The long story...

Telegram was founded by David Pollak because he got frustrated with how hard it was to publish a web site and a blog.

David started playing around with Jekyll and Octopress, but they were not right and mostly focused on blogging.

David wanted a drop-dead simple way to publish and update a site including blog content. David also fell in loved with Markdown thanks in large part to Dean Wampler.

So, David wanted to take simple content from places that people are used to putting content (GitHub) and weave that content with nice looking templates into simple to manage web sites.

in May, 2012, was born. It's a combination of the open source Hoisted HTML & Markdown to HTML renderer and GitHub. It's a drop-dead simple way to create web and host web sites.

But sadly, Telegram was too hard for most folks and really limited with the static site and all. Yeah, sure, Telegram hosted a couple of hundred sites, but not a really business.

In 2017, Amazon Lambda and Serverless became all the rage. Lots of static site generators popped up. David is continuing on his quixotic quest to build something that will let people easily publish web sites and web apps... but this time around people means "folks who can use GitHub."

In 2019, David and his son Daniel looked to do something fun with Telegram... we don't yet know what that is.

How Telegram Works

You save a file and push it to a GitHub repository.

Telegram gets a service hook call from GitHub and loads the files. If there's a `.telegram_pipeline.json`, Telegram uses the rules to render the site. If there's no explict pipeline, Telegram runs the opentelegram/buildpipeline container against the site. The logic is pretty simple. And, boom, there's a pipeline.

Telegram can use any public Docker image to render a site. By default, Telegram will choose among:

Telegram makes your static site available via an HTTPS site at Telegram will also allow you to choose whatever domains you want to publish your site to and will provide your domain in HTTPS with a cert from Let's Encrypt .

Why Telegram?

Telegram is:

  • Scalable
  • Versatile
  • Cutting Edge

But most importantly, you control your files. That means you always have the files that make up your site. You do whatever you want with your files and site. If you want to move to another service, you just send your files elsewhere. There's no lock-in to Telegram.

You also get to control how to collaborate with others. You can use GitHub to manage the source files for your site. GitHub scales up to thousands of files and thousands of collaborators. GitHub has awesome workflow based on pull requests.

Who is it for?

Telegram is for:

  • Folks that use GitHub and want a simple, fast, scalable way to publish a static site
  • Folks who are using Serverless and want an easy way to keep their site in sync with their lambdas... and want stable endpoints with no cross-domain issues.

How much it costs

During the alpha phase, Telegram is free. And we've been in Alpha since 2012 (and we're not Google)...


Yep, we're real people at a real physical place:

David Pollak
345 Grove St
San Francisco, CA 94102