Well, the time has finally come. I’m shifting over to a new website! From this point on I will be posting to www.markrjohnsongames.com, which has a snazzy custom layout for which I must give my strongest possible thanks to my outstanding website designer, NerdCloud. You will notice I have moved just a handful of blog entries over there; the ones I have shifted are some of the blog posts I’m proudest of, and I also just wanted a foundation of blog posts that I could build on, rather than starting from scratch. A big part of this shift was restructuring what goes on the sidebar to make things a lot clearer, to put my academic work at the front rather than my game design work (as it is, by far, the more central part of what I “do” at the moment), and to build a website that would last me indefinitely and not buckle under the pressure. When I first started this site I didn’t really plan for something five years ahead, with tens of thousands of downloads, hundreds of blog posts, thousands of comments, over a million hits – and the site is showing its age! On the new site I have both built it to last (or rather, paid people who know what they are doing to build it to last…) and paid for a lot of services on the side to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. It’s an investment, ultimately, and one that I feel very confident will pay off.
As part of this move, I am very excited to announce that I am going to start writing monthly blog posts again, with this (and the “New Website!” blog post on the new site) being August’s posts. At this point I feel confident that I can commit to monthly blog posts without too much hassle. They might not be long, and they might just be updates on what I’ve been doing rather than any kind of analysis or commentary or devlog in their own right, but I want to get back to actually putting content out there on a speedier timescale than academic publishing. I think it’s also important for starting to get the SEO of the new site up to the level of this one; it’s a dull tedious job, of course, but one that I think is very important.
As for what will happen to this site? Well, in a couple of months I’m going to post an “everything has moved to the new website” post here, and then leave that at the top of the blog as a placeholder. Beyond that, I intend to maintain this site for some time, but perhaps not indefinitely; I might also change it to a site that simply redirects to the new site or something of that sort. Most likely I’ll change it to a big banner for URR, and then a hyperlink that sends you to the new site; I’ll then archive everything here, maybe re-post some of my other favourite blog posts from time to time. Or, of course, I might just leave this as it is, but reduce the upkeep I’m paying on the thing. I’m not sure… but either way, this is the penultimate blog post to ever appear on this website.
I first began this site when I started my PhD, and it has seen me through a doctorate, several postdocs, learning to code, building URR, a life-destroying illness/event, writing a book, getting fit, getting un-fit, moving 4000 miles away to a new country, and starting to get fit again. I have to confess, in the process of writing this post, I am getting more than a little emotional. This website has come to mean a lot to me, although no where near as much as all of you who read it. I’ve had this site for so many years, and we’ve gone through so much “together”, that it honestly feels like a part of myself and my identity more than a collection of pixels and bytes on the internet. But it is time to move to a new digital home: one slicker and newer, faster and response, more appropriate to what I do, and more completely built to last the test of time. I love how the new site looks, and I know before too long I’m going to feel just as comfortable there as I do here. I can’t wait to see all of you there, and start properly rebuilding this amazing community that means so much to me.
Thanks again for everything, everyone, and I’ll see you on the new site.