As I learned a few hours ago, and as a few other Sb bloggers have already announced, Scienceblogs.com will shut down at the end of this month. I'm going to move Aard and continue my blogging, but I haven't figured out where to move it yet. Suggestions from you, Dear Reader, are most welcome.
It needs to be done soon, because while I have exported all the blog entries and comments safely to my laptop, I can't do that with the images and PDFs. I have to import the blog onto a new WordPress site and then instruct it to grab all the non-text files from Scienceblogs.com. Which will not be available for very much longer.
Onward and upward!
Update: Here’s the new URL: aardvarchaeology.wordpress.com
No suggestions, but I want to know where it will be when you decide, so I'll be checking back.
Why not migrate your blog to a free Wordpress site? There's a wide variety of layouts, they're simple enough for even me to use, and you can upgrade to a paid site later, once your data and images are safe.
Good timing in a way. Get those changes underway. And yes, just get a Wordpress site and move it all there. You can always move again in a year or so if you're not satisfied.
What about the old aard posts? will they be preserved somewhere?
That's the issue at hand. Starting a new blog from scratch somewhere else takes 5 minutes. It's the migration of the corpus I need to deal with.
Jim and Janne, you're right, given how little interaction I've had with other Sbloggers in recent years, I might as well go it alone on Wordpress.
Will this affect scienceblogs.de? They seem reasonably active ... someone organized a writing contest recently. I guess I should write down a list of handles and URLs for the few scienceblogs members who I still read.
You should probably tell archive.org to index your old site while it is still here so that it has a complete archive.
A common problem is that new blog software insists on moving things to new URLs, which breaks links and confuses search engines. You might want to perform a few sanity checks.
I don't know of many networks of academic/pop science blogs which are really active. I rent hosting and run Wordpress for my blog.
Martin, I notice that Orac at Respectful Insolence is making the same move to a new blog. He mentions some of the problems in his latest post, and he may have some pertinent advice regarding the transfer of data.
ScienceBlogs seems to one of the last multiple blog sites around, although Scientific American still has blogs. Most people in my list of favourites have their own sites, often with a Patreon link for donations.
My suggestion would also be your own WordPress site. I don't like any of the main blog platforms, but this seems the least bad. I have never seen any value in blog networks.
There are lots of inexpensive options for site hosting, so do your research and pick the one that makes the most sense to you. But I have been burned by that: the hosting service I chose turned out to be incapable of handling simple e-mail.
I hope that whatever transfer software you use can deal with accented characters. This is, believe it or not, still a problem in 2017. Last month I had occasion to use such a site on which I needed to refer to certain locations in Norway. Which proved tricky without being able to enter the Å and Ø characters and have them be understood. We didn't have Greek characters available either, but at least that involves Unicode, not something to which even Microsoft had a solution 20 years ago.
Sean, I don't know about scienceblogs.de. But thanks for the suggestion about archive.org.
Eric, that is wise. Another common problem is third-party sites which link to a media file at a scienceblogs URL (picture, PDF, spreadsheet full of archaeological data). Unless you change the link on the third-party site, or Seed Media agrees to keep redirecting requests from the old URL to the new one, all of those will break. I don't know a good (ie. automated) solution for that problem.
Phillip, my understanding is that 10 years ago, blog networks could get better deals on advertising by negotiating collectively, and had 'back end' to show readers related content and bloggers when someone had responded on their own site rather than in the comments. But now web advertising is dominated by a few big firms and pays almost nothing, and software like Wordpress provides the same services.