Last of the ‘Bird

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Note from 2023, when post was recovered: Never say never.

I am closing down Burningbird.

I’ve had several different reincarnations of the Bird on this location, and the site has become an unmanageable heap of old and older…stuff. I’ve started dropping old pages and old sites–the old Alter Ego, the Practical RDF site, and so on–but each time I drop something, even more 404’s result.

As for the Burningbird weblog itself, my .htaccess rules files are a mess from all of the variations of links and tools. I’ve had Blogger pages, WordPress, my own Wordform, Radio, Movable Type. I’ve also had numerous permalink structures, links to code I no longer provide, old images that are gone or moved and so on. My .htaccess file is failing under all the redirects of so many other permalink structure changes. I had a post link fail last week because it accidentally triggered an old .htaccess 410 rule.

My site has come to remind me of the homes of people who never throw anything away. They still have their old National Geographics, Avon bottles, and disco pants that didn’t fit well when they were new, much less now decades later. Unfortunately, there is no jumble sale for web sites. One can only acknowledge the mess and move on.

I don’t want to leave others with broken links–though let’s face it, most of us have broken links in our past pages and it doesn’t really matter. Still, why add to the cruft? My plan is to clean out pages that haven’t been linked, physically generate a snapshot of this site, combine with the physical pages I’ve kept backup copies of from past incarnations– all mixed into one fixed set of static pages that can be moved without worry about weblog tool and databases. And then that’s it: no more pages at

My Hosting Matters account comes up for renewal in June, and I’ve decided to move all of my domains over to my development server. I appreciate all the support HM has given me since I started with them in 2002, but I want to play in my own space from now on. If time permits, June, and most definitely July is when I’ll be making the biggest changes to all my sites, including the static generation of Burningbird. As for hosting my ‘production’ site in a development environment: thought I may, in my various tech explorations, end up taking my server down from time to time, there’s no permanent harm in doing such and life does continue after web access failures.

Karma demands that I learn to accept that my web sites may not be up 24 x 7; downtime is an opportunity, not a tribulation.

As for Burningbird the weblog, the persona, the concept–I’m not sure what I want from a weblog, or what I can continue to deliver. I have reached a point where I am repeating myself. I have reached a point where I am repeating myself. I have reached a point…

There are a lot of good times associated with an old weblog, but a lot of unhappy times, too. I’m not having fun with my site, and I think it shows in the writing. The only fun at the site has been what you all have been contributing: in comments, emails, and your own weblogs. That’s enough to continue reading you–it’s not enough to continue writing me, or whatever me is as the ‘Bird.

It must seem as if ‘quitting’ one’s weblog is the hip new thing. I appreciate the fact that this is one of those few times I may be in with the insiders–actually, I savor the moment, wonder if I’ve developed a golden aura as a result–but this wasn’t the impetus for this change. I don’t plan on ‘quitting’, but I do want to rethink what it is I want from my online presence.

Regardless of what I do, it’s time to retire the ‘Bird. I don’t expect this to be my last post, forever, but this will be the last I write as Burningbird.

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