Moving to WordPress

Well, Polizeros is up and running well on the new WordPress platform. Wahoo! WordPress is open source, has dozens of plug-ins, an intuitive interface, and a growing user base. Plus, it has built-in support for podcasting. The more I use it, the more I like it.

Our previous platform, Radio Userland, is getting creaky. They only have one employee (plus several who help when they can) and while Radio, through Dave Winer, invented blogging and RSS, they’ve not been able to keep up with new developments. Not because they don’t want to, not because they don’t have the expertise, but I think because of a lack of resources.

However, the primary reason I left Radio was because it, unlike other blog platforms, lives on a PC and publishes to the website. Thus you always need access to that specific computer to be able to blog. However, WordPress (and Movable Type, and Blogger) are server-based, you can access them from any computer with net access, a huge difference indeed.

The entire Radio Userland blog of Polizeros, from Aug 2005 – Oct 23, 2005, now exists here exactly as it was as an archive. Getting it here was, um, complicated. Because I published it from my laptop to here into a different folder from where it existed on the old site, lot of links got broken. This is because Radio doesn’t use relative paths, and meant, among other things, that I had to go through all six thousand posts looking for ones that displayed images I’d uploaded, then manually edit the path to the image so it would display correctly and not show the broken image symbol. This was not my idea of fun.
The most complicated part of any blog is tweaking the look and feel, AKA the template or theme. WordPress and Movable Type use PHP and CSS. Radio uses a homegrown system with CSS. All take serious geek skills to change. And, don’t forget, always backup up the files before trying something new else you might end up with a mangled looking blog.

PS I will continue to use the RSS reader in Radio, as it is, hands down, the best news aggregator out there. I track 88 news feeds in it, and this is how I read most of my news. If you’re not familiar with news aggregators, they allow you to subscribe to rss feeds. Thus, I can read news from 88 sources in one place, with new news flowing in all the time. This includes major media like BBC and NYTimes as well as blogs.

So, Radio served me well for over three years,and I have no real complaints about it. However, it was time to move on. 

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