My first post... again... for the last time

My First Post... for the hopefully the last time


Published on January 24, 2023

small cartoon of Alex Chaveriat
TL;DR I'm excited to show off my new website! I built it completely from scratch with a custom CMS, NextJS for SSG/SSR/ISR, and full CI/CD. Plus, I added some fun features like a HackThePlanet component, OpenAI TL;DR, and more to come.

Another year and another website. I am PUMPED!

ryan reynolds but why meme image

Reasons for the Change

Less than a year ago, I built my last personal site. It was an awesome site since I didn't need to rely on some silly backend like Wordpress and instead I could use as the CMS using nextjs-notion-starter-kit. It is an excellent NextJS template that uses Notion as the backend and built using NextJS (just like this site). However, what started as love quickly began to fade. The project's maintainer got busy with other things, so bugs started forming; plus, I need to do a TON of customization just do something simple like a "Contact Me" page. Eventually, it was so bad I stopped touching the site because I couldn't compile without the build failing and spending HOURS fixing it. So I started creating something custom, which got out of control.

  • Completely custom build.

  • Custom Build CMS using Firebase Firestore, Authentication, Storage, Cloud Functions, etc.

  • Currently SSG + SSR + ISR (and if I find a need - real-time data streaming for live content changes)

  • Fine, I will say it BLAZINGLY FAST

  • Full-blown CI/CD with test cases and auto deployment

  • NextJS, Firebase, Vercel, and some AWS pieces like SES.

  • Wonderful backend editor with a custom autosave component built using TipTap as the Rich Text Editor and other nice features that I can customize and eventually expose to other people for cool projects in the future. Heck, I am building this entire post with my editor and I believe it is a beautiful thing.

  • AI-Generated TL;DR summaries (which is so overkill for a site no one will even read) 不 - except you - thank you for that!

  • ULTIMATELY - a complete ability to change WHATEVER I want so I can get creative and do things like the HackThePlanet component on the About Me page - which makes me happy.

The "Internal Cringe" Feeling

For a bunch of reasons, I stopped wanting to use WordPress (and WP Engine that hosted it) including it being expensive, bloated, dated, and hard to customize. I have been on a programming spree lately, building out many fun projects. Moreover, I started to have this internal cringe anytime somebody told me, "Hey, I checked out your site." I despise that feeling, the distaste for something that is representing you. Secondly, I haven't done a YouTube video on my "main" channel in a while; it is due to end-of-the-year busyness, being sick for almost three months 丐, and bunch of other things that are mostly boring but important. I started working on a new personal site while I was ill. I didn't have the energy or motivation to think too hard on a video, whereas coding is something I can do while watching Muppet's Christmas Carol (the ultimate Christmas movie) though Spirited ranks up there.

It got weird

The site started as a replacement for the old one with a few features then a few more then a custom build CMS with OpenAi integration. Yea, it got weird. Since I found myself able to build anything, I built things that made me happy, like the Hack The Planet component and things I found fascinating, like the OpenAI TL;DR summaries on the main page. I have a few other ideas, but for now, I want to get the site out or there is going to be a bunch of features that make it so it never goes live.

rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy saying "We're all very fascinated"

What to expect

Honestly, I have no idea. I want this site to be more like what I originally wanted, a personal blog to get better at writing. Though time will tell, I hope it will not turn into a stale site. I have an idea for generating blog summaries from the Hacker Hangouts podcast/live stream using OpenAI. Ultimately, I want a creative space that I can control that I don't need to care about too much. YouTube feels like it needs to be polished, as I write that I realize, that is probably why I haven't done one in a while.

With that, if you made it this far and didn't just read the TL;DR - Thank you! I appreciate you! Feel free to ping me on Twitter or the Hacker Hangouts Discord. I always find it encouraging. Cheers and Hack on!