Almost exactly a month ago, I pointed out yet another reason in favor of “do it yourself”. “It”, of course, refers in this case to hosting and running a weblog.
I’ve got another example for you.
About a year and a half ago, TechRepublic started offering members on-site weblogs. At the time, I decided it would be a good idea to have a tech blog separate from my “normal” weblog on LiveJournal, because the people on LJ didn’t seem terribly interested in the technical stuff about which I sometimes wrote.
Eventually, it became clear that anything that required more than a moment’s skimming and a nontrivial bit of thought wasn’t terribly popular on LJ, and I was getting the itch to have a separate website of my very own that I actually updated again. I ended up creating SOB, with the idea that this is where all the in-depth stuff would go, and LJ is where the more light stuff would go. Ultimately, the light stuff ended up dying out to the point where there wasn’t any point in updating the LJ weblog any longer.
In time, the TR blog became obsolete as well. This was in part because SOB was getting more traffic and more interest, and in part because I started using Google AdSense on SOB, which provided the opportunity to eventually have it pay for itself. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. I’m almost up to $30 all time total for AdSense revenue. The biggest reason I started moving my technical weblog content to SOB, however, is that the TR weblogs have been buggy and pretty feature-anemic.
I decided to start importing my technical material here at SOB via its RSS feed for the Geek category into the TR weblog. Ultimately, the legendary TR bugginess reared its ugly head. There were several glitches, each of which would be fixed at least temporarily in some way, until finally the RSS import stopped working altogether. I gave up on it. My TR weblog became nothing more than an archive of the material I’d already posted there (and only there).
Earlier this week, I received an email saying that the TR weblogs would be discontinued. The language of the email led me to believe that I’d have the weekend to salvage anything I wanted to save from it. Then, today, I got this:
TechRepublic Blogger: Wanted to send one final reminder about the removal of our member blogging feature. Starting tomorrow (October 7th), member blogs will no longer be available on TechRepublic. THIS MEANS THAT YOUR BLOG POSTS WILL NO LONGER APPEAR ON THE SITE AFTER THE LAUNCH.
The RSS export functionality of my TR weblog turned out to be useless for trying to automatically import the archives into WordPress. As such, I’m painstakingly copying into textfiles the contents of all posts and comments from my TR weblog that are worth saving. It’s going to be a long night. Hopefully I get all the good stuff before it’s gone.