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Blogging, frustrated

Tumblr logoIt’s embarassing, actually.

I’ll write it here, seeking a modicum of peace through my confession, but the truth is: my credentials as a blogger are in serious peril, even facing outright rejection. 

How did it come to this?

Back in the Day …

In 1999 I started managing my first web site, which was devoted to women’s football in the States (specifically, women’s football at the university level).  Initially CollegeSoccerDaily.com was part of the Rivals network, but I left and then managed it separately until I moved to the UK in 2000 when I stopped publishing the site altogether.

Here, I started my own personal blog the back end of 2001, again maintained remotely and lost entirely when the servers it was hosted on (again, the Rivals platform) went away in 2002.

In 2004, I got serious and purchased hosted blog space on my then-ISP, now called Hover.com.  I blogged prodigiously on personal and professional topics, using it as a platform for launching my independent consultancy.

It is a cautionary tale, one heard often before: my site was not backed up, and when someone spoofed my account and requested the blog be deleted, it vanished in entirety, taking my digital design portfolio, marketing strategy and all the conversations and comments I had collected as part of my daily activity with it.  Wooosh. Gone.

Of course, you have to take my word for it; literally not a trace of these years of my blogging life exist except those wayward 404s collected by Google.  These lingering lifeless links are fewer by the day.

Needless to say I was distraught.

New Start, New Tools

Since 2007, I have been investigating new tools and exploring the fascinating impact of real-time and micro blogging.  Specifically, I rallied to Twitter quite early and, after initially rejecting it, became a full-throated Friendfeed supporter.

These two tools have shaped my blogging habits and my philosophy about communicating, both personally and professionally.  Add in Facebook which all but eliminated personal email through constant wall posts and status updates, and it felt like my entire world of publishing shrunk to miniature proportions.  I had gotten a taste of lifestreaming and I liked it.

But I did miss the long-form writing style, which is why I also looked to another new crop of tools, the virtual aggregators which could handle actual full blog posts.  I looked at Flock, Posterous and eventually decided to try Tumblr

Sadly, it didn’t work. 

For whatever reason – time, attention, sheer volume of every kind of tweet, post and comment – Tumblr never got off the ground for me.  I think part of the problem is there a few solid themes which aggregate things right out of the box. I needed to download and install (moderately) complicated code snippets which never worked properly. 

Disqus was an unmitigated disaster.

Hello WordPress

So, that’s it, I give up.  I’m returning to the tried-and-true blogging platform WordPress.  I’ve never used it before but, after the past two years, I’m ready for a safe harbour for a while.

Silver lining: I did learn a LOT from this experience:

  • Always back up your blog (yes, I’m an idiot)
  • I like having a robust, full-featured publishing tool to hand
  • I’m not good at tweaking CMS code, I will from now on leave it to the pros
  • Amazing conversations are happening everywhere, not just on blogs, so I have to be out there too
  • Always back up your blog

Perhaps more important than those things, I feel I’ve been through blog hell and back; I can confidently speak to anyone – personally or professionally – about the pitfalls and glorious victories of blogging.

It’s going to take a little while to get back to where I was a few years ago.  But I’m much happier typing into this comfortable frame. 

Thank you for taking me back, my dear blog, I will never stray again.

Categories: Personal Tags: , ,
  1. moraf
    18 November, 2009 at 15:10

    Ah….so that’s what happened. Sorry to hear that. There was some good stuff on it. Never mind…i’m sure you’ve learnt your lesson (the hard way). I’m already beginning to like this. Looking forward to reading some interesting pieces. Oh and remember – keep a backup. Ws.

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