Monday, October 02, 2006

Technology Woes

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I'd created a new blog in which to compile the research notes for my novel characters. Frankly, I didn't want to do it. I've been resisting the idea of multiple blogs for some time now for a variety of reasons. But in the end I just had to break down and bite the bullet. The reason? In a word, technology. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn't. My current blog isn't working for me. More specifically the blog's search engine isn't working for me.

If you enter "LIPA" in the box at the top of this page you'll find a post I wrote recently titled "How the Research Goes..." but no mention of the blog post I wrote on my LIPA ancestors back in April titled "The First Find". Enter "St. Albertus" and you'll find the entry I just posted titled "Update on the Chene Street Project" but you won't find a link to the post I wrote back in August titled "Polish and German Church Festivals in Detroit, MI". Better yet, enter "Carnival of Genealogy" and you get links to the 6th, 7th, and 8th editions but not editions 1-5 or my Intro. What's with that? In fact, I'm constantly frustrated when trying to find things I've previously written in my blog. I just can't count on Blogger's search engine to deliver adequate results for me. So it sure wouldn't help me put my fingers on my ancestors' information quickly if I enter it in a post on Blogger.

At one point, I added a Technorati search box to the blog (see it on the right?). If there is a way to generate even more disappointing results than the Blogger search it would be the Technorati search. Go ahead. Enter LIPA to search this blog and see what you get. Never mind, I'll tell you. You get a page with the text " There are no posts that contain that text." And if you look closely, you'll see that my blog has not been updated for 59 days in spite of the fact that I "ping" it religiously after every post I submit and I add those dratted "Technorati Tags" too! And for what I ask you? Even though I "claimed" my blog many months ago with the tags of "Polish Genealogy", if you search Technorati's Blog Finder for "Polish Genealogy" the result will be "There are no blogs tagged Polish Genealogy yet." Urrrgh! Can you tell I'm a little hot on this subject?

I thought about switching my blog to another host and at some point I may still do that. But I've already done it once (from Yahoo 360 to Blogger) back in January and I can tell you it is one big pain in the dupa. I'm really trying to avoid that. I changed my blog template back in August because the one I was using couldn't deal with long URLs in the "recent posts" column. It caused all my pages to load incorrectly and look terrible. So I decided to "switch" after unsuccessfully trying to "fight" it and I went with a new template. I'm really trying to play nice and get along with Blogger but I'm not a happy camper. And don't even get me started on trying to lay out photos in Blogger. I've pretty much given up on that and am planning to upload my photos to Flickr and just put links to the collections from my blog. I'm tired of fighting with Blogger. I know they're having technical difficulties trying to migrate servers to Google but I've run out of patience. It's been months now and their forums are still full of complaints from users who are frustrated that the searches on their blogs aren't working.

With the NaNoWriMo competition just a few weeks away I can't take the time right now to attempt to switch my blog to another host. So for the time being I will enter the information I need for my novel into my new blog at WordPress (which appears to have a working search engine). I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this blog. There are many other issues besides the technical ones I've mentioned here that I have to consider. It's been one year (October 2005) since I started this blog and I've come full circle. I started it by writing about my NaNoWriMo experience and it just may be ending that way too. But that's the topic for a future post.