Thursday, April 9, 2009

Long Black, home

It's not often I use a big font on this site, but today I think it's appropriate. From now on, point your browsers to:

Yes, I've got a real web address now. This is exciting.
That was the culmination of days of umming and arghing about what to do with the site. At first, I wanted to move to for three reasons:
  1. I really like it. The backend of the site is a pleasure to use, and the blogs extremely customisable. Things just look great on Wordpress. Growing and pulsating behind that beautiful facade is a big many-armed MySQL database too, so I'd feel like I was actually putting some of my studies to practical use. Wordpress also throws statistics at you much like a monkey throws faeces at tourists. One of my problems with Blogger is that it is devoid of site usage statistics. And faeces.
  2. It's really easy to host a blog on your own domain. That would be cool.
  3. Wordpress have their own (really good) iPhone app for mobile publishing. Blogger do not. I was stuck with BlogWriter and all its annoying bugs and barriers to creativity.
I also felt the need to be able to publish other pages on the site, ie that story I wrote a few years ago about God calling tech support. Wordpress has a thing called Pages. It's easy. With Blogger, you're stuck with a blog.
Now, the last thing I want to happen is to get my blog deleted because I wasted too many column inches pointing out how much I like Wordpress. So I'd better get to the point.

Moving a blog with 1000 posts to Wordpress is both immoral and a pain in the arse. There's a nice streamlined process with a white background and it all looks pretty easy, but then you actually go and have a look at the new blog with all the old posts in it. It was like those remastered versions of the original Star Wars Trilogy: same content, but a few things didn't look right, and a few new bits were just annoying:
  1. Where did the YouTube videos go?
  2. Wtf is this Snap! bullshit?
  3. My commenters have been hijacked.
  4. The old site looked nice. This one looks a bit lorem ipsum.
Let's go through these one at a time.
One. YouTube videos. You may have noticed that I embed a LOT of copyrighted material in my blog. I didn't know why the videos weren't coming up in Wordpress, but I knew it would be a major pain in the arse to go through and fix them all. That's almost a dealbreaker in itself: no pretty interface or nerd fanboy underground following is going to convince me to stick around if I have to change so much of my content.
Two. Snap! When you move your mouse over a hyperlink, a little window pops up showing a preview of the target page, and some relevant sponsored links. While in practise this could be useful (you don't actually need to follow hyperlinks - just mouse over to see what I'm talking about), that won't be immediately apparent: the first time you visit my shiny new blog and can't move your mouse around without bullshit popping up everywhere, you won't want to keep reading. As far as I know, Snap! is advertising that puts on your blog, and in return they will host your blog for free. If you pay a small annual fee, the advertising will be gone, and you are allowed to add your own ads to make some sweet click-generated cashish from. Blogger currently does just that for free anyway.
Three. Commenters. I love you guys. You log in, if you're bloggers already, or create an account on Blogger just so you can sign in and comment with a name other than Anonymous. You spend valuable time writing comments. It would be a bit weird to just take all that and duplicate it somewhere else on the web. And you'd need a Wordpress account to comment after that. Guess how many commenters I'd have then? Not a dealbreaker, but certainly not a great idea.
Four. I would have to start again with making everything look nice. And I don't know how. There is a learning curve. At this point, I don't have time to learn. If I was starting a new blog, I'd be happy to put some time into learning how it all works. But right now, I feel that time is better spent writing 2000 words about the long black I made this morning.

And so I figured I was better off staying with Blogger. When I realised how easy it was to buy a domain, I was sold. $10. I also realised that includes Google Apps, including Gmail (I know that's usually free - wait for it...) and the ability to have email addresses on your own domain. Yep, you can email me at ryan @ ryanoncoffee . com . Wordpress doesn't do that. But this isn't a competition.
The final piece of the puzzle: BlogPress is a much better iPhone app for Blogger blogging.
So this is the new version of the blog. The old address will keep working (it will forward to the new one), and the new one should be in full swing in about three days. I also finally settled on a name for the blog: Ryan on Coffee. Sorry if that's a bit confusing as the old address included the almost-identical ryancoffee.

Search Term (That Found My Site) of the Day:
mcdonalds near brisbane airport

1 comment:

  1. whoa ... grats for the domain name...
    and for a site change ... it seems like a lot of work ... i'd still read and comment on any site really bro ^^;;