Saving Ideas from the Contracting Blogosphere

Before the quick-status type social networks like Twitter and Facebook took off, it seemed like everyone was starting a blog. And every company seemed to want to get in on it: it wasn’t enough to have a forum, you had to have your own community, including — you guessed it — a blog.

Things change, of course. People move on to new interests. Businesses fold and are replaced with others. Online social activity has largely gravitated toward a small number of hubs. Hubs like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram. Old blogs are left unmaintained, and die. And those island communities like My Opera, or the Newsarama forums, or Comic Bloc, have also dried up, activity moving to the hot spots. Why go to the trouble of building your own social network when you can create a page on Facebook and be part of that one for free? That’s where your users/customers/fans are anyway!

So those special-purpose sites are going away too.

In addition to K-Squared Ramblings, I had a blog on LiveJournal (still there, but I haven’t updated it in years), and a blog on WordPress.com (also still there, but I changed its focus). I also had blogs at Spread Firefox, My Opera, and ComicSpace. I wrote for Opera Watch. I could swear I had something hosted by Flock even though I hardly ever used it.

I’ve been slowly migrating a lot of that material from those blogs to this one.

  • I had two convention reports on LiveJournal, and a zillion of them here. I copied over the two posts and cross-linked them.
  • After SpreadFirefox and Opera Watch shut down, I pulled what I could from archive.org and posted the more useful/interesting bits here.
  • When I finally figured out I wanted to make Parallel Lines a photo blog, I went through the earliest posts and brought over one or two posts that were worth keeping.

The latest is My Opera shutting down. It was announced back in October, which gives you an idea of how often I go there these days. Fortunately, they announced the closure early and provided tools to download your blog posts (with comments) and files.

Looking through 27 posts, a lot more of them than I thought turned out to be cross-posts or otherwise duplicate content. I found just seven with unique content that might be worth importing (one of those was only unique because my corresponding Spread Firefox post was already gone!), either for current or historical interest, and three duplicates with their own comment threads that might be worth merging. I particularly wanted to save On Broken HTML, and was amused to find this rant against combined stop and reload buttons, a fight that’s been completely lost.

Some content has gone the other way, though: After I launched Speed Force back in 2008, I started putting most of my comics-related thoughts there, or cross-posting them. And just last year, I started my Re-reading Les Misérables project in the pages of this blog, before breaking it off as its own subsite. The difference is that those are both self-hosted sites under my control. As long as I have access to web hosting and domain registration, and as long as I have backups, I’m set.

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