This past week has been hellacious.
When I came home from my conference super late Thursday night, I found out TheHusband had thrown his back out (he’s feeling MUCH better now), which coupled with my exhaustion from prepping, traveling, and attending the conference prompted me to stay home on Friday. The last year has been rough as all the up/down with the drugs and surgeries has wrecked unexpected havoc on my person, so even a three day trip with a one hour time difference throws me. Dr. P. has often talked to me about the body’s memory and our idea of what we think we can handle and what we can truly handle. Sometimes you need to rest and pull back, even if your mind says otherwise.
In trying to find a way to decompress, I started working on a project I started over holiday break: Importing all old diary/blog content into a single site. We’re talking hundreds, maybe thousands of entries spanning nearly 20 years. With the continuous issues at EPbaB and no defined time frame for the final domain move, it was going to be sketchy moving the content to it in its current condition. But, exporting data out of WordPress is easy and if I can get as much of it into EPbaB before we do the final cut over, I’d save myself hours and hours of time.
Even despite the time saving, there is no easy or direct way to do this – some if it is in plain text format, some if it is importable via another host provider, some if it was grabbed from SQL tables. I started working on the SQL table stuff first, as TheHusband was kind enough to dump it all in a text file for me. This is a tedious job, for I have to do the following:
- Paste the content into the text side of the editor
- Add title in title box
- Strip out all wayward “” that randomly appear throughout content
- Strip out “rn” which should be appended at the beginning of all returns (between paragraphs, typically) but are also apparently random
- Adjust date/time of post, as it will be backdated
- Turn off auto-posting to LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr
- Check to see if entry was cross-posted to LiveJournal in its first posting and use LJ to check for tags used, to apply to this posting
- Lightly edit (spell check, grammar)
- Once post is published, unlink broken links found (if any) and add post to list on Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes to highlight
(TheHusband commented some of the above could be accomplished by a global search/replace, which is true. But I would still have to manually edit each entry with date, title, and so on.)
Friday and Saturday, this system worked out okay. EPbaB remained relatively stable but it’s slow going. On Sunday, TheHusband and I prepped for the week ahead and I didn’t get a chance to work on the site until much later in the day. As I was getting a little bonkers from the previous methodology, I decided to see if I could invoke the import LiveJournal tool within WordPress.
That was a huge mistake.
The import tool stops after importing $X number of entries, which it won’t tell you what the max is but you can find out by the number count of your posts. (It’s about 100.) Secondly, you can’t choose which categories, tags, or any other formatting will be applied before the import. It just chooses something and runs with it so after the content is imported, you still have to manually change each and every entry. Thirdly, the entries it chooses are random. I had some things from 2002, 2004, and 2008. The import, in turn, created nothing but an even bigger mess since the entries are random and I have no clue or idea what it pulled.
But why am I doing all of this?
My brother from another DNA, John, often lives a curiously parallel life to mine and while we may not often talk, our influences often tend to be the same. He recently, unbeknownst to me at the time, decided to undertake a similar project and listed his reasons why:
Because badly formatted, dead linked stuff – like much on this blog at the moment – just looks amateurish. Things will, eventually, look neater and consistent, and also hopefully fulfill my OCDs around the numbers 3 and 5. Speaking of which:
- To remember. Good times, bad times, things of use I’ve forgotten, and so I don’t make the same often dumb and easily avoidable mistakes.
- To remove repetition. I keep writing the same things over and over. As well as looking a bit odd, it’s a complete waste of time. Note to self: learn how to improve memory.
- To see if there’s any really good stuff. Stuff which can be put into another format or media e.g. an ebook.
- To look for opportunities for making a living that I’ve missed.
- To have a much more efficient infrastructure, and platforms, for adding content online in the future. And to make myself come up with a damned good reason for starting to add content to the Internet somewhere else.
Very eloquently and succinctly, he lines out all the reasons I’ve found myself struggling with over the years and could never quite express. The first half of point one is incredibly important to me. Second half of point one and all of point two are me in massive volume. Points three and four are going to become important to me in the next year plus for numerous reasons and I’m always looking at point five as the proverbial monkey on my back.
I did find out today, despite what I had written earlier, a time line for when the domains need to be sorted, which is April 15. That is when my portfolio will be due so that is when everything must be working on the back end by. The content will more than likely not all be transfered by that point, but hopefully I can come out of exile and go back home!