The status of this blog

Dear loyal readers, quiet lurkers, constant commeters, and trolls,

On or before the 24th of May (hopefully not later) Scienceblogs.com will under The Branding. The Branding is not a phenomenon found in a cultish horror movie involving corn and a school bus, nor will it involve British schoolboys or a buried alien spacecraft. The Branding is when National Geographic’s “brand” is imprinted on this site, and we become something of a National Geographic project. From that point forward several things will be different on this blog, some of which I’ll mention below.

Between now and then there is a problem. All of the blog posts and comments that were posted prior to a date in late April have already been ported to the new platform and when The Branding happens, they will be there. But anything that has been, or will be, placed on this blog will not automatically become part of the new platform. It is possible for me to move old posts or place new blog posts on the new platform, but not comments.

So, comments you place on this blog between now and The Branding will not be preserved. Therefore, you might want to not make them.

UPDATE: I’m told that a solution to this problem is being worked on.

I know this is unusual, but there are reasons for it which I can explain roughly but I can’t answer questions about because I don’t have access to the independent IT firm hired to do this work. The bottom line is that the old MovableType platform was virtually intractable. I’m not sure how they ended up making the transition but it was not a simple export/import situation. There are rumors that wget and awk may have been used, that’s how bad things were.

Since you can’t comment on my posts, I don’t want to write any more posts on this blog until we are up and running. I may still post something now and then but more likely I’d ask you to visit and comment on the X Blog, which will of course be functioning perfectly for the whole time (I hope!). The X Blog is here.

The changes will include a new look and feel, no left sidebar that I put stuff on and I think no About page. Since that personalized stuff will be gone, I’ll be updating Gregladen.com to include that stuff. Commenting will be better managed. To comment on the new blog, probably, you’ll have to have a thing that looks like a real email address that will act, essentially, as your “password,” which will be approved so after you’ve commented once you’ll be able to keep commenting without problems. Unless, of course …. (well, never mind that).

The content of this blog will not change, nor will any of the policies … we are already working under the “new” methods and rules. However, there may be some more interaction with National Geographic’s other blogs and activities, if I chose to do that. NGS is not requiring anything, but there my be opportunities available that I’ll take up.

So now, we enter the big sleep. I am not going to turn commenting off because that always breaks things on this old movable type platform. Besides you may want to leave a comment or two knowing it will disapear later. Like when you write stuff on a wall you are about to paint over!

(I may regret that I said that.)

If you want to have a discussion about this that will not be erased, I’ve made a place for you to do that HERE.

Comments

  1. #1 Physicalist
    May 10, 2012

    nor will it involve British schoolboys or a buried alien spacecraft.

    :-(

  2. #2 EricJuve
    May 10, 2012

    I just had to comment…….

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    May 10, 2012

    I know! It’s like touching wet paint.

  4. #4 furtivezoog
    May 10, 2012

    Kilroy was here :-P

  5. #5 Shawn Smith
    May 10, 2012

    What’s with the hate on wget and awk?! You kids and your new fangled toys…golly.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    May 10, 2012

    Are you kidding, it was me that suggested they try those fine gnu tools!

  7. #7 F
    May 10, 2012

    What hate? That is stark admiration for the abilities of well-built tools.

  8. #8 Jim
    May 11, 2012

    So this proof of the croco-duck’s existence comment will not become part of the fossil record?

  9. #9 Shawn Smith
    May 11, 2012

    There are rumors that wget and awk may have been used, that’s how bad things were.

    Okay, okay. My response was a knee-jerk and stupid reaction to seeing wget and awk in combination with “bad.” My bad. I was reading it as, “all our regular cool new options weren’t cutting it, so we had to go back to (horrors) that 1980s command-line technology. And everyone knows that nothing good came out of the 1980s. </sarcasm>”

    I believe now that you meant, “yeah, when everything else failed, we went back to stuff that actually works. Suck it, GUI tools.” Well, maybe not the suck it part.

  10. #10 chezjake
    May 11, 2012

    Being that National Geographic is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch and his corrupt right-wing associates, I will cease following anyone on Science Blogs, much as I may miss a few of the original bloggers (Chad and Steinn specifically). I’ll stick with you over at FTB.

    So long, and thanks for all the Albany and Congo tales.

  11. #11 Orac
    May 11, 2012

    I know this is unusual, but there are reasons for it which I can explain roughly but I can’t answer questions about because I don’t have access to the independent IT firm hired to do this work. The bottom line is that the old MovableType platform was virtually intractable. I’m not sure how they ended up making the transition but it was not a simple export/import situation. There are rumors that wget and awk may have been used, that’s how bad things were.

    You mean that this independent IT firm can’t figure out how to do a simple script to import the last four weeks of posts and comments? You know, the way that Mark Chu-Carroll and Ed Brayton did when they set up Scientopia and Freethoughtblogs?

    I don’t believe it, and I’ve told the powers that be so. Maybe if readers complain…

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    May 11, 2012

    Orac, I have to believe that they CAN do it! I cannot explain this. I’m guessing that they are contractors and finished out their contract or something. But even so, this could be done internally.

    Yeah, this may well be fixable. I’m happy (enough) to slow down activity for a couple of weeks, but I don’t think it is fair to commenters who said all those smart things since late April without knowing it would all go away. (BTW, my last post on the new platform is from several days before the stated date.)

  13. #13 Achrachno
    May 11, 2012

    I’m sure I’ve not said any smart things since last year, so no losses here.

  14. #14 Stephanie Z
    May 11, 2012

    chezjake, to the best of my knowledge, nothing is changing about the underlying monetary structures, etc. All that happened with National Geographic happened a year or so ago. The only thing that will be different is that it will be easier to see.

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    May 11, 2012

    Being that National Geographic is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch and his corrupt right-wing associates, I will cease following anyone on Science Blogs, much as I may miss a few of the original bloggers (Chad and Steinn specifically). I’ll stick with you over at FTB.
    So long, and thanks for all the Albany and Congo tales.

    You’re welcome to shift totally to the FTB community, of course, but this is not accurate. First, nobody owns the National Geographic society. Having said that, it is true that many products that NGS puts out (most of the stuff on cable TV and documentaries) is produced by one or more corporations that are co-owned by NGS and Murdoch’s company. From what I’ve seen the Murdoch part of each of those enterprises is either 50 or 60 percent depending on the show.

    Science blogs is not owned by NGS or Murdoch. It is owned by Seed Media Group.

  16. #16 sailor
    May 11, 2012

    I always though comments were for the moment rather than posterity.

  17. #17 Greg Laden
    May 11, 2012

    sailor, sure, but there are also people who regard every word written on a blog as a sacred document of how someone was wrong on the internet!

  18. #18 coturnix
    May 12, 2012

    What will happen to all the incoming links? Archives of all the blogs that are not on the network any more? There are millions of posts on the network (about 10,000 of those are mine) and some will not get moved because the blogs are not live any more. Can they do a redirect? Can old blogs still be found on the old addresses after you all move? What will the migration to do all of yours google juice?

  19. #19 Greg Laden
    May 12, 2012

    I don’t know what is being moved vs. not. Among the active blogs, everything up to this date in April (or later) will be moved to the same URL’s as the current blog by moving everything to a temporary subdomain. Then the subdomain name will be removed from the new (wordpress) blog so Google shouldn’t even notice.

    Good question about defunt blogs. I’m kicking it upstairs.

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    May 15, 2012

    Regarding the question of what will be converted to the new format: The entire site is being/has been converted. All older blogs, defuct blogs, whatever you see now.

    Steps are also being taken to convert post late April stuff automatically as well.

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