Holy Fuck They Make This Hard!!!
12.22.00 - Mark
Well I've moved house, sort of.
This is yet another blow for blogger as a service, since moving from blogger/blogspot to your own servers is a hard, neigh, impossible thing to do elegantly, and for any non-techies looking to try, I'm sorry. They are simply not geared up for letting people like me, or someone really serious about blogging get off of their (impossibly locked down) servers while keeping links and other goodies when moving to own on little corners of the interwebs.
First setting up the FTP account to move to another server while still using blogger (like I was initially planning) is tricky. It took me about a dozen times to set it up, with blogger spitting indecipherable error messages. Nothing wrong on my server's end, nope, all blogger.
Second, after you move off blogspot, they put your name back in the pool. This is fine, except in any sitituation where some people actually link to you and it is, in fact, recurring traffic. OK so a few residual clicks from Macslash, Edcone, or other blogs might not make the biggest difference, but if I can save that traffic, I want to save that traffic. The whole reason I started publishing online was to share information, I can't do that as well if you're scrapping my former domain.
Third, Blogger's proposed solution is this: reregister your blogspot domain. OK, but it still wipes the content that was there, which leads to 404s and other problems when your blog consists of 1350 posts and counting. If I can avoid it I don't want to make that lagging macslasher dig though 2.5 years of my postings to get to the one gem that was linked to in the past. I hate working to find content, and as a geek, I'm a lot more tolerant than most. If I don't need to make a user work, I don't plan to
These are things blogger can easily accommodate for. Just allow us to keep a copy of the structure of our blog on blogspot with a redirect that goes to the post on the new server. You don't need to store everything, just a structure pointing to the same location with a different domain.
Of corse that's just when using different servers.
Its a whole lot harrier when you want to move to another engine. Since I think my elegant solution is going to involve writing my own blog engine I think I'll leave this blog up with a HTTP redirect in the header. Then, I'm hoping, I'll be able to watch the referal addresses and set up another redirect to send it off to the posts new location. at least I hope. I already know its a problem thats going to take some research and experimentation, but I've already decided against the major blog engines. I think part of the spam problem is that all the spam spiders go looking for the same blog footprints. the "I Power Blogger here" or the telltale signs of wordpress. Up until a few weeks ago this blog was spam free, something I largely thank the jury-rigged design for (while it used to be based on an old, old, old blogger template, I've wired on a lot of shit onto it - 99.9% of blogger blogs seem to be based on default templates)
I had already decided to write my own engine, now it just becomes more important in my move, and at least now I have a copy of my blog to start working with. Which leads to my next grievance, why on earth does Blogger's owner Google not get them to move ass on making personal data more accessible. I mean the whole thing with gmail is "it's your data" hell the company's policy is "Don't be Evil", so maybe some one can explain to me why on earth we've got vendor lock-in, barely accessible raw data, and deletion of credibility all in one company that happily claims "Don't be evil"?
It makes my head spin. I used to say I'd be happy to recommend blogger to anyone interested in starting a blog, and maybe that's still true in some small way, but if you're even remotely serious about blogging, run away from blogger and blogspot as fast as you possibly can.