Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Beginning of the End?

I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. On the one hand, it allows me to reach a wonderful community of like-minded enthusiasts, sharing with them my triumphs and travails in typewriter collecting. On the other hand, the more time I spend on my blog, the less time I have for actual real-life pursuits. And the novelty of typecasting wears off after a while - I love to type, of course, but the prospect of hauling out the scanner, uploading and resizing images... at least I managed to get it down to a routine where it was not quite as daunting/ time-consuming as it could be.

I don't want to announce anything too drastic, yet. After all, I have had other blogging slumps and it is fine to take a couple of weeks off here and there to engage in other interests, and then catch up by and by. I do have a few more posts in mind - some new acquisitions, some painting jobs to show off, lots of sightings in the wild, perhaps even some forays into discussing my new discovery of a vintage sewing machine obsession (one that was probably lurking beneath the surface of my typewriter addiction all these years, now that I think of it!).

That said, when I take a hiatus from blogging - intended or not - I tend not to look at the blog much myself, either. I assume it will stay dormant but largely intact, ready for me to pick up where I left off when I can make some time for it.

Or so I thought, until I took a look today. What happened to my Followers gadget? My "Recent Comments" thingamajig? Both refuse to display and there is a forbidding message to the "webmaster" (I suppose that would be me?) to verify some URL or the other. Just to be clear - I loathe this stuff. HTML and so on, the inner workings that make this blog tick. I would rather not know, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to attempt puzzling it out. Just give me a template, a form to fill out and I am all set. And now this?

I realize Google is attempting to retire their "Friend Connect" and force everyone to link up via Google Plus, but I don't see this change being enforced on any of the other blogs I read so far. I have tried to look up what exactly the problem is with my malfunctioning gadgets, but I am still no closer to resolving the issue and the whole thing gives me a headache. Time to retire this blog? I don't know what hoops Google/ Blogger would have us jump through in order to continue to use this platform, but it is clear that they are evolving whether we like it or not and we will have no choice but to follow along or get dropped. Is it worth it for me to attempt to maintain a blog here? I am not sure. I never looked seriously at Wordpress, but perhaps I should (assuming I want to keep writing a blog, which is to be determined. I would miss sharing my market sightings, though...)

Anyone have any ideas how I can get this back to normal? I realize now I can only see my blog as genevatypewriters.blogspot.ch (since I am looking it up from Switzerland) whereas before the .com worked just fine for me. Does that have something to do with it? I don't know if I can help that. Sigh.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


  1. When I look at your site on blogspot.com, your Readers list shows up fine; when I look at it on blogspot.ch, it shows that error message. And the Recent Comments are not to be found on either site.

    I'd ignore these issues for a while and see if they fix themselves!

    As for keeping up the blog, you know that you've got a good fan base, but a blog should be a voluntary and spontaneous thing, in my opinion. When it becomes a duty, it's no fun for you, and your readers will sense that too. I say you should let it rest, and write if and when the spirit moves you. When you do update, you'll move to the top of our blogrolls and we'll happily find you.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Richard. I took off the "Recent Comments" gadget but have now replaced it. Doesn't change anything for me - I can only see the error message anyway. What is most annoying is that I can no longer view my site on blogspot.com - it always redirects to blogspot.ch. I cannot change the url permanently either to blogspot.ch in the settings as Google does not allow it.

    I don't mind feeling obliged to blog sometimes - it is good discipline to keep it up when I feel less enthusiastic about it, and the more I write the more I look forward to writing. However, it is rather demoralizing to have these technical hurdles that I did not anticipate and cannot fix.

  3. Please, please - if Blogger allows you to *make a backup or export file* of your content & photos, please do this and save the backup file someplace safe.

    You have far too much valuable content here to let it vanish without a trace (:

  4. I know what I'll blog about tomorrow - Backing up your blog.
    Wordpress.com is just as easy as blogspot - it's free as well. My problem with wordpress is that there isn't the multi-site login - for every comment, you need to enter your data again - at least that's what I assume.
    Myself, I registrated the maschinengeschrieben subdomain at Wordpress.com several months ago, so I'd be ready for a change.
    Oh, and I noticed blogspot.ch a few days ago, but I didn't realise it always redirects me - that's annoying!

