Daily Archives: October 9, 2008

Changes Are Coming

So, here’s the deal:

1. Whatever is definitely changing hosts. The daily server errors have just become totally ridiculous and have gotten to a point where I can’t tolerate them any more. I’m not entirely spitting venom at 1&1, my host provider, because when it comes down to it I’m hosting a site that gets two million page views a month on a shared server. But it’s still a problem.

The new host will solve this problem — I’ll be switching to WordPress.com and taking part in their VIP program, which is designed to accommodate the needs of high traffic sites (that use WordPress, obviously). This backend robustness and knowledge of the WordPress platform appeals to me, especially after a couple of months of banging my head against a wall trying to do things on my own.

2. The changeover to the new host will come very soon. “Very soon” in this case means “probably in the next couple of days but almost certainly within the next week.” You’ll know because I’ll shut off comments to facilitate the final transfer. Don’t worry, they’ll come back on when I’m done. If you’re nice.

3. Hopefully you will not see problems with the switchover, but hey, you never know. Both I and my new hosts are working hard to ensure the switchover will be painless as possible on the reader end — in fact, if everything goes well, you won’t have to do anything but come and visit like you normally do. But technology is capricious and cruel, and inevitably there will be some glitches and bugs, not in the least because we’re porting over 1,200 posts with attendant comments. Please be patient as we work on these things. Related to this:

4. Don’t ask me how this will affect the RSS feeds. Honestly, I don’t know. But here’s a hint: If the site hasn’t updated on your RSS feed in a day or two, you’ve probably dropped the feed somehow. Come back and plug in again. Also, for those of you who use Bloglines, and who have complained to me recently that it’s no longer working, well, I don’t know what to tell you, since I’m pretty sure I didn’t set up that feed anyway. I use Google Reader, personally. Seems to work.

5. The switchover is a harbinger of future changes. Once the hosting issue is settled down, I’m going to move on to a redesign of the site to make it more functional and — hold on to your hats — maybe a little prettier as well. But as they say, one thing at a time. And rumor has it I have other things to do as well. One change to be aware of:

6. Advertising is (probably) coming to the site. Because of some of the reasons I outlined here, at some point in the reasonably near future I’m going to start incorporating some (non-obnoxious) advertising on the site. I don’t expect it will be immediately because I have backend stuff to address first, and I’ll make note of it before it makes its first appearance, so you’ll have some time to adjust. But I wanted to give you all advance notice of it; I know how you hate surprises.

In any event, this is all in process now. I’ll keep you in the loop as things get closer to the switch.

Placeholder Cat Secures the Floor With His Body

Let’s see that floor get away now. Yes, when you suffer from the heartbreak of flyaway floors, it’s good to have a valiant phalanx of cats to keep them firmly pinned down. Zeus here is in particular a master of the craft; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cat who more avidly secures a floor than he. It’s a calling, really.

Zeus is a placeholder cat in another way, and that is that he’s keeping you amused whilst I hammer out details regarding moving Whatever to a new host. I should have more information on that for you later today. Until then: look, kitty.

What are “American” Science Fiction Films?

Over at the AMC site, a reader asks how American science fiction films are different from science fiction films of other nations, and I reply, more or less, that I wonder if “American” science fiction films exist at all — as opposed to “Hollywood” science fiction films, which are not precisely the same thing. All will be revealed when you click through. And if you think I’m going about this exactly the wrong way (or miracle of miracles, think I’m exactly right), be sure to tell me in the comments over there.