Man, it’s been so long since I’ve had to fiddle around with a blog. A long time ago (late 2004), I just used Blogger to publish to my little Mac mini, which sat in my living room and did all my web hosting, despite it not being technically allowed by Comcast, my internet provider. I got away with it for years. Sometimes, rarely, my home IP address would change and I’d have to update DNS, but mostly it just worked.
In hindsight, it wasn’t all that easy, actually. I had to know about DNS, for example, and I had to configure my home network to allow things like web traffic, and I had to run Apache and PHP on my Mac mini. But once it was up and running, I could write daily, post it where anyone on the ‘net could see it, and get comments.
I had to move off Blogger in 2010 because they removed the option to publish to external web hosts. It seemed like a big deal at the time; I wanted to control as much of my online presence as possible. Then I got distracted by all the various options, after toying with WordPress for a while. My main mental obstacle was being able to move over all my old posts, along with the comments. It was the comments that were the most important part to me. No matter what export tool I used, the comments wouldn’t show up on WordPress. I guess I was using an old version of Blogger that didn’t export cleanly. So I gave up.
I gave up and just started Tweeting, Facebooking, and Tumblring. That worked for short thoughts, and reblogging other people’s fan-art and social justice thoughts, and sometimes I’d miss writing long posts and I’d try it on either Facebook or Tumblr. But that never felt quite right. It wasn’t the same as having my old dedicated blog. And I got out of the habit of posting my own words on a daily (or even more often) basis.
So here I am, trying to write again, and hoping other people will read my words. So many habits I’ve lost, that have atrophied. I know what I want now: I want a blog, with one of the four or five domains I own, nice and simple. I want to be able to repost my own articles, I want to have a clippings file to show prospective editors or agents, I want to be able to (eventually) sell my work, once I have enough to sell. And I want to get feedback, and comments, and to share and have stuff shared with me.
Having an online presence now seems fragmented; does it make sense to have one site for everything these days? I don’t want to give up Tumblr, I won’t stop tweeting, and I like being able to interact with friends, family and acquaintances on Facebook. But words are my business, so I think I’m going to make this blog my hub, my central place on the internet. I’m not so much planting a flag, as I am reclaiming an old place that holds a lot of memories; as you can see, there are old posts here, going back all the way. The comments, sadly, are gone, at least many of them from the earlier days.
But we can rebuild it and we can march into the future!