A Blog With An Identity Crisis

Dear Internet:

I need your help.

Seriously.

The focus of this blog has had two major shifts of focus in the last few years. Forever and 10 days, it was all about me. Then I had the massive, emotional breakdown of a breakup with TheEx and felt it safer to blog about library school rather then vomiting up my emotional issues. Things smoothed out, I graduated and I’ve started back with the purging of thought again.

This in and of itself is not a bad thing, but that is how life works. You get engrossed in X, that fills up your time and then you move on to Z. Any kind of issue I’ve had with the blog in the last 15 (!) years has been mostly aesthetic, not technical. But in the last six months, I’ve noticed a few problems cropping up that need resolutions. This is where you, my dear Internet, come in.

  • Problem One: The name.
    The blog was started in 1996, the first domain was bought in 1998. While domain name has changed numerous times over the years, the title of the blog has more or less been The Lisa Chronicles. I say more or less because two shifts from that has been when I bought this domain (shesgotplans.net) in 2006 and renamed the blog thusly (And Lisa! She’s got plans!), second name shift in 2008 when I started library school (lib schooled.) and then back to the beginning with The Lisa Chronicles last summer.
    This is a problem because I discovered last year, after changing back the blog name, that a woman registered the domain thelisachronicles.com and blogs very occasionally about her family, adoption, and faith. The complete polar opposite of me. There is also the erotic works of the same name, also not me.  While I come up in Google search as the primary person, I find myself thinking of myself as “brand” and I’m finding myself slightly despising myself for that. I’m not a brand, I’m a person with a sparkling personality! So do I say eff the others and continue on as I am, grab a name that is a bit more encompassing of my content, change the domain name or what?
  • Problem Two: Content.
    This is not a problem in the I don’t know what to write or really a focus anymore category. This kind of ties into problem #1 above. During the two year period I wrote mainly about library school, I received more love from the internets then some critique on pop culture, book reviews or sobbing my heart out. To wit: Bobbi Newman of Librarian by Day showcased numerous of my “So, You Want to be a Librarian/Archivist” posts on her blog, coupled with writings from other people around the web on the same topic wrapped up as a one stop guide for all things MLIS related. The link love is awesome, don’t get me wrong, I got a lot of commentary and emails from people about my work. I’m more than happy to have done this, so much so I included a tab at the top of the front page as a direct link to all the posts in that category. So the problem?Not only has Bobbi sent me nearly thousands upon thousands (She’s the library equivlent of getting /.’d) of people to my site, the number one pages on my site are the library school related ones. It’s not just Bobbi’s site either, its via search engines, other library related peeps conversating on the subject. The primary, and seemingly only reason, people come to my site (regardless of domain, name, etc) is for the library related stuff.This is a problem because when I stopped writing about library related stuff last summer, blog readership has dropped, comments dropped, everything dropped. If I write a blog post on something library related, it goes back up and then drops again when I stop on the librarianating. When TheHusband and I talked about this, he says it’s evident the people have spoken! Write more about library related stuff! But I bristle at that because for me personally, having a blog on one defined topic is just not my cup of tea. I’ve tried doing it in the past but it just doesn’t work out for me. The current idea I am having is transferring all the library related content over to Dewey District Library blog, the joint blog that Kristin and I are writing and just shoving everything over there because what has become clear is that there is a huge difference between the readership for my regular content and readership for library related content.
  • Problem Three: Archives.
    A couple of years ago (er, yeah, that’s it), I decided to put all entries pre-2006 up on modgirl.net, and then whatever domain I was on, keep that as organic as possible. The thought process is that keeping things up at modgirl.net as it was originally posted (static HTML files) meant that once the back log was up, I’d never have to touch it again. Well. Not necessairly true. The problem with this is the domain, modgirl.net, was my primary email address and domain name for a very long time (until I got onto gMail sometime in ’05?). Checking the stats for the domain, the files were seemingly no longer being deep searched by search engines (truth be told, I could have done something to the robot.txt for that to happen) and the only email I get at modgirl.net these days is spam. Lots and lots of spam. While I’ve had the domain for over 10 years, I can no longer realistically justify keeping it anymore. My first domain ever purchased, simunye.org, was hijacked by Belgian registrar (a small company owned by a friend of a friend) when it stopped communicating me with regards to my payment (I wanted to pay, they wouldn’t respond to facilitate payment, they hijacked the domain and then RENEWED it under their name). My attachment to domains is now broken. Within the last year, I removed all the static files on modgirl.net and now modgirl.net redirects to shesgotplans.net. And of course, I never uploaded the archives into the WP database system. I don’t think this is necessiarly a problem, I think this is more of a whine of not wanting to do the work of the damn archives. 🙂
  • Problem Four: Consolidation. People collect coins, stamps, shoes, fan items: I collect domains. The number of domains I’ve purchased, hosted, worked on and dropped is in the dozens. When I worked for ISPs or knew people who had their own servers in the ’90s/’00s, it was far far worse. I’m now down to 8. Two of them (modgirl.net and geekgirlinc.org) I’m letting expire for sure this year. Two of them, rabey.net/org I’ve kept for a zillion years, never did anything with but will probably keep. excessivelydiverting.net and deweydistrictlibrary.org are projects I’ll be keeping on, so they can stay. That leaves biblyotheke.net and shesgotplans.net. I think confusion lies because I use an email address on biblyotheke.net as a primary email, but I direct blog links to shesgotplans.net. Also, I styled biblyotheke.net as a portal of sorts, but with a name (digital.biblyotheke) and biblyotheke is the most used username that I use. I also wanted to use biblyotheke.net as a professional site, but right now I’m thinking that instead of sending people all over the internet, take advantage of sub-domains and just splice everything under one roof. I’ve got a couple of months until shesgotplans.net expires, but knowing me I’ll renew it for one more year to keep pointers working.

So internets, since this is looming (if not already) in the tl;dr category: Your thoughts? Comments? Am I overthinking this? Any tips or tricks? Ideas? Etc? Merci!