Monday, May 09, 2016

Much of my future blogging moves to Wordpress: here are the details; "The Fifth Estate" is still too much like "The Fifth Dominion"

I want to inform visitors on some changes I am making in my blogs and where I place news items. Let me prepare this announcement by saying I am trying to migrate from the “Fifth Estate”  to the “Fourth” .  So maybe I’m in an “in-ovo” at estate 4.5.  (Fans of Clive Barker’s Imajica will see the metaphor of his “Dominions” – the “Fifth Estate” is still “Earth”.)

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, I purchased two new Wordpress Domains from Bluehost.

These new blogs are “Bill’s Media Commentary” and “Bill’s News Commentary”.  There is now enough content on each site that I think I should announce this.

Most reviews of films, books, major television series or events, musical compositions and their performances, and “legitimate” stage plays and performances (including, for example, musicals and operas) will be placed on the new Media Reviews blog.  Right now, there are five new reviews:  three films, one play, and one music concert.

In time, most major news commentaries (including those about Donald Trump or even Seth Rogen) will go on the new Wordpress blog, too.  Right now, there are three high-level articles.

I “joined” Blogger in 2006, quickly added Adsense, and have used the free service for over ten years.  The content that is there now is valuable. Right now, here are some counts of postings on the more popular blogs:  Movies, 2712;  TV, 2326; Plays-Music 623; Books, 498; GLBT, 1578; Cautionary (mostly media items on national security threats), 380, and my “main” Tech blog 2293.

The blogs are heavily crossed referenced internally with labels, which is particularly useful on the Movies blog (like all the films of a particular director).

I don’t plan to copy the blogs onto Wordpress right now, as this does not seem to be that easy to do quickly.  I may do so later, within the next twelve months or so.  I am placing tools on the new Wordpress blogs to assist users to cross reference back to label aggregations on the old.

There is also an issue with cross-referencing back to my older legacy site “” (and the experimental “, which I believe will be shut down with content moved elsewhere, by the end of June).

I have to be mindful in giving hyperlinks for cross-references that I don’t create the appearance of “link farming”.  But there is an inherent problem in having a multiplicity of platforms, set up over the years as technology and conditions change. There is a desire not to have all of one’s eggs in one basket.  On the other hand, having old sites that don’t get updated or maintained often could become a security hazard, although new services like SiteLock can mitigate that threat.

One practical problem is that visitors, depending on their own circumstances, may encounter my material from different points of entry.  Therefore, I may have to give the cross-reference information at several different common entry points.  The most comprehensive point is still the home page of the legacy “”, originally established in 1999.

I am looking at the possibility of adding https to all the Wordpress blogs (and maybe all sites), as well as adding a new ecommerce site that enables me to sell books directly (where https and PGP are mandatory).  I am also looking into https everywhere, which is available free on subdomain blogs from Blogger and Wordpress but more complicated to set up when equated to hosted domains.  I expect to have these issues (including adding advertising) resolved by the end of July.  I’ve talked to Bluehost about https but need to look further.

What about the “gang of 16” blogs?  I do expect to continue placing smaller and more pointed news stories on them, for now.  But there may be very little new material on the “media review” blogs from here on, although changes and corrections can be made to existing posts. Comments can still be monitored and accepted. There is a facility on the new “News Commentary” blog to index quick news story, but it is not working smoothly yet.   Some sequences of television shows (like CNN specials) and film series may be continued to the logical end.

What is the reason for the change?  One primary concern is “sustainability” along with time.  Migrating most blogging to hosted Wordpress sites facilitates inviting guest posting (because I get a lot of emails about this – and will provide guidelines soon).  “Blogtyrant” (Ramsay, who does influence my thinking somewhat) has explained his preferences for Wordpress and BlueHost.  My own impression is that generally Wordpress is superior.  Others, like “Nitecruz”, have argued that it is not a good idea to depend entirely (at least professionally) on “someone else’s free service”.  You can have better support if you pay (rather nominally) for hosted service.  In fact, I think that Google could well consider formal hosting plans (not just custom domain names) for Blogger if it wanted, and could make arrangements with third party companies to manage the hosting if it chose, mirroring how BlueHost handles Wordpress.

However, Blogger has been very stable over the years. There was only one occasion where a few of my blogs were inadvertently removed or made inaccessible for a few hours (in May 2008) and quickly restored, but that was scary.  (Back then, there was a big controversy over spam blogs, and questions why captchas were not sufficient to stop them; a few mistakes happened in the process.)  There was one 18-hour period in May 2011 when Blogger was not available for use.

I also believe that a mostly-Wordpress setup would facilitate my working with established news outlets and sites, something I would like to do.
I should also note that I probably will make some changes in how I handle my Facebook and Twitter presence,  to make the distribution of breaking news stories more effective, I believe by early June.  I seem to be in line with Metro’s rebuilding schedule (LOL).  Stay tuned.

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