Migrated from dasBlog to WordPress

After many good years of publishing via dasBlog I made the decision to jump ship and start using WordPress. dasBlog has been speedy, stable and very easy to style. It’s a great power user tool but I’m now at the point where I want the simplicity of a more mainstream product.

Following the lead of Shan and Mike I opted for WordPress and set about installing it this weekend. A quick web search turned up more than a few helpful pages on migrating content (Kavinda’s post is a good one stop shop). The key components to my migration from dasBlog v1.9 to WordPress v2.9.2 were:

  1. Getting the content out of DasBlog – DasBlog to BlogML exporter
  2. Getting the content into WordPress – BlogML import plug-in (Kavinda Munasinghe’s Version)
  3. Providing a permanent redirect from old links to new – Redirection Plug-in

I would not call the migration painless, but after a bit of tech-turbulence it all came together. I’m now up and running on WordPress and everything is running smoothly.

To share the love I’ve created a page with my tips for migrating from dasBlog to WordPress.

Turning lemons into lemonade

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The web, the ultimate tool for the generation and dissemination of irony, hasn’t lost it’s touch.  A recent post by a Google employee intended to illustrate how advertising can be used for issue management created a bit of… you guessed it… an issue.  While I’m sure the movie was not a target but provided Lauren Turner with a great segue into a pertinent topic,  the blogstorm which resulted highlights an important point: when blogging on a corporate site… just how much can you say?

When we were ramping up to do the Windows Live Hotmail beta we knew that in addition to the private beta tester forum we wanted to have a public mechanism for putting out the good word about our new baby.  The Hotmail team blog was a “grassroots” effort, driven by the line-level employees and not by our PR department and, as a result, we needed to make it clear to the powers-that-be that we had our act together and weren’t going to post something which would prove embarrassing.  To smooth the way I wrote up a guide to communicating with the outside world which covered newsgroups, dealing with press calls and, of course, blogging. 

Personal blogs are just that, personal blogs.  Everyone puts the requisite disclaimer on their blog (“the opinions expressed here… blah blah blah”) but it’s pretty much accepted that unless you have a company logo emblazoned at the top of your page there is no other source for the drivel contained within.  There’s no need to set up regulations for your own blog.

If, however, you’re planning on starting a blog for your team, product or whatever you must set up some guidelines, there’s no way around it.  If your company already has a policy on blogging, start there, it will provide a great framework for your new rules.  There are also a ton of great blogging guidelines blog posts on the web.  In the fallout of the Google’s Sicko-gate Matt Cutts wrote a good Company Blogging 101 post with great tips for corporate bloggers.  The article well written and broken into easily digestible sections. If you blog on a site for your employer (or a site which is identified with a work project) I highly recommend you read Matt’s post and figure out how you can work the salient points into your own policy or mental framework.

So, back to my original question: how much can you say on a company-sponsored blog?  The answer: as much as you like… but you have to establish the bounds well in advance.  Corporate America is starting to realize the value of blogging as a tool for customer relations, PR, advertising and more but many companies are still quite shy when it comes to taking the plunge.  Creating a solid set of posting guidelines will keep your boss and PR firm happy (and keeping your team blog on the net will make your customers happy).

Link: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/company-blogging-101/

Blogging for the MTV generation

Web pages are complicated.  People want to share their life stories and pictures, but learning HTML is hard (ask Trina).  So the world of blogging was born. 

Blog software has made it very easy to set up and maintain your content, whether it be a running account of how all your cat’s hairballs look like past presidents, or something much, much less significant.  Blogs do, however, have the problem that they often get abandoned for great lengths of time (Dick’s blog comes to mind :D).

So, what’s today’s generation of zero-attention-span kids to do?  Sign up for twitter, of course.

Twitter is, Don MacAskill appropriately called it, a service for microblogging.  It’s optimized for very short, simple posts.  It will even prompt you periodically via SMS or IM to find out what you’re doing.  After a quick setup you can add your mobile phone number and Twitter will send you an SMS every 24 hours if you haven’t updated (a reply to the SMS will post right to your twitter log).  You can also add twitter as an IM buddy if you’re using the right service.

It’s a fascinating little toy, with all the needed components to make it entertaining for all of about a week (friends lists, ease of use and cool little widgets to add to your other web pages).  For me, however, the signal to noise ratio is way too high to be useful.  There is a public timeline which is sure to get crowded with legitimate and illegitimate spam (when I checked there were two posts within minutes from BBC sports) and switching to a private timeline will require a set of friends as exhibitionistic as yourself.

Still… entertaining enough to play with for a while… though I won’t be able to afford to have the SMS notifications turned on (the closest local text is the UK).

Migrating content from Blogger to dasBlog

I started my first blog back in 2002 on Blogger but switched to using dasBlog in late 2003 when I was wanting more control of my site.  I’ve wanted to migrate the content over from the old site for a long time but never could find a tool to do the heaving lifting… until today when I discovered Nick Schweitzer’s “Coding Monkey” site.  Nick has clear instructions as well as a GUI tool to help switch from Blogger to dasBlog.  The process was quick and painless and his instructions were straight-forward.  If you’ve been looking to import your old Blogger content into dasBlog but weren’t sure how, check out Nick’s instructions.


Importer UI






It’s more for me than anyone else… but if you want to find my old posts, you can just click on the “Old Blog” topic on the right.