Blog Plans

So I spent much of today looking into how I would go about moving the blog. What I discovered is that moving a blog is a big fat pain in the ass.

Fortunately, that's not all I discovered. But first, some quick background: I've had some wild ideas about moving this blog to a permanent home on some good host somewhere and setting it up all myself with something like WordPress or Movable Type. My main reasons for wanting to do this were twofold: 1) I wanted more control over the design of the site and 2) I wanted categories so that I could organize and cross-reference things on the site, as I see this blog mainly as a reference for myself and, possibly, others. In my travails, however, I discovered that doing any of this -- getting a host, getting a domain, getting blog software, installing it, setting it up, and, finally, migrating all the existing posts, links, comments and all to the new site would take a lot of time and effort. Time and effort spent not working on the main reason for having the blog in the first place: blogging. So I started looking for alternatives.

My main concern is having categories on the site. This is so that if I want to see everything related to my Tiger Lab Migration, which is chronologically all over the map, I didn't have to dig through tons of posts and archives. I could just, in theory, go to the "Lab" category, and pretty much get everything there. After hunting around a bit, I found an extremely clever solution at Freshblog, that uses the community bookmark site to emulate categories for blog posts on Blogger. While it's not the easiest or best solution, I found I was able to implement it and categorize all my posts to date in a very short amount of time. So, the blog now has a rudimentary category system. Hooray.

Regarding design, I realized, at some point, perhaps many years ago, though I was reminded of it while thinking about all this site re-implementation crap, that I am not a designer, and by no means a web designer (a whole other ball of wax), and that were I to attempt to redesign the site from scratch I would most certainly spend a whole lot of time mucking things up for no good reason. There are a lot of fine templates available for the Blogger way of doing things. The are freely downloadable and modifiable. So, again, I decided to forego the design challenge and find a template out there that suited me. I've always liked the simple, easy-to-read WordPress default theme. It's simple, classy, and it doesn't get in the way. And lucky for me, someone has modified it to be usable on Blogger. So, for now, I'm going with that. I'm pretty much using the stock theme originally designed by Michael Heilemann and modified for Blogger at this site. All I've done is add my "Categories" and "Archives" pull-down menus, and increased the font size ever-so-slightly. At some point I may get graphically restless again, but for now, this is just fine.

With my mods in place, I'm sated for the time being. So I'll be staying at Blogger for awhile. If, for some reason, this ever becomes more than just a fun, though often quite useful, side project for me, I may roll my own blog some day. But I can't see that happening for quite some time. Until then I'm just going to make myself comfy right here.