If you have not visited Mrs DOF’s blog, it is the entry into an alternate WimanOnline universe. She writes about her experiences as a middle-aged woman, stories of her childhood in a steeltown in Ohio, her thoughts about womanhood, raising children, and so forth. (Just for example, her latest post is about Burning her last nursing bra
Her blog began as a by-request, friends-only e-mail list she called “Dear Ones”. At one point there were 49 people on the list, right about the time I made the transition from Blogger to pay-for-hosting blog.
“I will make a blog for you,” I said. (Hey, it’s Decrepit Old Fool for a reason) She was skeptical, and didn’t want to tackle a learning curve. Her email letter was working just fine.1
I wanted to learn about Content Management Software, so naturally, I chose to start using the biggest, baddest blogging engine2 of them all – Expression Engine. Over a year later, I have been too busy to learn it in any depth. So when MrsDoF complained that her permanent links weren’t working, I started to tease out the problem. Answer: I’d set up her blog incorrectly in the first place (big surprise)
In the process of trying to fix it, I broke her blog entirely. (Think Dagwood Bumstead with his household tools) At one point it came up as unformatted text; at another, it didn’t come up at all. Since she has more readers – by far – than I do, this is NOT good…
I wound up changing the DNS settings for her domain, and getting help from Julie at Pmachine hosting to make mrsdof.com the secondary domain on my account and straighten out a problem in her path.php file.
Now it works. Cool.
Which gives me the bug to address a dissatisfaction with my own domain name. I’ve been using the online pseudonym “Decrepit Old Fool” for a long time – mainly as a joke, and I plan to continue doing that (so people won’t know my real name is George Wiman). But “decrepitoldfool.com” isn’t that easy to type – or spell – and I’m getting tired of typing it. And anyway I liked the name of my old blog, the Ballpoint Sketch.
But the Sketch was on Blogger, which was often frustratingly slow. So why didn’t I just make the new domain; “ballpointsketch.com”?
I dunno. Just didn’t think of it, I guess. But there’s no reason the Decrepit Old Fool can’t do a Ballpoint Sketch. It just doesn’t have to be on blogger. So I’m starting to look at migrating my blog over to that name. There are issues of linkage and continuity to be worked out, and in the meantime I’ll come to understand Expression Engine a lot better. But it won’t happen tomorrow.
- The ever-technophobic MrsDoF now tosses off HTML tags to friends like it was part of her elementary-school penmanship class.
- Expression Engine isn’t just blogging software – you could run a large corporate or institutional website with it, and it would save thousands of man-hours updating content across the company. But it also does blogs. This is like commuting to work in a Humvee. Several of my favorite blogs were on EE which definitely influenced my choice.
- I also considered WordPress, and now that a good friend of mine on campus uses it, I can see that it’s a really strong alternative to EE. There’s a good chance that WordPress will grow across the campus as departments find out what you can do with it. And the price doesn’t hurt.