January 25, 2009

The Big Surprise: The Blog Has Moved

Filed under: Other,Sci/Tech — PolitiCalypso @ 9:51 pm

And so this is it. This is the big change to the site. The blog has moved, and its appearance now reflects that of the main page. I am also using a different blogging engine, the excellent WordPress.

There are multiple reasons behind each decision. Why did I move, first of all? Well, the main reason is that the purpose of this blog is going to be somewhat different for the foreseeable future. When I started it, I had a professional reason to be as active as I could in the “blogosphere,” particularly the political sphere. I needed a blog that was separate, visually and technically, from my personal hobby site. I needed my “activist identity” to be separate, at least in name, from my personal diversions. However, things are different now that I don’t work for John Kerry or MASSPIRG. My vision for this blog is a more personal, eccentric, interest-oriented one, a blog that has no need to adhere to a strict update regime. If I don’t need full separation anymore, why have it?

Why the uniformity in design? Mainly because I like the effect, and I’m capable, as a CSS nerd, of pulling it off. It bothers me aesthetically for a website to have pages that look vastly different — for each directory to have a completely different color scheme, layout, font choice, etc. It looks amateurish, in fact, and likely is a sign that the webmaster does not know CSS. No way am I going to be guilty of that. As a developer, I feel it would be laziness on my part not to attempt something I was capable of doing and that appealed to me.

Why the switch in blogging engines? This relates to the first Q & A. My old engine, Serendipity, worked quite well, and I have no major complaints with it. It has scads and scads of plugins, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wanted a big blog with tons of features. My reason for the switch was twofold: I found it personally easier to work with WordPress’s themes, and moreover, Serendipity was much slower than WordPress, for me. Evidently the reason for this is some questionable decisions made in the coding of it. When I have a look at the databases’ schemata for each blogging engine, I realize it’s no wonder that S9Y is slower. But, again, that’s not a slam upon that software. It’s just a recognition of the fact that it no longer served my needs, and WordPress did.

So this is why I’ve made these changes.

Now what’s going to happen going forward? Well, there are still some things I’d like to work on, perhaps. I would like to have some level of synchronization between my main RSS feed and the RSS feed for this blog, and I may write something to accomplish that. I’m also quite likely to write a script to keep my main links page in sync with the links on the blog’s sidebar. And, unfortunately for the would-be squatters, the politicalypso domain will still point to this blog.

Speaking of which, the old links will remain operational until July 6, 2009. At that point the old system will be taken down. If you have specific blog pages bookmarked, I strongly advise you to relocate the pages and change your links. After that date, any old links will simply redirect to the blog’s front page. PolitiCalypso.com already redirects here, and on that date, the “redirect” page will be taken down.

In view of this, I’ve made it easier to find Katrina-related content (I have reason to believe that most bookmarks are for these pages) by creating a category called “Katrina.”

There are still some kinks to be worked out. You’ll notice that the tags from Serendipity have NOT been transferred over yet. They will be, but this is very time-consuming work, and it may take awhile for the tagging to be complete. Bear with me, and thanks for reading.

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