This blog runs on mataroa, and when Akshay introduced me to it, I did not expect it to do what it has done for me.
As a writing platform, mataroa takes nothing to get started. There are barely any options I can configure. All settings fit on just one page. I cannot add external analytics to my blog, not even something simple like Plausible. Basic server-driven analytics are all that I get. I cannot change the colors of the background or the pagination on the homepage. It uses no cookies or tracking of any kind. There is no built-in search, and no way to tag or categorise posts.
I cannot even fiddle with things I definitely do care about, like the typographic experience of the reader. But I’ve realized that because I have no control over any of it… I have stopped caring. Maybe not forever, but for now at least. That is downright amazing because I am now able to do the one thing I have always wanted to do with a blog.
As someone who has to put in effort to focus on what I want to get done, this is a gift. The one metric that mattered has started improving: I published one post and I have three pending drafts that are very close to being done.
For every single thing that mataroa does not have, in comparison to “competing” services like Posthaven or Svbtle, it already has some things I consider critical for a personal blogging service:
I can use my own domain. ^_^
I can pay for the service, as one should. The price (currently 9 USD per year) is so low that even if I write just a few times a year, it will cost less than the food I will consume while writing those posts.
That price figure is also important in another way: most platforms charge 5-15 USD per month which IMHO is too high a price for a regular person’s tiny place on the internet. It puts undue pressure to write something, anything, every time that line item shows up in the credit card statement.
Even if mataroa were to vanish overnight, my writing is with me: every month I get an email with an archive of all posts exported as markdown. This is great product design — I wish I had thought of such a simple backup feature.
Anyone can subscribe via email! Anyone can subscribe via RSS!
So glad you exist, mataroa. <3