences.