Rebooting the blog

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Finally it is time to unveil one of my big projects of the fall: I decided to take over my blog content and, from now on, to host everything myself.

A little bit of history: In 2006, still excited from the amazing MIX conference (first of the name), I realized how strong the Microsoft developer community is, and decided to become a part of it. Before that, I had been extremely active in the JavaScript community and used to take part to discussions on Usenet newsgroups (with some amazing thinkers like Doug Crockford who is, still today, one of the leading figures of the JavaScript world). I also answered JavaScript questions on my website, a first venture in a way of posting articles about a specific tech topic. This was quite successful and worked well, but in 2006 after MIX, I thought it is time to rather use a blog platform to do this, and I started looking for a good host.

This is when I found GeeksWithBlogs and registered for a blog there. I was accepted and immediately posted the “Welcome to my blog” article which was to be the first of more than 500 articles over more than 80 months. I really love the GWB community and was lucky to get the “most read article” of the month a few times, always a great feeling.

Recently however I started thinking about hosting the content myself. Sites like GWB are fantastic in that they provide a hassle-free environment and I really encourage everyone who wants to start blogging to check them out. I also like that the few ads on my blogs were always tech-related and not for impotency pills or (even worse) politics :) but I started to have a few additional wishes.

First I wanted to get the content on my site directly. I just like to know that all this content is on my own server, in my own DB. Don’t get me wrong, GWB has always been very good to us, notably by letting us use our own domain for the blog URL. This is really a nice touch. But I just want to reappropriate this content completely now.

Then there is the engine. Subtext is nice, but I am really attracted by some of the features of WordPress. I feel that some widgets and plugins are really going to be interesting for some of the things I want to do in the future. Also, having a Windows Phone app allowing to post quick posts while on the go is a really cool add-on.

Also there is of course the question of the ads. Since 2006 I have not made a dime on my blog’s ads, of which the profit goes to GWB. Again, I am not denying that they deserve the money for providing servers and all the hard work making sure that the blog is up and running. But I also pay some money to my ISP (the excellent DiscountASP.Net) for the same job. So eventually it only makes sense to have just one team looking after my content (site and blog). In terms of the ads, nothing will change because I am using the same ads provider than GWB does. So you won’t see different content in the ads, it will still be technology related, and none of that Google crap, promised. But the funds created will now go to me directly instead of GWB. Parts of it is going to help me pay for the additional features I bought to get the blog running (MySQL DB, subdomain handling, etc) and parts of it will go to me directly and help me with other tech-related purchases. I also donate regularly to NGOs using the ads fund, which makes me feel good without taking money away from my family.

For all these reasons, I have been thinking for quite a while about this operation. Now it is complete, and I am about to press the switch :)

What’s going to change?

Actually not much. The only thing that will change, really, is that the old “geekswithblogs.net/lbugnion” address will not get new content anymore. However for many years already I had been using galasoft.ch/posts which was a redirect on the GWB address. So for most of you who bookmarked articles using the blog.galasoft address, you are fine. I have a set of redirects in place on the new blog, so you will automatically be directed to the new location without any hassle.

If you did have a geekswithblogs address bookmarked, you will still see the old article in place for a while, but I will progressively copy the content over to the new blog. I will then replace the old article with an indication of where the new location is to be found. I am not sure how long the old GWB address will remain active after I move the content over, so at some point you might get some 404 responses. Sorry about that, but I am sure that a quick Bing/Google search will help you locate the new content easily.

So really, for you dear readers, you might not even notice the changes (at least that is my hope and I have worked hard to make sure that this is the case). Should you see any issue, please use one of the contact info listed on the side bar on your left to let me know, and I will make sure to check it out!

That’s all dear reader. At this point I guess I need to thank you warmly for your continuous support over the past 7 years (and counting) and I am really excited about all the new content that I already have in mind for the new platform.

Happy coding!!
Laurent

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