After almost 3 years of writing, whining and moaning a/k/a blogging with the free Live Spaces service, I decided to quit. I put up my own system using existing tools that I can control myself (except for the hosting part). I asked for the transfer of my on5zo.be domain and once this has propagated through all the DNS servers, you’ll end up here. While I am typing this, no one can ever see it BEFORE this move is completed. So if you read this, it’s done.
I was very happy with the free service Live Spaces provided. Until a couple of weeks ago, when Microsoft decided to take away the statistics facilities. No prior notice, no meaningful explanation afterwards. It was coldly taken away from one day to another. What’s the deal you ask? Mostly my ego.
The statistics page does not add any feature or convenience to the Live Spaces blog. But, as an author, you really would like to know if someone out there is reading what you write. I do want to know that. The statistics page did not only tell me how many people dropped by on a given day, it also told me how they landed on my page. MS provided simple and poor statistics but it did the job for me. How many page views and how the view originated (Google, link on a third party site, RSS). But that was enough for me.
So I found myself in a situation where I did not know anymore how many people were reading this. Normally about 15-20 unique visitors checked my website daily, with peaks up to 50-80 after a contest. A lot of Google hits too. And if MS could take away this, they might do other things as well. Maybe more commercial stuff, like ads that viewers need to look at when they visit the page. Or MS could just call it a day and throw away the whole Spaces thing. So reasons enough to ensure continuity. And add flexibility.
It was a pain to extract the content from the posts. MS does NOT provide a backup or exporting tool. Another way to bind your costumers. I tried a few tools and found one that ‘kinda’ worked. Plain text content was exported but some other stuff like images didn’t. Anyway most of the stuff I wrote is here now. So I not only celebrate my 10 years on HF, I also start all over again with my blog. I’m planning on removing the old one in the long run, I’ll just let it sit there and grow old for a while…