Oren’s blog has moved!

After five years of writing this blog on my staff web account at the UW, I’ve moved it to blog.orenblog.org, hosted at wordpress.com.

Why?

  • There are lots of good options. The future for IT is in the cloud, and great services are available all over the place. When I first started the blog it was at least partly a demonstration that it was possible for a fairly numbskull unix user to install newfangled software on the servers at the UW. That was partly responsible for a whole set of documentation on how to install blogs and wikis and MySQL. I had hoped that this would lead to a generally available campus blog and wiki service, but that never became enough of a priority to happen. It looks to me like now we don’t really need to do that anymore – there’s lots of great options available for people on the Internet that are cheap (or free) and easy to use. There’s no reason for me to continue to run my own MySQL server or have to install and upgrade blog server software, which is good, as I no longer have the time to pay attention to that level of detail. I do want to say that the hosting on the UW staff servers has been terrific for the entire five years – the systems have been responsive and uptime has never been a problem for me. UW Technology’s Distributed Systems staff are a top-notch crew and do a wonderful job of keeping these critical systems functioning very well.  
  • There are lots of things to write about! While I intend to continue to mostly write about the issues that are relevant to practicing IT professionals in higher education, there are other interests I might choose to comment on from time to time, including music, politics, family life, etc. My life doesn’t neatly compartmentalize into work vs. non-work, and I don’t want to have to worry about trying to invent that dichotomy for blog-writing purposes. 
     
  • WordPress.com is a killer service. While there are many good blog services available, I’ve chosen to put this blog on wordpress.com. I will admit a little regret in leaving my long time environment of Movable Type – I think MT is wonderful software, and I look forward to trying out the social networking features in MT Pro on some future projects. But wordpress.com makes it really easy to host the blog. I’m able to tweak the design to my satisfaction using the templates and I used the predefined widgets to get my del.icio.us links and my music listening twitter feed onto the sidebar. And – a huge plus – my initial experiences with contacting support have been nothing short of amazing in helping me get my content migrated properly, including going so far as writing a brief custom  script to properly import my tags from MT – and that’s for the free version of the product!

So I look forward to continuing to write in this new environment, and hopefully you’ll be seeing more regular posts, though I’m finding I’m writing less in the blog and posting short things to twitter.

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