Well, the blog is now operational again both here and at bluecheddar.net.
It really shouldn’t have had to go down at all but there was a mix up with name servers between bluehost, name.com, and wordpress.com. Wasn’t their fault. It was user error.
The Future of Blogging is…expensive?
I use bluehost and wordpress.org to deliver bluecheddar.net. Bluehost is running a special for newbies that’s something like $3.99/month for their basic level but you need to sign up for three years. Because I am not newbie they were offering me a deal if I did a 5 year sign up. (I formerly had a “pro” level account due to database seize-up but the cost doesn’t seem justified for my current much lighter post-recall traffic)
Can you imagine it? Five whole years and paid up front (with the promise of refund, prorated, if dissatisfied).
Is this just the way things are now?
Is this because there are too many ways to get your content on the web by now and the number of old codgers insisting on a unique url with a database is dwindling?
Or is a 5-year subscription time what bluehost needs now as it looks upon an uncertain business climate created by an FCC that’s threatening a fastlane/slowlane that caters to Comcast?
I really don’t know.
I can say that all the dire warnings about dial-up-speed lane coming for we the plebes doesn’t make me feel confidant about my own blog’s future. Unless FCC can be brought into line, we’re looking at a gated community-style internet something like AOL in the mail-a-CD era.
Despite those free social media systems, I still like having a blog
So, I really like blogs over all the other digital ecosystems that people stuff their content on (tumblr, facebook, twitter..).
I don’t like that the freebie companies can decide to change terms on a whim, as we have seen facebook do time and time again and I also do not like that users on those systems aren’t necessarily decent people, especially in the political world. They can and do gang up on you and can have your account frozen for from 24 hours to a couple of weeks or forever (for example, Root River Siren is forever banned).***
And what I have on my blog will never become as disorganized as facecrook. Did I say disorganized? Yes! It’s maddening that the freebie ecosystems are shuffling content down a feed and then when you want to locate something 5 months old, it’s pretty tough to do that.**
I’m going to mirror most content over at my bluecheddar.wordpress.com space (probably everything minus photos which I can host at flickr) both because bluehost on occasion has completely crashed for a day or two* and also because there are occasional interruptions on political blogs due to DDoS attacks.
It would be nice to formally load balance the blog, although seriously, I doubt this thing will come under heavy load until close to November’s elections and then after that it’ll be quiet again. So the complicated (and expensive) solutions I see at Rackspace are overkill and yes, bluehost has a way to load balance things for a monthly fee but then I’m paying for an overpowered blog 11 months of the year. Hmmmm.
The amateur blogger can, if time is available, distribute load in a pedestrian manner by having the blog mirrored on a couple urls and then putting one url on twitter, the other on facebook, and then copy-pasting the content to tumblr, for example. And if you’re putting something out there that’s really going to make fans of Tonette and Scott angry, you can also guest post at one or more other blogs.
Life Beyond Cheese?
Every time I have to futz around with this platform stuff, I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to be an old school print writer who lets a publisher deal with all of this (as if there is somebody who’d take all this stuff I write? as if I welcome their censorship and control?). Then a writer is getting her name and picture out there and making a trickle of money for the trouble. But does making the writer bucks makes it all worth it when some right winger tells his friends to kill you because of your politics — while no District Attorney or Department of Justice gives a shit about it?
* On crashing: *ALL* the hosts crash for a day or two. This is not a unique feature/bug of bluehost.
** If you want to download a whole lot of stuff you stuck or are sticking on social media, you might want to check out these resources:
I tried the free trial of SocialSafe and it seemed very nice.
I haven’t tried Belkasoft Facebook Profile Saver but it has an 85% popularity on Tucows so maybe it doesn’t suck. And its free.
Facebook photos: PC Magazine has a how-to on that
Or you might like to use some freeware to help you. FYO has a 97% rating on Tucows. Fotobounce has an 80% rating on Tucows but it has a 5 Star rating on CNET.
Facebook video: There are several downloads to help you with that.
*** If you’re completely ignorant of the political gamesmanship on facebook and how anybody there can gang up on you then you either 1) never used facebook or 2) never said a controversial political thing on facebook or 3) nobody reads what you write there!