I've been blogging on codebetter.com for over four years, and its truly been a great learning experience. The last few months have been full of change - things I hope to share soon - and with those changes has come a desire to express myself about both programming and non programming things. So I thought I needed a place of my own where I could write what I wanted to, about what I wanted.
From a community perspective, I'm also in a very different place than I was four years ago - or maybe the community is different (or maybe my perspective of the community is different). As .NET has matured the opportunity to grow and improve has diminished - we spend more of our time preaching to the choir than ever. Those who frequent the typical alt.net places don't really need to be told to try NoSQL - whereas friends-of-microsoft are still hand-rolling their stored procedures. There's plenty of worthwhile work and growth happening - it just seems like its taken a different shape.
This blog is a custom engine written in Rails w/mysql, hosted at Linode, served up by nginx and passenger. Daily backups are sent to bqbackup. I deploy the changes using capistrano and host the git repository at unfuddle. It took about a day to put together. I've promised myself that any personal projects from here on in would be done in ruby. I don't want to get into the rail/.net thing right now - but it is a more efficient and enjoyable environment, by a significant margin.
What I will say about rails is this: 2 years ago it changed how I viewed data access, today it has changed how I view testing. Do yourself a favor and spend a day or two with Rails just as a learning exercise. As a web programmer, you'll get more out of it - even if you never use it again - than you could by spending those two days doing anything else.
And that's my mandatory first-post. If you have any problems with the site, do let me know, this (rails) is all still pretty new to me.