Tuesday, August 26, 2014

End of Lifed

As some of you know (and I know you know because you write me angry emails and exasperated twits), Simple Justice hasn't worked well for months now. It takes forever for the posts to load, assuming they load at all.  After trying to find out from my host, GoDaddy, why this is happening, I was eventually told that they had given up on the blogging program I use, stopped doing anything to maintain its efficacy a year ago, and were preparing to "End of Life" their involvement in blogging.

Mind you, this didn't stop GoDaddy from taking my money to use their program, but I digress.

Over the past couple of months, I have been involved in an effort to move SJ to a new platform over at WordPress with a new host. It had a few hitches along the way. My initial efforts involved some of the turnkey opportunities for blawgers, one of which involved spending huge sums of money because their business model is based on dopey law firms who buy into the "every lawyer needs a blawg or will die" vision of the future.

Since this isn't a marketing tool or money maker for me, there was no way I was going to throw thousands of dollars into this hole. My basic premise is that I write and people get to read, if they want, for free. While I am happy to provide the content for my own purposes, if not yours, I am not happy to pay through the nose to amuse readers.

Another wanted me as part of their stable of law blogs, which wouldn't have been so awful except that they quickly reneged on the deal offered when they saw the volume of traffic here.  Reneging isn't something I can live with.

Lacking the mad computer skillz to make this happen on my own, a few people who had significant computer skills and enjoyed SJ offered to lend a hand and make a move happen.  One gave me a lead on the big issues, but was too high on the pay grade to do the dirty work. Another was happy to make the nuts and bolts of a change happen. 

After being well on the way, he suffered some personal problems and, well, disappeared on me. As in, went dark. I grew far more concerned about his welfare than I was about moving this blog. Some things are real, like a good person's well-being, and to this moment, I have no clue whether he is dead or alive. I hope he gets in touch with me soon. I'm still deeply concerned.

It wasn't easy stuff. GoDaddy's system was proprietary, and didn't play nice with anyone else's system. While GoDaddy had developed an export feature to move content to WordPress, they found out that it wasn't particularly "robust," and that my rather extensive content crashed the system. It could handle about 100 blog posts. I had well over 5000. Nobody at GoDaddy anticipated someone as prolific as me.

But when their general counsel explained that I probably wasn't a great choice of people to piss off, they put some developers on the task of creating a means of moving my content. It took a couple of weeks, but they eventually managed to pull it off. It was a decidedly less than perfect solution, as they were able to include my posts and the comments, but they couldn't manage to get the contents to thread (or nest, if you prefer) at WordPress. Bear this in mind later, so no one bitches at me about the comments. It just couldn't be done.

Many people have suggested their hosts, web designers, programs, whatever, to fix the disaster of using GoDaddy. While I appreciated the concern, it wasn't really helpful after the first few thousand suggestions. Most of my griping had to do with prodding GoDaddy to keep SJ working, at least minimally, until a move could be completed.  This wasn't a bleg for suggestions, but deliberate effort to poke GoDaddy by a wee bit of public shaming for their inability to do what they took money to do.

Finally, I was hooked up with a guy who, for a fee, would do what was needed to finish the move. We were on the same page, and although it irks me that I have to pay someone to do the work, I wasn't ready to let SJ die and didn't want to see the content created over the past seven plus years disappear when SJ went dark. But my new guy developed some personal issues that pulled his attention away from making the move happen, I began to think I was a curse to computer people (or maybe computer people were a curse to me?). 

It appears that we're are all getting on the same page now, and provided an alien invasion, healthcare crisis or zombie Armageddon doesn't happen in the next couple of days, I anticipate that SJ will move to its new home.

It's not yet clear to me how easily I will accommodate to WordPress. I know, tons of you have told me how easy it is, but I'm an old dog and new tricks come hard. Heck, it took me a few hours to figure out how to use the "intuitive" wheel of an iPod. Yes, I can be that clueless.

I anticipate that there will a day or two, maybe more, when nothing will appear at SJ. It's not that I've quit or gone fishing. I'm not dead yet. It's just that there will be down time while all this happens, while the internet figures out that I've moved to a new home and redirects you to the right address.

There will be problems in the future as well. Images will be missing. Links will be broken. Formatting will get all screwed up do to differences in coding between GoDaddy and WordPress. It will be annoying to you. Me too, probably more so. But short of going back over the more than 5000 posts and cleaning up the mess by hand, there isn't much I can do to prevent the problems. I am not inclined to spend my time that way. Sorry, but we will all have to suck it up.

I hope this makes things a little clearer for readers, and I apologize for the problems, delays and frustration caused by GoDaddy's sucking. I've been working on it for months now, and I hope we've come to the end of the nightmare. In any event, it's better than being End of Lifed by GoDaddy.

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Source: http://blog.simplejustice.us/2013/07/10/end-of-lifed.aspx?ref=rss

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