Thanks to Alan Henry, who signal-boosted my “Bring Your Own Content” Web publishing virtual appliance project on LifeHacker:
We’ve discussed some of the best blogging platforms and web hosts, but if you want to really control your data, why not roll your own server at home, and then use it as a dashboard to manage and re-post to sites like Tumblr and WordPress? All you need is Virtualbox. Maymay shows us how it’s done.
Maymay’s setup is brilliant in its simplicity. Ultimately, there’s very little a web host is doing aside from running software that you can run on your own linux-based VM (virtual machine.) You can duplicate the setup rather easily with a VM running in VirtualBox.
Of course, doing this at home doesn’t scale, and it’s not always accessible to the broader internet (not to mention, your ISP won’t be happy if you have a popular site.) So Maymay points out that the goal of the project is to use your personal, self-hosted site as a HUD, a kind of dashboard, from where you can write and edit your posts, save them and back them up, and then use the included plug-ins to push your articles to Tumblr, WordPress, or another hosted service that you don’t control:
[BYOC is a b]logging toolkit that provides a unified dashboard for creating and managing content on multiple Web hosting services simultaneously. Obviates the need for backing up your blog by creating content locally and then sending it to a Web server, rather than creating that content on a Web server and then backing it up to your computer.
This way you always have backups that you own and control, and you always have your original content somewhere, in case someone takes down something you’ve written, or something else happens.
You’ll need to configure VirtualBox and point it at the shared folders that will host your blog content, then install WordPress on your virtual web server, and set up any cross-posting capabilities you might want. To make the process super-easy, Maymay includes a pre-configured “Bring Your Own Content” VM for Virtualbox to get you started that supports Tumblr and WordPress out of the box. Hit the link below to see the whole post and a full walkthrough.
Bring Your Own Content: Virtual Self-Hosting Web Publishing | Everything In Between