For as long as I can remember I’ve been using Feedburner to publish the RSS feed for this site. It’s provided a few stats to satisfy my inner geek. Feedburner has been playing up a lot recently and Google who own it have shown little interest in moving the service forward, in fact, they even let the Japanese domain expire killing all the feeds which used the service without warning. Not wanting that to happen to you guys I’ve turned Feedburner off and am just serving the normal WordPress supplied RSS feed.
If you’re reading this in an RSS Reader or site like Google Reader, chances are you’re all ok, but please check the feed you’re subscribed to is http://philbowell.com/feed/
The iPad blogging app Blogsy has just released a new version which includes the ability to set/edit custom fields for WordPress blogs. For those of you like me who like to blog from the iPad this could be just up your street. I’ll be checking it out this evening.
(Via Jim Dalrymple.)
It’s been just under a year since I began trialling Tumblr as the basis of my blog. At the time I was writing from Electric Weekend but had been struggling thanks to several events that happened at the end of 2009. In an attempt to get back in to the swing of blogging I’d decided to make a clean break from my first blog and start again.
For a while I posted regularly but I soon fell in to a trap of consuming rather than writing. Tumblr makes it very easy to find new blogs to follow, not a bad thing, but I found it all too easy to consume rather than create. However, in the last month or so I’ve begun to feel that desire to create again, to write on a more regular basis. Not only that but I wanted more control, and this is the driving force behind my move back to a WordPress based site.
One of the things I used to enjoy most about my old site was the ability to change things up should I feel they’ve become stale. I could more easily try out new features should I come across something I liked the look of. But it goes beyond this, I wanted more control of the fundamentals of the site.
One of the things that has frustrated me most, not necessarily with my site, but with the sites of bloggers who use Tumblr, is the poor archives. It’s frustrated me that I’ve not been able to find a link or an article on someone’s site. It’s such a bad experience that I began to think people, or at least some people, will have the same trouble finding things on my site as I’m having here.
It all boils down to the fact that I’d like to design the overall experience people have on my site and the only way I can do that is to move to a self-hosted platform.
So having admitted I’d like to have more control over my site, here I am using a default theme. Well the answer to that is simple. I wanted to make the move while I had the desire to write more. I’ve already wasted a month knowing I wanted to leave Tumblr, and so rather than wait until I’d got a fully designed blog I decided to make the move now and begin tailoring my site as I settle in to my new surroundings.
But not everything is running without some customisation. I’ve already begun my design process with the URL’s ((Thanks to a little inspiration from Ian Hines.)) which feature a more friendly sentence like structure that I hope will grow as I develop the site.
You’ll also notice that comments are available on this post. Having not had comments on my site for a long time I’ve begun to feel that on certain posts it might be quite nice to try and foster a bit of conversation, they won’t be on by default but I hope to be able to turn them on from time to time.
I’m also hoping to find a way to bring most of the content from my Tumblr site into this one so that everything from PBcom can be archived here. But whilst all this is going on, I now feel I have a website where I can start to be myself again. Somewhere I’m hopeful I can get back into the flow of blogging regularly, with a mixture of long form articles and links. A place where I’m happy to create is far more important to me than discovering even more content. This year I’m hoping to use my time more wisely, and hopefully this move is the first step in using my online time in a more productive manner.
Kyle Meyer has made public the code he uses to make his excellent archives page. I might have to explore this a little later, I’ve always been a fan of Kyle’s design on this page, it adds that extra bit of meaning to the list of posts.