Because Two Blogs Are Better As One

Slightly sleep deprived, I decided to undertake a little project that I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time: merge my old blog (known first as the Watchtower and then as Ramblin’ Rick) with this one. All of the stats, settings, links, etc., I didn’t care too much about, but I definnitely wanted to bring all of my content and comments into this blog, where I actually spend my time nowadays.

Not being on the cutting-edge of WordPress nightlies, I didn’t have the benefit of the new WordPress export system natively, so I grabbed the WordPress-to-Wordpress Import tools and installed the exporter on the old blog and the importer here.

And I made sure to backup my Timothy’s Burden database before proceeding. Don’t ever forget to backup! (Though, I did neglect to backup my Ramblin’ Rick data, assuming that an exporter wouldn’t mangle the data. It didn’t, but I really shouldn’t have made that assumption.)

The exporter didn’t work at first–it got some of my posts, then dumped an error into the export file, choking during the call to the wp_die() at the end of the export script. I removed the if/then call to wp_die() and left the die() call instead. I ran the script again, and it worked perfectly, giving me one file containing all of my content and all of the comments from Ramblin’ Rick. Impressive!

Importing wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked either. Whether it is a problem with the import script itself or some issue with my host, when I uploaded my exported data to the import script, it would add a handful of posts and comments and then unexpectedly quit. To proceed, I went through the exported file removing those posts which were already imported; afterwards, I would upload the file again so that more could be imported. I followed that pattern several times until finally on the last batch, the importer confirmed that it was the end of the file.

And looking around, it seems like it was a very smooth import. Sure, my categories are a mess, and I now have a first post which says something like “Welcome to the Watchtower!,” but there is now almost an additional year’s worth of posts here for visitors to browse through, which is a good thing.

I will probably be cleaning up the little messes for quite some time. The imported posts most likely have quite a few links which reference the old domain name. Now, the old domain should be setup to redirect seamlessly to Timothy’s Burden, so the outdated links shouldn’t be too big of a deal in terms of usability.

I’m also going to need to go through and reorganize my post categories. They are now a mess after having all the old blog’s categoriers thrown indiscriminately into the mix.

I also noticed as I imported posts that there are quite a few posts which reference now defunct projects of mine. I had forgotten all about the OpenApology project (which lasted a few days at the most, if I recall correctly), and I’m sure there are others mentioned which quite a few layers of dust gathering on their memories!

If you notice any oddities that may have been caused by the merging of data, let me know. And if you never browsed my old blog, you might take some time to check out the archives here now. Rather than going back to just January of this year, they stretch back to April of last year. (Still, not quite Internet legend status, but it’s better than it was before!)

4 thoughts on “Because Two Blogs Are Better As One”

  1. Hmm, maybe I should mention that the “other blog” stuff isn’t nearly as good as the stuff here, is often very random and not at all to do with anything else posted, and so on. But, it does bulk up my archives, making it look like I’ve been here longer. :)

  2. yeah, i’m still waiting for 2.1 before doing anything permanent with my blog. when i tried importing my *.WXR file, my categories imported, but they were all empty, and all the posts were uncategorized. booo.

    how did your categories fare, exactly?

  3. Adam, categories appeared to populate flawlessly.

    My only issue with the importing was that the script apparently timed out or something after about a month’s worth of posts. But other than that, I’m happy with the result.

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