I decided to migrate my blog from wordpress to ghost.
Its been a few years since I've actually written in my blog, but I've seen various mentions of the ghost platform. I wanted to try it out, but the shelf life of open source software is about 6 months these days, and the OS on my digital ocean droplet (ubuntu 14) wasn't compatible.
So began the migration - spinning up a new ubuntu 18 droplet, exporting the raw posts from the old wordpress blog, installing npm and node and ghost-cli, only to be rudely informed that ghost 2.0 can't import the json export of the wordpress posts. Only ghost 1.0 can do that.
Thankfully, ghost-cli provides the option to spin up a local version of the stack (for dev, etc). so I started up a local 1.0 version, imported the old posts (save the short story Memoirs of a Lich, which required some manual intervention), upgrade the local ghost to 2.0, then exported once again.
Finally I was able to re-import all the legacy daydalus posts into the new ghost blogging platform.
The site is certainly minimalist, lacking an archive or the ability to search through old posts. The benefits - better integration with the modern web (SEO, social media), markdown styling for posts, and a slick native app for writing and publishing.
The goal is to write more, without the specter of expectation hovering over my head. For so long, this blog was a very narrow thing I did (mostly reviews of books, music and games). Here and there I wrote some essays on broader subjects, but for the most part it was very regimented. This led to an obligation to remark on every significant piece of media I was consuming (the yearly music lists), which got old, boring and stagnated.
Probably moreso, the last 2 years have been incredibly hectic in real life, leading to very little blogging (or little else besides work and family).
Reading through all the old posts (stripped and corrupted of anything above and beyond the pure text), it brought back memories of what the web was years ago. All the dead links pointed to a web that has moved on, mostly consumed into big money corporate site and social media. All the little bits of magic had vanished, leaving behind just a bit of ugly html as proof of its passing.
When I started writing this post, I envisioned a grand lament for all that we've lost on the web, how all these pieces of it were unrecoverable.
But thinking about it more - what was left of the posts, once all the links and imbedded images and videos and flash games are gone, was the writing itself. The goal of blogging it to exercise the writing muscle, even if you have to sexy it up sometimes with graphic design. And furthermore, the web isn't a static place (despite the vain but valiant efforts of the internet archive). It's constantly evolving, for better or worse. When the blog was untouched, it was simply a static slice of the web from years ago. Now, its been transformed, migrated to the current day, all the old text content reborn.
The web is constantly in flux. That's the nature of the thing - dancing on the edge of the network, electrons flicking through miles of cable and silicon, endlessly refreshed.
So here's to the new, to writing, the beckoning blank slate.