The Blog Generation

One of the ReclaimPress discussions Taylor and I had recently was with Chris Long, who will soon be taking on the role of provost at University of Oregon, leaving behind some absolutely amazing work and colleagues at Michigan State University. Chris has been an early supporter of Reclaim Hosting, and for that we’re very grateful, but it wasn’t so much because he liked our logos or thought we were cool (though secretly I think he did : ).

Rather, it was because he was part of a group of faculty at Penn State University almost 20 years ago that saw blogging as a way of narrating their work and capturing the life of the mind over the course of their academic career. Chris stayed that course on his Long Road blog, and while we were discussing the option of moving his site, it became clear just how important it was to him that this move be seamless and his site run under the best of conditions. The discussion was going to start as an argument for him to move from cPanel to ReclaimPress (see my last post about a post-cPanel toolkit), but it turns out there was no argument to be had. Chris immediately saw the value of running his blog in ReclaimPress given it would be faster, backups allow for multi-region restores, and he has access via SFTP and SSH should he need it elsewhere easily.

Another brilliant image from Visual Thinkery to capture the preciousness of our blogs

In fact, this is a theme that’s been in the air as we work to bring old gold bloggers over to ReclaimPress. Maren’s “20 years of blogging… now on ReclaimPress” discusses just this very thing, highlighting just how crucial her blog has become to her sense of self online. As a result, the moment of moving it elsewhere brought the importance of this space into sharp focus:

My blog, which I mostly take for granted, and which, thanks to the super solid shared hosting experience I have had ever since 2016 I never really had to worry about, ever, suddenly became my most precious of domains.

Years of chronicling your work, commenting with colleagues, and generally prospecting your small bit of the web is something that has been deeply valuable to a whole generation of web denizens, and as the center cannot hold, perhaps that small blog at the edge of the web, tied to many, many others, can keep both hope alive and some freak flags flying.

I can’t really speak too much about returning to the blog given I never left, but I’m ready for the vinylesque revolution of blogging, in fact I know a place where you can press your own blog vinyl fresh on the web.

WordPress Vinyl Cutter on reclaimPress


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6 Responses to The Blog Generation

  1. Alan Levine says:

    My precious. I had worries my 21 year old of blog heft might be a lot to move to the ReclaimPress, but I am being convinced now after seeing Maren’s post and what you write about Chris Long (Go Oregon!).

    Am I going to need to go through the gymanstics you did to move media to a bucket somewhere? I’ll be asking for help soon to get the CogDogBlog blog moving to a better perch.

    • Reverend says:

      In terms of media buckets, I am testing out the humanmade plugin for putting stuff on S3, and I know Taylor is a huge fan of Backblaze, which is super cheap. I use Amazon S3 storage given it has more granular permissions and I am trying to figure out another solution for CUNY, so that is my test bed. That said, I can use this as an excuse to play with the Humanmade S3 plugin ( given I want to ditch the premium one we use from WP Engine. Hell, I’ll even pull a Cogdog and then document it. I have found getting all my media off the blog is liberating for moving things around, which I have been doing pretty consistently with the bava for years now, but my current setup is fast, fast, fast :):

      Also, you have the bava money back gurantee, if ReclaimPress doesn’t work, we can always move you back, no sweat, that is why ReclaimPress is in Beta.

  2. I’ve been havering on the full switch to ReclaimPress too. I’ve got the base setup there and have gone no further I think out of a weird sense of fear of change. I don’t think I’m worried about loss particularly as I’ve got backups and have done enough painful WP restores in my time. So why am I havering? I think it’s that stepping from a CPanel LAMP stack into the ReclaimCloud is going to take me to a place where I really no longer have hands on experience with the infrastructure underpinning it. I’m stepping into a setup that I understand conceptually but couldn’t build myself and that means accepting something about my increasing consumer status on the web. Or maybe my waning technical skills. So that’s the challenge I need to set myself here. Learn something new.

    • Alan Levine says:

      I know that hesitancy, A-M! I’m feeling the rust on my tech chops these days, but maybe I just need a swig of Geritol.

    • Reverend says:

      I can say to both of you, with the new infrastructure there is a level of abstraction built-in, containers within containers, so there is a certain amount of removel from the “server-level” piece, but accessing files and the core WordPress files doesn’t change, so in many ways it is swapping out one abstracted OS (in this case the near end-of-life Centos 7) for OpenVZ containers. A certain amount might be removed, but the fact you can take your stuff and go is the whole point of cPanel, and many ways ReclaimPress and/or whatever service you end up on next. As long as it is easy to get your stuff out, take the jump. That said, sticking with cpanel is cool, but they are increasingly trying to squeeze blood from a stone as a company, so i wonder what the long road is there.

  3. Anne-Marie Scott says:

    Hmm. I’m reading this back over and realising that I might be coming off as a bit of a doomy whinger! I think it’s fair to say that any concerns I have are all about me and nothing about technology platforms 🙂

    Regarding cPanel strategy though, that seems a weird but not unfamiliar way to run a business. Usually it’s either desperation, or someone hoping to get bought. Sometimes both. But it’s never a good sign.

    Looking forward to donning my swimsuit and diving in properly with ReclaimPress soon!

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