  5. I'm reading your blog from Mexico (genevatypewriters.blogspot.mx) and it shows up perfectly, recent comments and friends list and all. My guess is that there must be something amiss in the Geneva servers, but that would be Blogspot's problem, not yours. The mirror sites show up well, so it should be a matter of a couple of days before the sys admins discover (or are informed of) the problem and fix it.

    As for the blog becoming a chore, I agree with Richard completely that you can write whenever you feel like doing it and we, your fans, will be very happy to read your always great posts. Yours is one of the best typewriter-themed blogs out there. I'm really sorry I didn't find it earlier, but I'm catching up reading the fantastic information you've posted. And I am even planning an entry for *my* blog that is inspired by one of your machines, the red Olivetti! (Turns out they actually did sell red Lettera 30s in Mexico...)

    So, don't get discouraged by the technical issues, they might go away as mysteriously as they came.

  6. I echo the sentiments, both your blogging feelings and those of the commenters. My own blog is going through minimal updates, too, and mine are a lot less labor intensive than yours are (but I still burned out). So, my advice is the same that I am taking: Don't worry about it. Blog when you want and have fun.

    Plus, I am perfectly content to exchange letters with my Swiss Coresspondent:)

  7. Reading your blog from the US and everything shows up fine. I had the same problem yesterday with my blog but a few hours later everything was back to normal. I know blogger has had quiet a few bugs lately.

    I've been having a problem with my blogs stats for a few weeks now. I'll check and it will tell me i've had like 45 visits to my blog and when i check again a few hours later, (because its rare i get 45 visits and i suspect something is up) it will say i've only had 9. So yeah... blogger problems.

  8. I can read your blog perfectly, without problem, and I´m in Argentina. I agree with Michael probably it is a problem of the server. As Ted said, if you can, a backup is a good idea.

  9. Please! Don't quit! Well, if anything becomes a burden it is no longer fun and just a burden. My own idea would be if blogging becomes burdensome or too time consuming while still fun would be to post less frequently and maybe not as many photos or scans requiring editing in GIMP (not only am I anti the big expensive place in Redmond, I am anti the expensive other software too).

    I too sometimes wonder about the time and effort to post and it shows in my sloppy photos and typos. The full pages go faster, but are more difficult for the readers.

    Your blog displays fine here in Florida, USA. I thought about World Press, but then I can use a free web hosting site and blog there also. It will be more difficult though to find the blog. I have a site for my amateur radio hobby and blogging from that would be a breeze, but the blog would route by my call sign.

    I solved the scanner and having space for it problem by using an all in one wireless. Works fine and if I want photos printed I still have my Epson medium format kind of pro photo printer networked in the bedroom.

  10. Seems these thoughts are far from unique. I try to update as much as the spirit moves me but there is this little voice in my head that whispers (as opposed the others who scream!) to me when I've been away too long...so much so that I feel almost obligated. I suppose this isn't a unique feeling as well given what the typosphere has come to call the "Update Just To Update".

    I have nothing to add that hasn't been said already but I for one hope you update when the mood strikes! I love seeing the photos and reading the stories that accompany them!

  11. I'm reading from Massachusetts, USA. Everything loads alright to me, still dot-com. I currently host a [um, somewhat static] site via WordPress. I actually have a link to an image on your site--the Swissa Jeunesse typecast- hope that's okay. I think WordPress works great as long as one finds a template that (s)he likes; it took me a couple of years. I've tried to blog before but it never ends up going too well. I can never decide what to actually blog about; I find it difficult to single out a certain topic or two.

    Anyhow, I enjoy your site a lot. The 1600 by 1200s, the macro shots, the detailed details, everyones' comments. Great community! I concur with others in the idea of backing up and keeping the site live for future visitors, even if you decide to stop blogging. ***THANKS FOR SHARING!*** IpurchasedtwoLettera22slastnight.

  12. Please don't stop blogging! I love to read about your typewriter escapades and I've learnt so much about them from u!!

  13. Adwoa, to blog or not to blog? I know exactly what you mean about dragging out the scanner for typecasts. Nine times out of ten, I just photograph the typecast in even light - whatever's available - and use that as a much quicker route. My scanner's hooked up to Big Mac which takes ages to boot up these days :-(
    You are looking good as .co.uk BUT I'll e-mail you a tip that should fix it so the country ending doesn't change - ever.

  14. As someone who updates very infrequently, let's just say that the occasional post is better than none at all. We'll take what we can get!

    But yeah, back up what you've got. It's phenomenal!


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