A little bit of history. Back when things started to mess around with the idea of a regular weblog, a medium we’d seen and much admired, Blogger seemed to be the natural choice. Before that we ran something called the ‘links project‘, a rather time-consuming, hand-crafted collection of links that didn’t last more than a few months. So we signed up in September 2001 and what had initially been called ‘newthings‘ quickly evolved into a weblog front page with the rest of the magazine sitting behind it.
We apparently doomed ourselves from the start by electing to publish via something called FTP, a checkbox ticked nearly a decade ago that has now caused a derailment way, way down the line. For as of May 2010 Blogger will cease its FTP support, and the careful – and delicate – spider’s web of css that we subsequently wove around the homepage has suddenly become rather redundant. Perhaps it doesn’t matter. The promise of ‘push-button publishing’ had long been derailed by too many dials, knobs and sliders; we have out of the loop for years, hoping that nothing would pop-up and upset the things fiefdom. But it has.
And so we find ourselves here at WordPress, a system that has always seemed slightly more sophisticated than the tab riot of Blogger (although, to give Blogger its due, things has never knowingly paid a penny to the company in all this time – can this be right?). Now we’re entering a world of plug-ins and power-ups, of tag clouds and trackable stats, upgrades and smartphone access. It’s exciting, but also daunting.
So will things shift its emphasis? It’s unlikely. In 8 and a half years as online flaneurs, we were well placed to notice the emergence of the weblog as wunderkammer, the evolving museology of the internet, the explosion in personal archives and the ever louder noise of the snappy distraction, the things that hook people in and become caught up in a vortex of linkage, misattribution, celebration and observation. There’ll be plenty more of that, plus an all-new physical issue, many years (quite literally) in the making, and designed by the John Morgan Studio.
Right now we have a lot of behind-the-scenes cleaning up to, much of which will inevitably manifest itself on the wrong side of the curtain. Perhaps old posts will reappear here – we simply don’t know at the moment. In any case, regular posts should resume soon. The rest of the site – the archives, photographs and projects – are all there, lurking in the background. There’s even a full weblog archive in old school format to peruse and there are also plans to make the things magazine tumblr slightly more proactive.
We just have to grasp this template business and make everything all right once again. Thank you for your patience.