Why I’m self hosting this blog – The Transience of the Internet

This blog is the third incarnation of my attempts at being a ‘herbal blogger’. I’m hoping it will also be my last! While the aimsĀ  and goals of this blog are definitely for another post, written at another time, there is one thing that has smacked me squarely in the forehead and made me decide to self-host this blog (I had thought of Blogger, could be tumblr originally).

The first incarnation of my blog, which was mainly a personal blog with a few herby-bits in it was self hosted. Unfortunately, most of what I wrote there was pretty irrelevant to anyone who didn’t know my personally.

Then I had a bright idea a few years back. I’d blog about some herbal things, mainly photos of herbs I’d found while out walking, or in unusual places, etc. This was made possible by two things. Firstly, I had my first smartphone with a camera. The internet capabilities of the phone weren’t great, but it did have a good email program. The second factor was a nice little service called ‘posterous’, which allowed you to author a blog via email. I was made up. Although I only made, a post every month or so, I like to think I put some interesting photos up and a few thoughts on herbs and herbal medicine, which at the time were very under-developed as I had only just strarted my training.

This is where the problem started. Posterous was bought by Twitter, and promptly closed. I’m pretty sure at the time they did offer a download of personal data, but so many people were applying to download theirs that after two or three attempts I gave up on trying, assuming I wouldn’t need it. How wrong I was.

The front page of that blog is archived for posterity on archive.org, however archive.org doesn’t store images, only text. Great. Just what I needed. I don’t really mind about the posts I wrote then, I cringe a bit to read them now. I was so opinionated, and EBM/Phytotherapy based it’s not even funny. But what I would have liked is the chance to get at some photos I put up there, and in particular, the header image I had made which was of bunches of herbs drying. I suppose I could re-create the shot but I liked the image I had. Perhaps it exists on one of my old phones or a memory card or something. I will look to see if I can find it.

Either way, this serves as a lesson… the lesson is ‘don’t lock yourself to some proprietary service that might go tits-up at a moment’s notice’. Lesson learned. So now I’m self hosting on my own ‘herbary’ domain. Also I fell out with complex software like Drupal or WordPress, so I’m using a really simple package called ‘Get Simple’ which should hopefully be future-proof and inexpensive to run.

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