Ruin The assorted ramblings of Brendan Tobolaski

One Year of Ruin

In early February of last year, I purchased this shnazy domain, A few weeks after that, I launched the site. At first, it had no content at all. This was intentional, initially I wanted to start a completely new site with none of my old content on it. Eventually, I realized that wasnʼt the way to go. I painstakingly copied all of the worthwhile content from my previous sites into this one and then redirect the old sites here. That was definitely the correct decision, Iʼve enjoyed writing on this site greatly and Iʼve really enjoyed watching the traffic grow.

Iʼm very happy to report that all of my top 5 most popular posts where things that I wrote in the last year specifically for Here they are:

  1. godoc with homebrew installed Go
  2. Parsing Nginx logs with logstash
  3. ownCloud in Docker
  4. Using a Mac Mini as a server
  5. 2 Ways Iʼm using Docker

I have very mixed feelings about these. On the one hand, these all have to do with my chosen profession. Iʼm glad that other people find my professional discoveries useful. On the other had, Iʼm rather disappointed that none of my reviews show up here. I really like writing reviews of products that I enjoy using. I wish that would translate into something that people wish to read but, thats clearly not the case. Also Iʼm a bit disappointed in both of the Docker posts. While I find Docker to be very interesting, Iʼm not actually using it that much anymore. It requires quite a bit of by in from other people you work with before it starts to show its value.

Iʼve had few notable surges of traffic over the last year. By far the biggest one came from the Docker weekly newsletter. They linked to 2 ways Iʼm using Docker in their weekly newsletter. This was by far my largest spike of traffic. It lasted about 2 and half days. By far the happiest moment for me was when Ben Brooks said something nice about my site:

That was easily the best part of my year for this site. It didn’t provide nearly the same amount of traffic that the Docker newsletter did but, having a writer that you enjoy reading say something nice about your own writing is quite rewarding. Unfortunately, I made lots of mistakes in the linked post which made me feel a little less happy about the it.

During this past year, Iʼve changed blogging software nearly as often as Iʼve published a post. That is a fairly large exaggeration but, it feels that way sometimes. I havenʼt yet found a blogging tool that I really like. In the past year Iʼve switched off between Ghost and Jekyll. Neither one is perfect but, theyʼre better than anything else that Iʼve used. Iʼve settled for Jekyll recent mainly due to its flexibility. Iʼve also got a little bit of a unix nerd in me, so the fact that its a translation from one text format to another holds quite a bit of attraction for me. I like that my writing is simply text files which I could write a new tool to generate my site. At the same time, Jekyll is flexible enough that I think its unlikely that Iʼll ever need to do that. Other than slowness. I addressed the major cause of slow build times but, the building of the site will slow down gradually as I add additional content. Perhaps, by the time that build times become a problem, Iʼll find a better blogging tool. Until then, Jekyll fits my needs quite nicely.

Now for the hard part, the finances. Very few people discuss the business side of their sites but, recently, a few have begun to share their financials. I figure that I might as well join them. This may be easy for me as I havenʼt made a dime off of this site. In fact, it costs me a decent chunk of money to keep running. First off is the domain from Hover, an .io domain is $49.99 a year. I swear that it was $80 for the first year but, I could be mistaken. Then I have the ssl certificate. While it is not required, I value your privacy so, I make every use tls when connecting to my site. I purchase my certificates from mainly because I donʼt think you should use startssl. Then there is the hosting, since I like to be able to control everything about my site, I host it on a vps from Linode. I have a 2 cpu 2gb of ram server for $20/month. This is very much overkill for the amount of traffic that I receive but, I like having all of the available cpu. I also use Cloud.typography for great web fonts. Since my site is very small Iʼm on their smallest plan for $99/year. This means that the total cost of my main site is $404.99/year. Now I also run a server for Discourse although it is not being used. This is another $20 a month for the server and $16 for the ssl certificate. This is an additional $256/year. The total to run this site is $660.99/year. While I could make things cheaper in some ways, I like the way things are setup now. In the coming weeks I will be announcing my plan to recoup some of the expenses associate with running this site.

Iʼm really surprised that you made it this far. I really doubt that anyone actually reads these things but thanks for doing it! Iʼve really enjoyed writing this site and I plan to continue writing here for many years.