On Monday when I went to access my blog that I have had since December 2007 I received a message stating that Live Spaces had reached an agreement with WordPress.com and that I had an option to move our postings over. I was a bit surprised, but actually quite relieved at the same time. I knew it was time for a change for a long time now and this was my opportunity. It did state that I could still continue making posts through the end of the year, but after that it was going to be locked down and then as of March of next year I would not have an opportunity to do the conversion anymore. Kind of like last year when some of the services I was using decided to pack up and shutdown – Goodbye GeoCities, Popfly, and now Soapbox.
Some of the things I have been wanting for my existing site like better stats (actually at this point any stats since Live Spaces dumped them all together a few months back without any warning), improved comment control, tagging, top and recent post displaying, more layout display control, calendar and number of posting display, twitter display, removal of cryptic URL references, and more were all of a sudden available to me within just a couple of minutes.
First I downloaded my 266 existing blog posts (nice touch to provide this option during this transition) and this included the comments and images as well. Then I did the conversion process and this also redirects Live Space references to WordPress.com and after just a couple of minutes I was up and running. I was free! Sweet!
Now I have so much and it is just so easy to setup and use, just have to make a decision on how I want it to look now. Here are a few things I have already done (and I am sure this will change a few more times over the next couple of weeks) and have access to now:
1. Top and Recent Post display – now with the improved stats and widget capability I can quickly include this on my site for visitors to reference
2. Blog Stats – what I have been wanting and more. Referrers, Top Posts & Pages, Search Engine Terms, Clicks, Summary
3. Tagging – now I just need to add them to posts and then I can include the nice little Tag Cloud in addition to categorizing posts (and I can have more than one tag or category per posting now!)
4. Post Counts for Archives and Categories – nice little touch and available with a simply checkbox option in the widget and just like magic after the item you will see in parenthesis the post count
5. Twitter display – ability to show some of my recent tweets
6. Comment control – spam filtering and moderating capabilities (I actually received an email this morning alerting me of a comment and giving me an option to approve it. Plus it catches spam comments (finally, thank you) and I can edit comments (nice)
7. Post Calendar – highlights the days that I blogged on (just a nice little touch and good visualization for me to keep me motivated)
8. Goodbye cryptic Live Spaces URLs – now people will have an idea of what I am directing them to when I send them a URL
so instead of this: http://denglishbi.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!CD3E77E793DF6178!3457.entry
they will now see this: http://denglishbi.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/sorting-powerpivot-labels-manually/
9. Nice little SnapShot like site display for viewers (it probably is SnapShot, maybe WordPress bought them, not sure) – this gets displayed when you hover over a URL in a posting
10. Built in blog searching capability – had to setup a gadget on Live Spaces and typically did not produce any results recently which was a major disappointment, could have been a code change
11. Themes, Pages, Navigation, and more – these are additional items that I will be playing around with over the next couple of weeks, so don’t be surprised if the view changes. There probably is a way now to include the Microsoft MVP logo now… Lots of options and I have only been using the new set of tools for just a couple of days and I am probably just scraping the surface.
If only I could have done this switch over sooner. It is such a relief to switch over and just after a couple of days I am extremely pleased of the move. Thanks Live Spaces and three cheers to WordPress!