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The Switch to Freethought Blogs – Some Questions Answered

Freethought blogs

As regular readers already know, this blog is going to be migrating. I’m going to be part of the new Freethought Blogs network, started by Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars and PZ Myers at Pharyngula. That transition is happening soon — September 1, to be precise.

Many people have been asking questions about the transition. So I thought I’d answer the most commonly- asked ones now.

Is the old blog still going to be here?

Yes. There are way too many links to this blog out in the internet. I don’t want all those links to be broken. I’ll keep this blog around for archival purposes, and I’ll probably do so for as close to forever as I can.

But I’ll also be moving my archives over to my FTB blog. And I’d hugely appreciate it if y’all could link to the FTB archives as much as is humanly possible. I’ll be getting paid by the hit count, and if all those links to (oh, say, just to give on example completely at random) “Atheists and Anger” were to get directed to my FTB blog instead of here, it would make a big, big difference. I’m just sayin’, is all.

Will comments stay open on the old blog?

For the moment. I may close them eventually, though. I really want people to move to the new blog. And I don’t want to have to do moderation/ spam control on two blogs forever.

Will my FeedBlitz notifications/ RSS feed still work?

I’ll see if I can get FeedBlitz to update to the new blog. If not, we’ll have to start again. RSS will definitely not work. You’ll have to re-subscribe to the new blog.

What about your non-atheist blogging? What about your writing about sex/ politics/ feminism/ cat photos/ etc.? Where are you going to do that?

Don’t worry! I’m going to do all of that blogging on Freethought Blogs! Freethought Blogs is exactly that — free thought. The focus is on atheism and other forms of godlessness, obviously… but the other FTB bloggers are blogging about plenty of other topics, and I plan to do so as well.

I’m sure the blog will evolve with time, and I’m sure that this evolution will be affected by being in the network and by the kind of traffic I get from it. But I don’t expect the basic vision to change very dramatically.

And yes, I’ve been assured that I can keep writing explicitly about sex. If anything, I’ll probably wind up blogging about sex more than I have been lately. I currently don’t have any regular paid gigs as a sex writer, and that has seriously limited how much time I can spend doing it. But Freethought Blogs is itself a paying gig. So that whole “I have to prioritize writing that actually brings in some income” equation I’ve been doing for so long is about to take a dramatic shift… in the direction of focusing more on the blog, and writing more original content for it, and blogging more about whatever the fuck happens to be on my mind. I really like doing sex writing, and I’m excited and happy that I’ll now be able to bring in some money for doing it.

If you have any other questions about my transition to Freethought Blogs, ask them here. I’ll see you at the new network in about a week!

Comments

  1. says

    Question: will comments from the old blog be migrated to the new blog?
    Will the new blog result in you blogging more often?
    How are the moderation tools at the new blog, as opposed to here? Do you have more control and better ability to keep out spammers and trolls that descend upon your blog?
    Have you yet read and typed the word “blog” so many times that it seems to have lost all meaning?

  2. says

    Question: will comments from the old blog be migrated to the new blog?

    Good question. I don’t know yet. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.

    Will the new blog result in you blogging more often?

    Yes.

    How are the moderation tools at the new blog, as opposed to here? Do you have more control and better ability to keep out spammers and trolls that descend upon your blog?

    Don’t know yet… but I’m assuming they’re pretty good. I can’t imagine that PZ would use blogging software that didn’t have excellent moderation tools and spam control.

    Have you yet read and typed the word “blog” so many times that it seems to have lost all meaning?

    Not yet… but I’m getting there. :-)

  3. says

    I can understand the reasons for not completely killing this blog, but since you are going to be moving all the archives to FTB, why not go back to each post in your archive and setup a redirect to the archive on FTB? This way, you are getting the hits that give you money! Doing all of this would take a lot of time and while I will try hard to (where humanly possible) change links to the FTB archive instead. However, setting up some redirects for each blog post (or at least the very highly linked ones) here would mean that no one would have to. And, you know, it gets you more money! Just an idea.

