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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Rick Beckman