Minimum Viable Writing

For quite a while now I’ve wanted to do more writing up of the work I’m doing and general thoughts I have on UX, interface design, typography & whatever else interests me at a given time.

Pen & Paper

I’ve worked through quite a few systems including Wordpress, Blogger, Textpattern but not found a system I felt really fitted in with how I’d like to work. I find myself getting hung up on the design, or plugins for including feeds or ads.

Minimum Viable Product Writing

The idea of creating a Minimum Viable Product is one that resonates with me as a UI designer. Working from sketches through to a finished product via various stages of fidelity has proved to be a technique that works for me. It made sense then to try this approach with my writing.

This new platform has been set up using Github Pages and (initially, but no longer) Tinypress. The articles are written using Markdown and hosted via Github allowing others to make pull requests to suggest edits, ammend typos or suggest ideas for discussion. This even opens up the chance for me to have guest editors - got an idea for an article? Just let me know -

I’ve been thinking a lot on ownership of content recently - useful as things like Medium are I do worry about sites, and subsequently links, disappearing (something spoken & written about in great detail by Jeremy Keith - The same with technology - I used to use Textpattern for writing up articles and, while it’s still around, it’s not looking like a platform with a future. I could see a similar fate with things like Wordpress and, as such, I’m trying to become less platform dependant.

I’m using Github Pages as free hosting for ElectronicPress but the underlying technology, Jekyll, Markdown, Git, are all open source making it (hopefully) easier to move in future if required while maintaining content, links, images, comments, etc.

I’m also hoping to become a better writer as part of this. I’m always keen to point out the benefits of having good copy and the useful tools available to improve writing on the web but this is an area I’m looking to get better at. Github Pages also helps with this as it versions the content. It gives me the chance to go back and easily edit previous articles as I improve my writing craft while also retaining the previous versions for me to refer, or roll back too.

The Future

I’m not sure how this will work out, but I do know I want to write up the work I’m doing, the ideas I have, etc. just for my own reference—and if this proves useful to others, all the better.

I’m planning to start with this Minimum Viable Writing platform and then expand it over time, adding comments, sorting out category pages, pulling in other useful info and I’d be really interested in any ideas other might have -