About

The Name Of This Website

The name Marginal Seat is a reference to the uncertainty of politics in the UK.

The way UK representation works is that elected members of the UK parliament each represent a constituency.

A member of parliament is said to 'hold a seat' in a constituency and a marginal seat is one held with a small majority. In other words, at a future election, the seat could swing to another party or to an independent candidate.

That edginess and uncertainty is what underlies the name of this website.

By the way, the opposite of a marginal seat is a safe seat - one where the majority is so large that it is unlikely that the seat will go to a different party at a future election.

Ghost

This site is built on the Ghost publishing platform. In some ways it is like WordPress, but one way it is different is that for me, writing and editing these words, I can see a split screen.

I am typing on the left side of the screen and on the right I can see what the final result will look like. Once I have finished writing or editing and updating, I hit publish and that's it.

Ghost uses Markdown, which is a text-to-HTML conversion tool invented a decade ago by John Gruber of Daring Fireball.

A non-technical description would be that it is a simple method for editing text that is going to appear on the Web.

It is used to show things like bold text, italics, lists, links, quotes, headings and sub-headings, and that kind of thing.

I am used to using WordPress, so for me, using Ghost is an experiment in using a different publishing platform - and especially to see whether I really care that I can see the final result on a split screen as I type.

I'll add some more thoughts after I have been using Ghost for a while, but at the moment I like it a lot more than I thought I would.

I have experimented a bit with front-end text editors for WordPress, but none of them is as pleasant to use as Ghost is.

Whether that is the novelty or whether it is because the idea taps into something deeper, time will tell.

In the past I have said that I couldn't see what all the fuss was about and I was quite happy to draft in the back end, use html and imagine what the front end looked like.

And it worked for me. I have got used to knowing when a paragraph will look too dense or too long.

But, and this is the thing - seeing the front end appear magically as I write encourages me to write.

Maybe I just getting more verbose, but whatever the reason and whatever the effect, I am enjoying it.

Ghost Notes

  • I am using the basic Caspar theme. There are lots of free and paid themes on the Ghost MarketPlace.

  • At some point I will look for a theme with built-in commenting and with a navigation bar at the top rather than the fly-out sidebar navigation of Caspar.

  • On the Ghost site there is an explanation of how to add images to a post or page.