On Blogs, Blogging, and Various Related Tribulations

So the first thing I want to say is I own/manage three main blogs (there are others, but I'm too ashamed to draw attention to them because they're sadly neglected):BlogworldScavella's BlogsphereRingplay.com (currently down for maintenance)It's hard.It's hard because (a) I don't really have the time to do any of them justice, especially as I've been on an extended vacation from Essays on Life and have therefore become an irregular contributor to Blogworld; (b) with poetry these days, I have to make a choice between writing the poem or writing the blog post, and one or the other has to give; and (c) I'm not technically supposed to be maintaining the Ringplay blog because, by virtue of my position as Director of Culture, I'm trying to minimize any conflict of interest that might occur.It's also hard because I'm in my forties and I have navigated several shifts in written communication and the writing process, and learning new techniques and languages takes more and more time as time passes. I moved from longhand to manual typewriters to electric typewriters to computer terminals of various kinds. I've worked in DOS, in Unix, in html, and in BBS, and shifting to php and css is taking time. And time is what I don't really have a whole lot of. And so -- stopgaps and temporary measures that stretch into semi-permanence.Take this blog, for instance.When I established it I knew next to nothing about WordPress, the platform I'm running it on. I set it up on Blogger with some vague idea of archiving Essays on Life, because people were asking for copies of old essays and I thought a blog might do the trick. Later, I moved it over from Blogger back in the days when WordPress was just a code to place on your own server, mainly because Philip had got us our own servers, and I thought I should probably make use of them. I'd had some success with the Ringplay blog, which was my first WordPress installation, and found the flexibility of the platform -- and especially the categories and pages features -- attractive. You can tell how old the installation was; it was back in the days when the programme called itself WordPress, capital P in the middle.With the advent of Wordpress.com, I got hooked. I moved my other blog, the anonymous poetry blog, from Blogger to Wordpress.com to take advantage of the pages features as well, and because I was happy with the software. And for some time -- some two years at least, going for three -- I was satisfied with the whole caboodle.The trouble started when I wanted to change the address of Blogworld. The original installation was called "testblog" because that was what it was -- a place to test my baby skills in wordpressing. Forget php and css; I was just learning how to install and play with themes. When I felt comfortable, then I wanted to start blogging, and once I'd imported the Blogger posts over to this site, things just took off. But I didn't like the "testblog" in the url, and so I worked to change it.Here's how I did it. (coders, don't laugh!!)I created a duplicate of my testblog installation on my server, and then I changed the folder to "blogworld".I followed the directions in the WordPress codex for creating new url addresses, or thought I did.Ta-da! Things seemed to work OK for a while. At least, a reader of the blog couldn't see any issues. I had a small problem, though, a problem that grew bigger and bigger as wordpress upgraded and began offering more and more features, and as I sought to upgrade my themes. I found that the blog would break if I didn't do exactly the same thing with both directories, because the "blogworld" installation continued to redirect my administrative activities to the "testblog" folder. And all sorts of things wouldn't work. Take the plugin Event Calendar, which I've been using to good effect on the Ringplay blog for a year or more. Wouldn't run on Blogworld. Take the complex matter of upgrading themes. The theme would reference the installation in "blogworld" but be directed there by "testblog" -- a headache and a half, especially as plugins referenced "testblog" at the same time. I could go on, but I was never able to have the luxury of making a complete diagnosis of the problem.When it came time to upgrade to Wordpress 2.5, and the features that were growing better and better were not working for Blogworld, the problems grew so cumbersome that I decided to fix the problem.It was a pretty simple fix, especially as I didn't care whether "testblog" worked or not. I simply redirected the software to the "blogworld" folder, and as long as I never went to "testblog" again, all was hunky. The software references the same database, so I haven't lost any posts. And the fun thing was when I tried to go to "testblog" admin screen, I got caught in an endless loop that provided me with some amusement after I discovered that "blogworld" was working well.Problem no. 1 solved.Problem no. 2: Ringplay got hacked. I neglected to upgrade the software for a while, because I was very partial to the theme and wasn't sure that the theme and the software upgrades would play nicely together. It was a mere matter of a morning's work, but I never seemed to have a morning to devote to it. In the meantime, persons unknown exploited the holes in the old installations and placed some nasty code on the server. I've had to refer to the techies at vDeck, my host, to get them cleaned, which is why Ringplay is offline as we speak; I've taken it offline to stop any potential of infection. I trust the problem will be isolated and addressed soon.Problem no. 3: I want to blog more, not less! But I just don't have the time. The minutiae of bureaucracy are fiddly, time-consuming, tedious, philosophically unnecessary, but crucial to getting anything done. Some people are good at it, relish the game, love mastering the silly little details of our antiquated system, glory in the power that that mastery gives them. And I get it, and have learned, in theory, what has now to be done. But I don't see why it should. Why should I have to "walk" my documents "through" (from under secretary to permanent secretary to accountant to the ministry of finance, and back) to get routine activities approved? Why isn't the system set up to serve the needs of the citizens, rather than the power-greed of public servants? I just don't have the patience anymore.And there you have it. The trials of blogging. And the power, too.Cheers.