My second year of blogging with

Two years ago these days I announced my blog Paolo Amoroso's Journal hosted at is a paid instance of the lightweight, federated, open source blogging platform WriteFreely.

Deciding on a blogging platform that meets my needs wasn't easy but going with is the best blogging decision I've ever taken.

The good is perfect for me for two main reasons. First, it provides excellent support for technical writing. Markdown proved a game changer for the ease of formatting text and source code.

The other reason is' lightweight environment reduces friction. Again, part of this is due to Markdown which doesn't get in the way of producing complex technical content.

This allowed me to publish 268 posts in two years. I never blogged so much on any other platform.

Reflecting on my first year with I wrote:

The first year on was eventful. Two of my posts went viral on Hacker News, [...]

Aside from the rewards and validation of such success metrics, an unexpected benefit of the first year of blogging at has been writing for an audience of one: me.

Since then there were a couple more Hacker News hits but the last point is even more relevant now.

The post archive is an invaluable resource, for example, for reviewing the details of past projects I no longer remember and need to resume working on, or for other projects. The blog turned out as a sort of personal lab notebook, and sometimes others read what I write.

The less good

Much as I love and am grateful for what it helped me accomplish, it still has a few limitations and minor annonyances that introduce unnecessary friction. has no post preview. A workaround is to publish an anonymous unlinked post that doesn't show up on the blog, and continue editing until it looks good. But anonymous posts don't render the blog's theme, Markdown tables, MathJax, and media embeds. Which is a problem for technical writing.

When a post is ready for public distribution I move the relevant anonymous post to the blog. However, the action doesn't trigger emailing the post to the readers who subscribe to the blog as a newsletter. A fix is to set the datestamp of the anonymous post to the current date and time just prior to moving the post to the blog.

Finally, doesn't have a global language setting for blogs and the option has to be set manually for every post. Which I did for all 268 of them.

The future

Most of the time these issues are minor. The only major limitation is the lack of a real, full post preview. I hope the issues will eventually be fixed but I still highly enjoy The platform encourages writing and makes blogging enjoyable.

I'm happy with and the experience of the past two years strenghtens my choice. No changes ahead, I'll just continue using


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