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I mentioned a week or two ago that some changes were in order here at The Brannan Blog. You may think it was just me tinkering with the visual theme of the blog, as I’ve done a couple times in recent weeks. Not so fast, my friends. There is more. Much more. Read on for the details.


So let’s get the big news out of the way first: the blog is moving. Again.

I know, I know. I promise you, though, this is going to be an easy move. In fact, go Google The Brannan Blog and see what comes up. Pay particular attention to the third result. I’ll wait…

OK, did result #3 look different to you?* It should have. Soon I’ll be saying goodbye to thebrannanblog.wordpress.com and moving to thebrannanblog.net. See, simple. Simpler, as a matter of fact.

* How about result #4? Who knew there’d be another Brannan Blog?

I will now take questions.

WHY?

Many reasons. Ever since I first started my first blog in 2003, I’ve wanted to control how the blog appeared and functioned. At first, that meant moving to TypePad, where I could play around with the colors and general appearance a little. Then, it meant coming to WordPress.com, where I had less granular control, but a wider choice of themes to use. Now it means increasing my understanding of web design and going someplace where I have the freedom to control the total look of my blog.

A year ago I bought a book about HTML, XHTML, and CSS (the coding languages used to build websites) with the goal of being able to design my own site. It kept getting pushed back in the Mad Reading Binge of 2008, but I finally started working through it last month. I’m a long way from being able to write my own code, but I am learning about the nuts and bolts of web site design. When I complete my study, I’ll finally be able to do what I’ve wanted to do for almost five years: control every visual element of my blog. In theory.

OK, I UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MOVE THE SITE?

Good question. WordPress.com is a hosted service that, in exchange for free web hosting and pre-built themes, limits how much control you have over your site’s appearance. Simply put: to completely control the look of my site, I need to own the server space where it resides. That meant securing a domain name and space elsewhere. Plus, since I own the name of the site now, I can do all kinds of moves, changes, etc. in the coming years without you having to learn a new web address again.

BUT YOU SAID YOU ONLY JUST STARTED YOUR STUDY. WHY ARE YOU MOVING NOW?

Because I’m stupid. Or more correctly, because when I was pricing out web hosting options, I hit one button too many. Suddenly I owned a domain. “Congrats, it’s a blog!” Luckily it was with the company I planned on going with, but perhaps a month or two earlier than I wanted.

YES, YOU ARE STUPID.

Thank you. I’ve admitted it. Let’s move on.

SO WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL YOUR OLD MATERIAL? IS IT GONE FOREVER? WHAT IF I WANT TO READ ONE OF YOUR BRILLIANT POSTS FROM THE 2008 NCAA TOURNAMENT?

No worries. I can export all the content from here over to the new blog. In fact, I plan on doing that this weekend. For awhile, I plan on double-posting everything to each site. I’ll shut off the comments here, though, so if you want to leave a comment, you’ll have to do it at the new site. But for the time being, you can read at both sites.

I guess I buried the lede in that paragraph. The new site will open for business next Monday, March 9.

IS THIS REALLY NECESSARY?

No, but I want to do it. It’s these little things that get me through the day, you know. I like the idea of my blog looking a little more snazzy, and at some point that being because I built the look and feel of it on my own.** Also, I figure adding some web design knowledge to my toolbox can’t hurt. And, as weird as it may sound, having a cool looking site can be a motivating factor for writing more often and better. Everybody wins!

** With a healthy dose of inspiration from some of my favorite sites I check each day.

I UNDERSTAND, I SUPPOSE. ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?

Sure. I’ll probably adjust how this site operates by having a page load first that reminds you of the new site’s address. I think there’s a way to do that. Forget to update your bookmarks/favorites/etc.? I’ll have a link to the new site right up front. But remembering thebrannanblog.net should be easier than the current web address.

Also, while my goal is to build my own sexy looking theme, I’ve found one I think is especially nice to use in the interim. WordPress.com (where you’re at now) has a limited number of themes. The WordPress software the new site will run on has hundreds of themes to choose from. So if building my own theme is harder than I expect it to be, or it takes longer than I plan to put one together, you’ll still have something nice to look at. My goal is to have my own theme in place by the summer, though.

Oh, I did think of one hassle many of you will experience: you may have to enter your name and e-mail and then have your comment approved the first time you attempt to post a comment. I’ll pay each of you a nickel for the 20 seconds it will take you to put your info in if it will keep you reading and commenting.***

*** Offer limited to one nickel per user. Void where prohibited.

So feel free to go check out the new site. I’ve been tinkering with it over the past couple weeks. You’ll see some test posts, some posts that appeared here, and a few other things that are different. It’s still in Beta status, so as we make the move, its look and feel should round into form. Over the weekend, I’ll delete out all the Beta testing stuff, import the history from my last two homes on the Internet, and open that sucker up 4 realz.

Remember, thebrannanblog.net.

As always, I appreciate your loyal readership, comments, and support.

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