Monday, October 15, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

As if we don't have enough to decide or worry about, it's always something new. So I'm faced with a decision...

What is it, you may ask?

Is it who I'm going to vote for in the primaries and general election? Will it be Queen Hillary, Breck Edwards, Baba Obama, Tepid Thompson, Grinning Guiliani, or Ramrod Romney? I'm not telling, but it won't be a Democratic candidate...

Is it going to be on an issue such as immigration reform, universal health care, Union activities, or defending my Constitutional Rights? Well, sorta, but not quite.

I'm thinking about moving this blog to another service such as

Don't get me wrong!! Blogger has been a great service for this exercise in free speech. But I'm always looking for something better, or maybe just different.

Blogger does have some good things going for it. Custom templates for one. As many of you know, this blog template has been tweaked, stretched, and dinked with for as long as this blog has been in existence. HaloScan adds trackbacks and well as a host of commenting & editing features. StatCounter adds loads of statistical information on who and where the hits to the blog are coming from. Adding the JavaScript coding for the neat scrollers and graphics makes this site unique from all the others out in bloggerland.

But there are some downsides. Currently, there is no way to back up your posts, so unless you keep copies of your posts somewhere, you could lose all of your work if Google/Blogger takes an unrecoverable dump without a way to restore the posts. With HaloScan, you do need a premium account to have the capability of exporting your blog's comments, so that is an option. But if you don't have posts to link the comments to, you're hosed anyway.

Another downside is that I like to write my posts offline and then upload them using Microsoft's Live Writer Beta. Even though it is made by Microsoft, it does a pretty decent job. The part about using this editor is that it will not allow me to add tags or categories to the posts that I'm writing. After submitting the post to be published, I then need to log into Blogger, access the posts editor, and then select the post just published and select the tags for that post. Just a bit cumbersome for my taste...

Last, to view all of this wonderful information from StatCounter and HaloScan requires that I log into each service separately. Yes, maybe I'm nitpicking somewhat, especially for what I'm getting for free, but I still need to see what's out there and may offer something better for the long run. addresses some of the above, but at a price. There are a number of standard templates to choose from with limited options for customization. Gone will be HaloScan and StatCounter as well as any Javascript scripts as the standard (free) part of the site will not allow this type of custom code. does not offer the functionality of StatCounter's statistical functions and hit tracking.

On the plus side, posting with tags & categories is handled very well by Live Writer as well as other offline editors. Posts and comments can be exported to a XML file for importation into another Wordpress blog, whether it is another one on or your own private website/blog (which is a long-term goal of mine). There is even the option of importing Blogger posts and comments (not HaloScan, though) into, although there are some application notes for importing HaloScan comments back into Blogger and then importing everything into Wordpress.

So it comes down to a couple of questions: Is Wordpress worth moving to? And if it is, is it worth importing this site's posts to the new one and either manually or automatically moving the comments, or just start fresh?

More importantly, is it content that you are looking for, or the presentation, and will you link to the new site? (Personally, I think it's the content that's important, but that's me...)

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