In keeping with the long tradition, here at Alt Text, I’ve made the decision to migrate platforms, redesign, etc. rather than actually creating content. I’ve moved over to Medium, where all the cool kids are these days.
I’m a bit late to writing on Medium for a few reasons.
- I had alttext.com and decent traffic. I had been blogging since 1999 and had a following, albeit far smaller than it once was when I was getting thousands of visits per day.
- I like to be able to customize and tweak the sorts of things present on my site. Medium allows a few new options as of last April but it still pales in what one can do with a fully customized Wordpress blog, for example.
- The bar seems a bit high (or did) for content posted to Medium. I was daunted. Now I’ve decided not to care.
Reasons I decided to move Alt Text to Medium include:
- I enjoy reading content on Medium.
- Others do too and it is easier for them to find and consume content here.
- I’m tired of maintaining blogging software. First it was a homegrown system in the late 90’s, then Movable Type, then Wordpress.
- My current host, Media Temple is unreliable. I get short outages of a few minutes just about every month.
- Medium provides a more enjoyable writing experience.
- As a counterpoint to number 2 above, Medium doesn’t allow a lot of customization or design options and so I will be forced to focus on the content creation aspect of blogging.
- Related. I have less and less desire (and so have spent less and less time) to write/tweak code and install and customize plugins. I’d rather go outside or rewatch episodes of Community.
Things that suck about migrating to Medium
The migration tool is very basic and doesn’t support many of the features that Wordpress and more “full-featured” blogging platforms provide. Here are the biggest losses:
- Comments. I lament this one a lot. I love having conversations with people who read Alt Text. Some of the posts I have migrated have 50 to 100 comments on them. Some posts are in response to comments. I’m unsure what, if anything, I will do to alleviate some of this suckiness.
- Meta data, including categories and tags in excess of five per post are lost. Alt Text could do with some simplification anyways, but this isn’t the way I wanted to do it.
- Not medium specific, of course, but losing permalinks is hard. Both for Google and for linkages from other posts and elsewhere. No redirects—permanent or temporary—are put in place.
I’ll attempt to increase the quality of the posts here at Alt Text — to that end, I’ve even enlisted an editor. But I am still going to write about my personal life and rant from time to time. I know it is still somewhat controversial to have a personal blog on Medium but it is increasingly common and also I don’t really give a shit. Also, I might swear from time to time.
Controversial decision, part 2:
I’ve migrated 372 of 1402 posts from the old site and plan on bringing over a few more in the coming weeks. Some of these posts date back to 1999 and my views may have changed in that time. But, I like the context it provides me, and if others like digging back through the archives, they now can.
NOTE: The last couple migrations have wreaked a bit of havoc on some of these posts. I have found that some are truncated at special curly quote characters, and others have strange formatting. If you happen to see something strange, please send me a note.