Waking from a 3-year blogging hibernation

“Hello again, world”.

So what happens in almost 3 years since my last blog post? Life has gotten busy, work has become more challenging, other activities consuming my spare time – if not spent investing on my (relatively newly-) married life.

I’ve been wishing and dreaming and planning to redesign my website, blog and photo gallery, as well as the top-level tshin.com site. Art and I have a ton of photos that we’ve been wanting to share (and showcase) to friends, family – and the world, and it would be great to return to writing, too. The winds of web technologies are changing with XHTML is giving rise to HTML5, so it was quite shameful my top-level site had just GIF text in a table-based layout.

So, “too bad”, for my blog languishing in disrepair, as my hopes and dreams (or grandiose plans) of reviving it slowly became dormant, possibly because the scope of my imagined redesign was over-ambitious. There had been some familiarity and comfort in having a voice online, whether for sake of soapbox or whatever, but with the advent and continued rise of Facebook (followed by Twitter and other social networks), it was more effortless to “have a voice”. Facebook et al. make it easy to micro-blog, but is what is blogged and tweeted all that meaningful?

“Content is king”; that I knew since having started blogging in 2002 as my blog posts were scoring quite highly on search engine hits – even without having to do any search engine optimization (SEO) work, which is now a multi-billion dollar area of work.

When I had started blogging, it was being hosted on a home-built server running OpenBSD; later I decided to use a hosting service by Dreamhost. Even after that migration, I hadn’t managed to move the photos in a bunch of my blog posts over it. Later on, I had dabbled in a photo gallery, using a custom MovableType template, but it was only a half-hearted attempt. Now as a user of PhotoShelter for my archives, there’s a great opportunity to “put it all together”.

So over the last month or so, I have:

  • migrated my blog from MovableType to WordPress (actually it was done quite a while ago, but the MT system was still live)
  • integrated my blog with my PhotoShelter image gallery,
  • started initial clean-up of the top-level tshin.com site.

The details of such an endeavour are numerous and very technical. Without spilling too many beans, I’ve had to learn to master some domain (DNS) stuff to get a WordPress MultiSite installation going (Ruth and Ben‘s blogs are also running WordPress and will get moved over to the main WP installation in the next month), SSL for secure access, juggling caching plugins to make the site render faster, customize sites with themes from Graph Paper Press, write a long htaccess script to redirect over hits from my old URL and some more hacky stuff that belongs in geekdom. So maybe I’m now more qualified to be a highly-paid WordPress consultant… ha ha.

So, I’m back… I’ll be introducing galleries from my photo archive, which will have accompanying stories. There is still much to do, so little evolutionary changes will happen along them way. So, sure, stay tuned.

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