Over the weekend I decided to be really smart and improve this blog. When I announce big plans like that people in my house run for cover because they know from past experience blood will be likely spilt, usually mine, and tears of frustration will flow, always mine. The run-for-cover gang were right.
Again. I decided, innocently enough, to make this blog easier to find, read, and simpler to get indexed by web bots by moving it from a parked domain pointing to http://urbansemiotic.com/us/ to the upper-level stand-alone domain http://UrbanSemiotic.com. It was a small change with huge and necessary ramifications.
Running this blog on a parked domain was never a good idea. I set it up that way at first because I did not know if I would make this blog a priority or not. This blog, David W. Boles’ Urban Semiotic is a priority. Web searches for this blog would sometimes return three different website addresses. Giving this blog its own permanent home would make everything run better and faster. This blog runs on WordPress. I backed up my database. I uninstalled WordPress and then reinstalled it into a new directory.
I uploaded my backup database and all 201 of my messages were unavailable! I went to the web and did the research I should have done before the URL change and found a bloody awful and tears-inducing set of database manipulations — exporting, importing, table-making, exporting again — that I should have done before I deleted and re-setup WordPress. I had a fresh install of this blog but none of the 201 messages were preserved! It was going to be a long weekend. I decided the fastest and most punishing way to get as many messages back online was to copy and paste my old messages into new messages by sifting through my raw, 190 page, database file.
If you were reading this blog over the past few days you saw a flurry of new posts within minutes of each other and many of them were old posts made new again. 201 days of messages became 3 days of messages. It was a fascinating process looking through all 201 previous posts. Many of the messages, I was pleased to discover, held up well and were relevant for re-posting. Several were immediately out-of-date. Others were just dog paddling. I decided to save time, energy, and aesthetic by only re-posting the most evergreen and effective messages.
After wiping away my blood and tears I was grateful for the forced look back into the abyss of my short life as a blogger. I now have 78 messages online. All of them are important to me and, I hope, have some meaning beyond me. I also vow to continue to scale away the message chaff whenever possible so the next time I decide to spend an entire holiday weekend improving this blog I won’t have to face the teary-eyed, bleeding, decision to cut 60% of what I once thought was destined for forever.