wrongradical4 (wrongradical4) wrote,

Launch of my new website at craigrowland.com

I will soon be launching a new website after being with LiveJournal four fourteen years. I wanted a site that offered more options with graphics and creativity in expression. LiveJournal was stiflingly limiting in its blogging features and storage capacity as I needed to create no less than four separate blogs after each one of my blogs ran out of room. And the whole Russian thing: I do not want to use a platform hosted in Russia. Each time I log on I see Russian advertising and the only traffic I get are by Russian bots. So after stewing about it for years, I finally decided to develop a site that did everything I wanted it to. A web designer used my ideas to create it, just as a facial composite artist creates an image based on descriptions alone. I learned how to do some artistic editing myself. 

I wanted all of my LiveJournal posts transferred to the new website. Unfortunately my web designer could not find any coding to make a quick and easy cut and paste. She had to break the news to me: the posts would have to be copied one by one. I rolled my eyes and took the task upon myself. I thought it would take months to do but there was no other way. So during Christmas week I started working in reverse chronological order, uploading my most recent LiveJournal posts at wrongradical4 going back in time to when I was known as just wrongradical. 

For the past six weeks I have been uploading my blog posts going back to 2007. Before LiveJournal I used to send out travelogue posts--going back to 2000--using E-mail. I wanted to upload those E-mails to my new blog site too. I didn't upload everything from LiveJournal, as I chose to leave all but twelve of my 366 diary entries behind as well as a lot of moaning about cellphones, Amazon and the state of my computer. In the end I uploaded 1102 travelogue and LiveJournal entries. During this process I had the opportunity to tweak my posts to present consistency in formatting and style, as my personal preferences have changed over the years. I didn't realize that I wanted to make changes however until after I had uploaded sometimes hundreds of posts. Unsightly patterns aren't noticed right away and when I realized I wanted to make some changes, I had to make revisions. While I never opted to rewrite history by rephrasing what I had written sometimes two decades ago (cringeworthy some of it), I did spend hours combing over texts to ensure that what you saw in 2000 looked as if it had been written now. I even left my smiley emoticons in. Although I abhor them now, I used them twenty years ago. I know that some of my older styles and formatting preferences must have been left behind in the retroactive editing process.

Being a line editor I of course found it fascinating to pore over my work and note the changes I have adopted after twenty-one years of writing. My editing notations are a pedant's paradise. In reviewing twenty-one years' worth of travelogues and blog posts, I have made the following changes to how they appear on my new website:

Album titles changed from regular type all in capitals to not all in capitals but instead in italics, thus ABBEY ROAD becomes Abbey Road

The Scrabble player that I still am now finds it distracting to read texts with notations such as #; $; and * next to certain words. These notations pertain to words that are acceptable in Scrabble play in the international lexicon but not in North America; only in the North American lexicon; and in neither lexicon, respectively. As Scrabble lexica on both sides of the Atlantic are updated I find that many of my notations are now obsolete and I have no desire to retain these notations for historical purposes. The notations are annoying, so I have tried to find them all and remove them, so kinda# becomes kinda

Certain compound nouns I prefer to write now as one word in closed form: thus bookstore and website. I have changed them to be spelled as one word (or done my best to find them all). I had been inconsistent in my rendering of cellphone, alternating between spelling it as one or two words. I prefer to see it as one word now, yet my arbiter Merriam-Webster prefers the open form. I was also inconsistent in how I rendered prices using euros. I sometimes left a space between the total and the euro symbol, and sometimes not, thus you'd see 100€ as well as 100 €. I have eliminated the space throughout.

After I discovered the music of the Beatles in May of 1980 at the age of fourteen I went on a Brit kick and decided to spell words the British way, thus realise and recognise. I still spelled words that way into the early 2000's, but no longer now. I have changed these spellings back to the North American standard. 

When I started to blog about my language classes I would place foreign words within quotations. I prefer now to write these words in italics. There are still valid reasons for leaving foreign words in regular type within quotations when I post, but that depends on the context. Some of my posts had the foreign words all in capitals and I have decided to keep those posts as is. Posts where I have greetings and closing remarks in a foreign language will not be in italics, nor will geographical names.  

As a new learner of foreign languages I sometimes made spelling mistakes, especially with the Finnish language. As I am a more experienced user of the Finnish language, upon review of my travelogues these typos were immediately evident. Some typos were twenty-one years old. 

I have added hyperlinks to posts, especially to posts in the future. For example, if I wrote about buying a certain book, I have now added a hyperlink to the book title to direct the reader to a review of that book (a review would often come many years after I bought it). While on the subject of hyperlinks, going through twenty years of past posts meant finding a lot of dead links. As of the date when my new website goes live, all hyperlinks are active. If there was one job that truly did my head in, it was the endless string of hyperlinking my past posts. I would find that one post would lead me to link it to another and then I'd have to link another...I would be led down the garden path of hyperlinking till I got lost. 

From 2000 to early 2007 I did not have a blog, and used E-mails to deliver my travelogues. I decided to copy all of these E-mails to my blog, yet in so doing tried to delete any references within the text that they were originally E-mails. While I still have these mails in their original form stored in E-mail folders, they do not read well as blog posts if I have references to a "travel mailing list" and "trouble with some E-mails bouncing back". So I deleted such tech talk which had no relevance to the travelogue. I have also removed references to LiveJournal and the LJ community of contributors from my posts, but out of necessity had to leave some references in. I am certain I have overlooked some of these references as I didn't come to the decision to expunge LiveJournal and LJ from my new blog until after I had already uploaded several hundred entries already. Therein lies the problem of retro-editing: when faced with the colossal task of uploading 1102 past entries into a new site, decisions about what you want to keep and what you want to ignore, and overall patterns don't emerge until you've been uploading for a (long) while. So I am sure there will be stray references to LiveJournal, a British realise and maybe a RUBBER SOUL or a hiya# I missed. I will make corrections as I come across them. 

Visit me at craigrowland.com

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