After significant and careful consideration, I’ve decided to migrate my Connecting the Dots blog (which I started in December of 2004 using the Typepad hosted service) to a WordPress installation on a server I control.
While Typepad has made many changes that are good for the blogging community, the platform is still too limiting and the energy in the ecosystem surrounding the service is, well, non-existent. Argue with me all you want (and many have already) but WordPress is giving me what I want, how I want it, and the limitations on growing with Typepad are too constrictive.
The sad part is that exporting from Typepad is a God-awful mess of code. From URL’s that were short, then not short, and underscores (“_”) that turned into dashes (“-“), I’ve had to invest dozens of hours into changing the blog over.
The other sad part is that getting MY images from THEIR servers is a nightmare. While importing into WordPress kinda, sorta works (but permalinks are all hosed up), all images are left on the Typepad server. I used a caching plugin to capture them, but it’s a band-aid and not a comfortable, long term solution.
After waiting days and days for a response from Anil Dash, he finally responded with a connection to a guy named Mark Simmons, but by that time I was already down the road with the migration.
While I understand that Six Apart (Typepad parent) has zero incentive to help me get MY data out of THEIR system (data *I* own by the way), they’ve made it work juuuuust barely enough that they can stand on a box of righteousness and argue the finer points of ATOM and migration.
I’m paid up through December but just set the domain to transfer and will clean up loose ends if necessary, especially the RSS feeds so I don’t lose you, my subscribers.
We’re living in a time of the greatest shift in human (and machine) connection and communication any of us over 30 years old will experience in our lifetimes. Social media is proliferating, networks of people exploding, self-publishing, microblogging and new communications channels like Twitter emerging, and for the most part, the enterprise isn’t playing in most of these areas.
As a former content management systems (CMS) guy (was with Vignette during the dotcom heyday), I’m in an interesting spot between grassroots social media use by individuals, non-profits and small business and my enterprise clients trying to determine how to play in this shifting landscape. These clients are trying to figure out how to engage all of us connecting and communicating, and just finding more efficient ways of publishing content with a CMS or portal isn’t cutting it.
Social publishing systems are needed.
This morning I read Jeremiah Owyang (Sr Analyst at Forrester Research: Social Computing) who had this post entitled, “Social Software: Here Come The CMS Vendors.” He begins by discussing his oft-repeated theme of the volume of white label social networking providers, and ends with a premise about the major CMS vendors, “I’ve started to notice more of the ‘traditional’ CMS and Portal players that already have deep footprints into the corporate web teams that are inching into this space.“
What are the trends, what are CMS vendors likely to do and what should be offered?