  4. Rieux says

    Sounds like the move means there’ll be more of your work for all of us to enjoy and benefit from. Great news.

  5. cag says

    Do I have to disable AdBlock on FTB for you (and the other bloggers) to get the hits? Do the ads need to be clicked on to generate revenue?

  6. Moxiequz says

    Along those lines regarding ads – do you have control over ads/ad content on your blog? Or is that controlled by the FTB overlords?
    Several commenters have raised the point that there are now not only pop-up ads but malicious pop-up ads at the new
    Pharyngula.

  7. Nemo says

    If you can migrate the old comments to the new blog, I’d urge you to do so and then close them here immediately.
    I’ve been unhappy with how PZ is handling the transition — he dual-posts, and there are then two completely disconnected comment threads for each post.

  8. says

    I’m sure you’re planning to, but can you give a reminder when the switch happens to update our RSS feeds? I’d notice eventually I suppose.

  9. Andrew T. says

    Best of luck on your site migration, but I’m just curious: Apart from showing an appreciable gesture of support for the new Freethought Blogs network, what is the impetus for the change? Is TypePad confining or difficult to maintain?

  10. says

    Part of me is a little sad, since I’ve been reading this blog for so long. Hell, I think I’ve been visiting your site since before most people were familiar with what a “blog” was. But I think that the folks at FTB really need your voice, and I’m delighted to see you getting more and more exposure.

    I currently don’t have any regular paid gigs as a sex writer, and that has seriously limited how much time I can spend doing it.

    That line makes me sad in ways I can’t even describe. I’m really looking forward to seeing more sex writing from you again. Atheism needs to be queered. (Is that a word?)

  11. says

    Do I have to disable AdBlock on FTB for you (and the other bloggers) to get the hits? Do the ads need to be clicked on to generate revenue?

    I don’t think so — I’m getting paid by the hit count — but I’ll double check.

    Along those lines regarding ads – do you have control over ads/ad content on your blog? Or is that controlled by the FTB overlords?

    That is controlled by the FTB overlords. I can pass on the complaints, though.

    I’ve been unhappy with how PZ is handling the transition — he dual-posts, and there are then two completely disconnected comment threads for each post.

    I am not planning to dual-post. Once I make the switch, I will not be posting any new material to the Typepad blog. I haven’t yet decided about comments on old posts, though. It’s going to depend on whether comments can migrate when I transfer the archives, and how easy it is to re-direct links from the old archives to the new ones at FTB.

    I’m sure you’re planning to, but can you give a reminder when the switch happens to update our RSS feeds?

    Absolutely!

    Apart from showing an appreciable gesture of support for the new Freethought Blogs network, what is the impetus for the change?

    1: Money. Freethought Blogs will pay me money to blog there. With the exception of reader donations and the occasional ad trickling in, this blog is not.
    2: Increased traffic, which means increased influence and a whole host of other good things.
    3: Money. Did I mention that this is a paying gig?

  12. Toasted Rye says

    I am glad you are moving especially if it means more posts from you on a variety of topics. Freethought blogs has given me a chance to read new blogs which I enjoy. I recommend comment numbering when you get there.

  13. says

    Greta, from what I understand (and you’d have to check with your own web people or the FTB people), you can have all hits for your old links automatically redirected to the new links at the new place. I think it’s called a “hard redirect”. And Google prefers that all your links be to the same site (I hear they penalize you in the search rankings if there are two links of the same material).
    In either case, I’m looking forward to being neighbors!

  14. says

    Best wishes at the new site, I’ll continue reading you there. I’m curious, though — in my experience as a writer looking for revenue opportunities, the pay-for-traffic schemes I’ve run across have uniformly been bogus. Based on the involvement of people who have had independent writing success, this seems more substantial, but are you sure it’s a good move? I’m not nearly as prolific a blogger as you, and I’m not an atheist, but I’d love to have it turn out that there’s a realistic business model for making money, even a little money, from blogging.

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