Our internet lives can be incredibly spread out. This my story of my content and how and why I reeled it back to this domain.
Ironically, I had moved away from WordPress over 10 years ago due to a vulnerability in WordPress plugin that hacked the commenting system. This plugin hack poisoned my website to search engines – it linked other hacked WordPress websites with spam ‘Viagra’ links. It was easy to restore the content, but it has taken years to recover from toxic links (note to others: google disavow was not a magic bullet).
At one point this little website got as many 35,000 visitors a month, I put a lot of effort to the content, especially my New Zealand photography, on this website. That all went down hill with the hack. Currently, this sites toots along with about 150-200 visits month, which I am pleased with.
I decided that it would best to spread out my interests amongst a lot of different sites, along certain themes (analogue photography, personal blogs, post apocalyptica). For the most part, I enjoyed writing semi-anonymously on these platforms, and it scratched a certain itch. I could write about weird stuff that interested me, and take quirkier photos that didn’t really fit the ‘New Zealand Landscape Photos’ that my site was previously popular for. I still held on to vonnagy.com, thinking that maybe I would use it again.
Here is a history of the content on my websites:
Blogger was my blogging platform of choice from 2007-2014. I was prompted after my website (this one) was hacked due to a vulnerability in wordpress software that I was using. I actually still think this is a decent platform; moving from it was more a statement against Google’s survellience capitalism than it being a bad platform.
- Vonnagy.Blogspot.com – This was my first blog, I used Google Blogger for this, the dates active for this blog are from 2003 – 2008. This was my first attempt at blogging and also came at a time where I was teaching myself a lot about photography. Most of the content is poor, short, and not really worth reading. They are mostly short ‘facebook’ style posts of what was going on in my life. All 94 posts from this blog were imported to my site in September of 2020.
- Portwaikato.com – This was a themed blog, first hosted on drupal, then on blogger. It documents my photo outings to Port Waikato – active from 2005 to 2009, when it was imported to blogger.com. Click here to see my Port Waikato Blog and Gallery . 95 Posts from this blog were imported here in September of 2020.
- Zegarkus.Blogspot.com – This was an anonymous blog that I started in 2007 and did my final post in 2013. The name came from my friend who called me ‘Markus Zegarkus’. This was a more serious attempt at blogging, there are some posts there that I am proud of, other posts which were pretty silly. I did own a domain for this but I let it lapse and it got picked up by a domain spammer. Click here to visit the zegarkus blog. I imported 118 posts from this blog in September of 2020.
- Parahanga.com – This is my New Zealand analogue photography blog – active since 2009. This was hardest decision on whether to import or not, because I loved this as a stand alone domain. However, I wanted to make my life simpler so I decided it best lived here. Some 177 posts were import here. It is still active, the domain parahanga.com now lives at https://vonnagy.com/parahanga/
- ApocalypticPost.com – This was my first themed blog – I was really into (and still am!) the Post Apocalyptic genre! This blog was active from 2009-2017. Apocalyptic Post can be found here on my website.128 posts where migrated here
I had two websites that used a static website generator. These were fun to manage, they were simple, however, at the end of the day I thought
- Kraxn.io – Similar to above, this was a blog I created in 2018 for art projects, including a year of sketches I made with the sketch a day app. I also used this blog to do some technical posts on some programming languages I was experimenting around with. The last post was in April of 2020. Kraxn is Viennese slang for a old car, machine or device that is barely operable. See my entire year of sketch-a-day drawings, and visit the blog here. This was my biggest import into the site, roughly 375 posts migrated here.
- Asylon.org – This blog came forth as a long reflection in technology. Asylon comes from the Greek word sanctuary: It combines the prefix a, without; and sŷlon, right of seizure. It means all which can not be seized or plundered. This blog was active from 2019 to early 2020, there were only 10 posts, but the they were all long, in-depth articles. Go to vonnagy.com/asylon to read more.
These were other platforms. For most of these, they were not really worth pulling into this blog – the content simply was either too bland or it already existed in some form on this website.
- hubpages – I imported a couple of articles about photography from this platform. This site used to be known as squidoo, it was interesting when I first tried it, but its another platform.
- geocities – I did have a couple of pages on Geocities, but it was mostly nostalgic, I decided not to import them here though they are currently found on OOcities. These date back to 2004 –
- flickr – Most of my photos from flickr are already here, so there wasn’t so much to do. I haven’t decided whether .
- polanoid.net – Sadly this Polaroid site is mostly dead and inactive. Many (amazing) photographers have withdrawn their accounts. It used to be prestigious for its ‘Shot of the Day’, but it is a sad former shell of itself. Most of my photos there already live here.
- Facebook – I deleted my account in 2016 but I didn’t have any worthwhile, except a profile picture worth migrating over here.
- Twitter – Same as above, I don’t have a twitter account anymore. I think I only had 3 or 4 tweets.
- Google + I actually used this for some travel photos, but removed my account before it shut down. Nothing to migrate.
- Tumblr – I had a personal account I used to reblog things from work and some of my photos. These photos were already on my blog and the work content was not really worth bringing aboard here.
There are some the unhappier moments from this great consolidation:
- PolaroidPictures.org – unfortunately there was not even an archive.org backup of this. I had dedicated several thousand words to practical polaroid photo taking here. I had it hosted on Google sites; when I deleted my Google account for the site, I completely forgot that I had this content there. This is completely my fault, I didn’t plan to make any backups. I know I put several months of work into this project, but got sidetracked. C’est la vie.
- PhotoBucket – I had a photo account which became got lost when PhotoBucket got new management. There were a few digital photos that I didn’t have a proper back up, and when photoBucket changed hands, these were lost. In particular there was a shot of horse from a wedding at the Savage Memorial near Mission Bay that I really liked, but is gone forever. Rest in peace.
In 2019 – I started blogging again, mainly spurred on by my 365 day sketch-a-day project. I also created new site asylon.org about my interest (against) capital surveillance. Not long afterwards, I started to tally my projects and realised they were just all over the show. Secondly, while I didn’t write anything controversial, I didn’t feel comfortable having my blogs hosted by company mired with poor history privacy (Google). So I began thinking about moving them again to a central place, making them easier to manage. In this case, vonnagy.com.
However, my site vonnagy.com has been on wordpress since 2015. While I did have some content on the website, I just thought of it as a holding page. Fortunately, wordpress is much more security oriented than it used to be. Also importing from blogger has been breeze. The worst bit was importing from another wordpress site; most of the lauded migration tools are just bloatware. After trying 5 different plugins, I reverted to a manual import – which took me all of 10 minutes, and worked perfectly. All 7 sites were imported during September of 2020; representing 965 posts spread over 17 years. Not bad.
This massive import reflects a tiny slice of internet history ranging from Geocities to Blogger, from Facebook to Flickr. It feels good to be (mostly) independent of these companies though while it can be daunting to have ‘all the eggs in one basket’. Now that everything resides here, it will certainly be easy to manage – where possible all of the former domains redirect to the appropriate page here on vonnagy.com
From a personal viewpoint, it was really fascinating to see what interested me over the years, and many times I probably wouldn’t agree with my former self. It’s also interesting to view my posts as a timeline of my life. Here’s a quick yearly breakdown – its interesting that 2019 and 2009 were my most productive years, accounting for 70% of my posts the last 70 years.
Here’s to a few more years of writing and being active on the internet; technology changes, and perhaps the world wide web will even cease to exist in less than 100 years time. These pages will become digital relics, while this author will happily fade into oblivion.