January 2, 2020

On Blogging and SmugMug

For a long time I've used SmugMug as the foundation of my website. Going on ten years, in fact, which is a pretty remarkable standing for anything tech-related these days. Not only do my pictures look their best on SmugMug, but I've always appreciated the fact that the front-end of my site is completely customizable, and that SmugMug brings outstanding integration with social tools, mobile access, and commerce options for professional print services.

That kind of sounds like an advertisement, I know, but it's not - I've just continued to be a very happy customer for nearly a decade now.

Except for one thing... Despite all the pros of SmugMug, one feature that has critically been lacking is some form of blogging capability integrated within the platform. Even when blogging was all the rage (and I, like so many others, published written work frequently), SmugMug just didn't have any meaningful capability. To fill the gap, Smugmug users have had to rely on third-party blogging platforms and clumsily try to integrate them with their SmugMug site. Personally, I've used both WordPress and SquareSpace platforms in the past to do this - but the painstaking process of making those sites functionally and aesthetically integrate with my SmugMug site ultimately made those auxiliary services nothing more than a series of unneeded headaches.

So we find ourselves now in 2020. During a time where blogs still exist but are mostly a relic of the Web 2.0 era. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube predominately govern the contemporary social web experience, and yet SmugMug still doesn't offer a convenient way of adding pages of text in an ordered manner - perhaps because most content these days is consumed via images, video, or less-than-280-character bits. The cynic in me can almost hear the SmugMug product managers saying "See, we told you! No one needs a blogging feature in SmugMug!"

Call me old-fashioned, but I still enjoy the option of having written words accompany certain photographs. So I've come up with a bit of a workaround here on SmugMug that can serve as a solution for writing short pieces and for sharing photographic projects that don't fit neatly into individual galleries. It's not a blog, but I think it's nice to have the option of sharing content in this way. I'll give it a try, and see where it leads.

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