Step Away from the Computer!

This is the night that all my shuffling and changing plans has finally caught up to me.

I have been blogging forever.

I have been blogging in one form or another probably for over 10 years.  I first stared out with a RapidWeaver website. I had some hilarious posts on a crazy RV trip my family took in the mid 2000's.  But I lost them all - or at least think i have - when I changed out of RapidWeaver to get a "real" website.

So I transitioned to a self hosted Wordpress solution.  I learned all about hosting and cpanel and site maintenance. But it too too much time to do all that stuff, so I looked for a hosted solution.  

Next, after a short experiment with Tumbler, I tried Posterous, which was great. Hosted and free, what was not to like.  It was great, right up until Posterous went out of business. By this time I was getting into "real" websites again and was messing around with Joomla, since I could make a real website with it.  But Joomla wasn't great (at the time) for blogging. So I tried Blogger instead for my personal site. But Blogger just didn't fit me, so I looked around again and saw that the Posterous people had started a new service called Posthaven. I tried it and liked it. Clean, hosted so no site maintenance, and no free (which was a plus) but cheap. Soon thereafter I moved all my personal stuff to Posthaven. Meanwhile, my Joomla confidence was growing, an Joomla was finally a competent blogging platform. I imported my old Wordpress posts, which I had kept stored on a server while I sorted through all of this, into Joomla using a converter form EasyBlog, a Joomla component. 

By now, I am getting pretty confident. I know my way around Wordpress, Blogger, Posterous, Joomla, and Posthaven. I know how to FTP and install files on a server and fix most basic problems. I installed a wiki on my server under a subdomain. Things are looking great. I finally got this. 

Then I realized that my subdomain and domain were hosted in different places, which wouldn't work.  I had to do my own hosting (wiki and personal site) or give up on the wiki and continue using the hosted solution. In my overconfidence, I decide that Joomla is the way to go and I should concentrate all of my development knowledge there. So, I move my my personal blog to the same host as my wiki - problem solved. Except . . . I didn't want to use Easyblog anymore. I could already blog with Joomla 3 pretty easily and didn't need all of Easyblog's features. Plus, Easyblog cost an annual fee, and I dint want to pay it anymore. So i uninstalled Easyblog.

But I lost all of my posts 

 What I didn't know when I installed Easyblog is that it stores all of your posts in its own database, instead of the Joomla article database. I didn't have a back up of that database. And I can't find one or any other way to get to my prior posts.  I lost years of posts. I will keep looking in places (old computers, old servers, etc . . ) but I think most are gone.  If I find any, I will add them to this blog, but that is a big if.

Now, Time to start Over

So, for the last time (I hope) I am staring over. Whatever I can recreate or find, I will add, but I am not waiting to do that. In the next 30 days of my trial on Typepad, I intend to give it the full run through with posts, images, etc . . and see if it what I hope it is. I am also going to keep my Posthaven blogs up for now. But the plan, if Typepad plays out, is to move everything over here . . . permanently. With the hosted solution I won't have to worry about site maintenance and back ups.  I will export a copy of my content once a month so I have a copy, but that should do it.  I lost some pretty good posts about fallen shipmates with comments form former friends and family members. I hate to lose all of that.  But I have, apparently. 

That is a valuable lesson in stop screwing around and stick with something that works.  That, and always have a backup of everything at all times - just in case.


Trying TypePad

Although I have been blogging off and on for years, I can never find a steady platform. I have used wordpress, joomla, posterous, tumblr, ghost, and posthaven. Constantly changing systems is a problem I have . . .

Anyway, after all these switches I now know what I want. I want:

(i) something that doesn't cost much, but isn't free. In my experience, free platforms are fickle. I want someone that will be around a while and has a model that sustains itself without ads or use of your content. I simply want someone with skin in the game and I am willing to pay for it.

(ii) I want something that is simple. I have dealt with self hosting. Although it is the way to go for a bigger site with a bigger following, for a personal blog or site, a hosted solution is often easier.

(iii) I want a platform that is flexible. The ultimate in flexibility is self hosting, so the closer a hosted solution can get to that, the better, and

(iv) I want something with multiple blogs and contributors. With only one blog and one contributor, things can get disorganized. Your posts should be about subjects, not you. No one is going to follow me except me family. They might follow a specific subject that I may write about or if something is interesting to them. So, I need multiple blogs to write about different things and keep it organized. A hosted solution that charges per blog could get expensive fast.

Typepad appears to have all of the above. Simple, Experienced, Hosted, Flexible, and with Multiple blogs. So we are going to give them a shot.

Wish me luck.