Well, here we are! As noted the other day, I’ve been thinking about permanently moving my blogging operations to this site, and retiring Byzantium’s Shores after nearly twenty years of service. As you might surmise…I’m generally the type of person who, when I get around to stating openly that “I’m thinking about doing [something]”, is just about ninety-five percent of the way to actually proceeding with the [something] in mind. Now, this is something I’ve been kicking around for quite a while–it has, honestly, never made much sense for me to have what amounted to two “Official Sites”–but the idea has been growing, and a particular recent impetus was when Jim Wright, the brilliant mind behind Stonekettle.com, decided to do much the same thing:
I can’t work this way.
It’s just not possible. Literally. Even if I wanted to, Facebook won’t let me.
So here’s what we’re going to do:
I’m going to move political commentary back to my own website, here.
No. No. Stop screaming. This is a good thing for me and for you.
Why me? I’m hoping that becomes self evident by and by.
Why for you? Well, for starters, you keep telling me how much you miss long form. Okay. Here it is.
So, starting today, ForgottenStars.net will host all of my new blogging content. Yes, I could have waited until February to make Byzantium’s Shores a cool twenty-year blog, but…well, that’s all pretty arbitrary, and as Hugh Laurie has said:
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.
I am not deleting Byzantium’s Shores, because even though I’ve imported all of its content here, I know that there will be broken links and busted images a-plenty in all those archives, and there is no way that I have time to go through and fix all of that. Plus, Byzantium’s Shores has all that long-established search-engine mojo, which I am loathe to lose. What I’m going to do with the old digs is pin a post explaining what’s going on, and then I will post a weekly or bi-weekly “digest” of links to the new content here.
When importing the Byzantium Shores content, it did so under a different “author” name for each post, and while it did not create new categories the way the Blogger site did, it imported the categories as tags, so you can see a lot of those posts via the ‘tag cloud’ over there in the sidebar. Yes, that’s kind of a mess. A “kludge”, in computer geek and engineering terms.
Blogger and BlogSpot suited my needs for a long time, and I’m grateful to all the people who have been running things over there all this time, even back before they were a part of the Google-plex. I’m such an old hand with blogging that I remember when Blogger was pretty much the only game in town unless you knew HTML on your own. Other blogging platforms have come and gone–Movable Type was an early one to compete with Blogger (and I believe it’s still going strong), and there was LiveJournal and Tumblr in its heyday (it’s still kicking too) and I remember the brief run of AOL Journals.
Blogging was at its height in the last half of the Aughts, but that’s when social media began its inexorable rise, and the likes of Facebook and Twitter peeled off bloggers left and right with ease of use, content in short punches, and utility geared toward the concurrent rise in mobile devices. Let’s be honest, blogging is not something you really want to do much on a cell phone. But after a decade of social media dominance, the deficiencies of those services are getting more and more obvious, and now many are returning to long-form content creation, either through newsletter services, or essay hosts like Medium and Substack, or…by blogs.
I never came close to stopping blogging, even though my frequency dropped to an all-time low a couple years ago. I’ve been keeping those fires burning though, and I don’t expect to stop any time soon, even if I never get back to those levels of 2003 when I’d post five or six times a day. Oh, those were fun times! And vexing times. The best of times, the worst of times…well, somebody might have said something like that.
There will probably be some more tinkering “under the hood” over the next while as I regain my WordPress sea-legs. I’m told, for one thing, that this site as currently designed is not well optimized for mobile devices, and that may be an issue. (Or I may decide it’s not and y’all can just lump it. I’m quixotic, I am.) Also, types of content that I have previously striven to keep off ForgottenStars will start appearing here. In the past I’ve kept this site’s infrequent posts focused pretty much exclusively on updates about my writing, and thoughts about writing and storytelling in general, and that’s it. Now? Well, my occasional political thoughts will show up here. Geeky meanderings. My music-related posts…photo posts from my daily existence…it’ll all be here.
Including, dare I say it…pies. It’s all fair game, now!
So, here we go! I’m hoping to have fun with this. I hope you’ll join in!
And now, as John Oliver would say, this.