New Digs

New Digs
Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi / Unsplash

Front Matter

If you are reading this in email, and are happy with that, congratulations! Everything worked.

If you click on the title, you will be loading this on the new home of The Product Bistro. With all the kerfuffle and ham-handed official position of Substack regarding their growing cohort of white supremacists and nazis, I knew that I needed to move my professional presence away from there.

You will need to log in again, and that is as simple as typing in the email address you signed up with (hint: it is the account where you received this email), and a link to log in will be sent to you via email.

Furthermore, if you are no longer interested in receiving these mails, and want to unsubscribe, at the bottom of this email is a link. Click that, and you will never hear from me again. I promise I will not be upset.

The Skinny

Ghost was a natural choice. Indeed, until early spring 2023, the bistro had been on a self-hosted instance of Ghost, and I made the move solely to get out of the back-end maintenance tasks. But now, I am back on Ghost, but I am using their paid platform, Ghost(pro) to host the site. We are pretty small here, and it costs about the same as two cups of Starbucks coffee (not the super fancy ones either) per month. I can afford that.

Having followed the travails of some of the other Substackers who have made the move, I will admit that I was a wee bit nervous. Molly White's experience was rather complicated, but it seems that the complications were largely due to the paid subscriptions, tiers, and the like, added to the extra complication of self-hosting. Plus she's an engineer, so she rolled up her sleeves and got intimate with it.

I will say that the move here was trivial, and the tools that they provide even for the lowest tier subscription ($9 a month) were amazing. I was worried that I would need to go do some updates to posts to fix links, but clearly the team behind Ghost have already mastered the migration from Substack (turns out that there is a booming business in rehoming people's Substacks) and it literally took less than a half hour to get up and running.

They did pause my ability to send email, wanting to make sure that I had permissions (as in you all signed up, and I am not just spamming you) to send to your emails. As I mentioned above, if you want to depart, the unsubscribe link below works, and we do honor it.

One thing that Ghost will let me do is to use an analytics platform to get usage and audience data. With Substack, I had to rely on their analytics, and they are, uh, trying really hard to push people into setting up payments. I got tired of their pimping that. For analytics, I am using Plausible, a paid service based in Europe that is privacy savvy. I do not do anything heroic to thwart blockers, so if you use tools to block analytics, that just makes you invisible to me, and I am totally cool with that. Maybe one day I will share my 1,200 line hosts file that blocks the colonoscopy that Meta (aka Facebook) uses to track you across the web.

It also means that I am not using Google analytics. Yeah, I am trying to excise as much Google from my life as possible. Again, I am happy to pay for value, and so far I am enjoying the Plausible service.

While I don't do it, the service used to deliver email, Mailgun, does insert tracking pixels in the emails to track delivery, opens, reads, and clicks of links. If you use a privacy focused email (as I do, with Protonmail) that will block the collection of that data. No worries, I don't mind, as I get tired of all the tracking, but I wanted to be open with what we do and don't do here.

I do have comments turned on, so if you want to type up a note on a post, click that title, navigate to the page, and then by signing in, you can type comments. Let's just keep it civil, ok? Hopefully, that isn't too much to ask.

If you want to send me an email, you can just reply to this email, or you can just send it to I don't get enough friendly email, so if you want to chew the fat, whack that reply button.

Last Thoughts

I do have one ask. As I am no longer on any of the social media platforms, if you like a post, please consider sharing. Either forward the email or share the link to a post on your favorite social media. I have to rely on word of mouth and search engines to get people here, so every little bit helps.

If you are still here, thank you for your time in reading. Bon Appetit!