I’ve moved

Surely receiving an ulcer for my efforts, I’ve finally changed web hosts. No wonder I’d waited so long to do it, despite paying way beyond current market rates for hosting (OLM/Webaxxs) and despite putting up with rather shoddy customer service. At any rate, the nameservers have been redirected and at least from here, the domain is pointing to the new hosts (TotalChoice Hosting).

Stuff is broken here and there, namely the Photo Gallery running on Gallery 2. Who knows when I’ll get this up and running. At this point, to stave off a complete greying of my hair, I may well just pony up for someone to install it for me (installing is not the problem actually, just getting it to see the database and writing out correct URLs).

And I’ve decided, with a somewhat heavy heart, to jettison Movable Type as the software that powers this blog in favor of the leaner and somewhat easier-to-use WordPress. It’s not really worth going into the reasons for the move, but I’ve used WP before and am very pleased with it.

One of the nice things about WP is the ability to change “themes” very quickly, as well as access to a host of themes created by others. It sure beats mucking about with template tags and css, but it does tend to lead to a raft of stale looking sites, this one included. For now I’m just going with the standard “Kubrick” style, with some slight modifications to the CSS (props to the Firefox extension EditCSS). Not happy with it, but everything in its due time I suppose.

I’ve gotten rid of the “Moblog” (old one here, with images broken!), which I hadn’t updated since last December anyway after MFOP2 went down. Flickr, while not being a site I’ve fully embraced, does have a very nice moblog implementation which I will continue to use to post “mobile” entries to the main blog. And, as will become obvious, I’ve integrated my old “links blog” (here) into the main blog as well, in a blatant ripoff of Kottke’s Remaindered Links.

If you use RSS to keep up with my very sporadic postings, please make sure you’re now using this feed.

Asian bloggers all look the same, apparently

Here’s a variation on that “they all look alike” phenomenon that seems to afflict the vision of many who look towards the inscrutable East: Linkology – How the Most-Linked-To Blogs Relate.

In connection with a “Blog Establishment” cover feature piece, New York Magazine has assembled a list of the 50 most linked-to blogs and mapped their connections in one of those pretty graphics (pdf here). What’s interesting are the number of Asian sites listed in among the 50, sites the magazine has to admit “donít have any links from the others shown here,” which takes more than a slight bite out of their “blog establishment” angle.

Particularly interesting to me was this: out of nine blogs listed as “Japanese”, only three of them are in fact Japanese; the other six are actually Chinese. (There are a further six “Chinese” or “in Chinese” blogs listed — all correctly so). Of course this is just sloppiness on the magazine’s part, but it makes you wonder how much the magazine cares about these “Asian” blogs (a full 17 out of the 50 listed).

No doubt because they never bothered to find anyone who could read or understand them, most of these blogs are simply tagged “in Japanese” or “in Chinese.” But perhaps more troubling, there’s no acknowledgement of their place vis-a-vis this so-called “blog establishment.” In the magazine’s cover story, there isn’t a single mention of these or any Asian bloggers, perpetuating their own “A-list” bias as it were (“A” in this case most definitely not standing for Asia). They can crash the Top 50 party based on their Technorati data, but the A-list (or B- and C-listers for that matter) won’t even acknowlege their existence.

It could also be that many of the “foreign” blogs in this Top 50 (12 altogether) are hosted on MSN’s My Space blogging platform, which the article refers to, not surprisingly, as a “rather lame network of blog sites.” Granted these “community” sites tend to link and comment with each other, thereby pushing up their “linked to” status, but shouldn’t this phenomenon be part of the story, rather than relegated to the asterisked margins of lameness?