Adam Curry expresses concern that his Fargo blog is not hosted on his own server. Which got me thinking: what happens if this new service I've come to love shuts down?

I know that all my data is sitting in a Dropbox folder on my computer, so I never need to worry about data portability or exporting. But now that I'm blogging to a smallpict.com subdomain (forwarding to blog.jeffreykishner.com), what would happen to my site?

It wouldn't be difficult to repost my content to WordPress.

  • Create a blog.jeffreykishner.com subdomain and upload WordPress to the root folder.

  • Set up a permalink structure: /yyyy/mm/dd/blogPostName

  • Import my named OPML file into a supporting web service to make it readable. It likely won't import all the attributes, but the content will still be there. Then I can copy the content for each post, paste into WordPress, and then just edit the permalink field and paste the value of the name attribute so that the URL is exactly same as it was on my Fargo blog. (For example, WordPress would by default turn "My First Blog Post" into "my-first-blog-post" not "myFirstBlogPost".)

  • I believe I would be all set. No htaccess file necessary, as all links would still go to the correct page. The only downside is that any cool outlining tricks (like collapsed nodes) would no longer function.

07/11/13; 02:11:37 PM

I watched this documentary about the Punch Brothers on Netflix Instant. Been a long-time fine of mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, back to his Nickel Creek days.

I was struck by a comment from one of his bandmates, all of whom are excellent string musicians in their own right. He wants them to be perceived as a band -- not as a Chris Thile side project -- which means that they're not just playing "staggering" Chris Thile compositions (in one of the player's words) but all creating something as a unit.

Watching this film, I got the impression that Thile -- who his bandmates recognize as a musical genius -- both wants to be pulled down to earth by collaborating with excellent musicians, and is in a world of his own, in which he writes beautiful, complex arrangements that even his bandmates couldn't compose. The Punch Brothers would not exist without him, yet he desperately wants a sense of brotherhood, not just to be a singularly brilliant mandolinist who is "backed up" by instrumentalists at the top of their game.

His bandmates regularly talked about how grateful they were to be part of Punch Brothers and that they wanted to make the most of it, because they didn't know how long it would last. After all, Chris could move on to some other project that fancied him. I sensed some "security fear" -- it's difficult to make a living as a musician even if you're great at your craft -- and also a feeling that this moment -- in which five guys are at the bleeding edge of contemporary string music -- could end at any time.

The film is structured around the Punch Brothers' performance of all four movements of The Blind Leaving the Blind, which is exciting but not terribly accessible music (if you're a fan of simple bluegrass song structures). I would recommend this film if you're a fan of challenging string music and/or Chris Thile, or if you want to understand the dynamics of a growing band.

07/11/13; 09:16:30 AM

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:05 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 9:16 AM.