My Last Post (I Hope)

As I mentioned in Blogging 310, I’m making the switch from to a self-hosted WordPress platform. I appreciate all the suggestions and guidance I’ve received via Twitter and through the post comments. I particularly want to call out Bill Ferriss (@billfer), who also works in the health care Web world. He also runs a blog about the Detroit Tigers, which means I guess that he should be my sworn enemy, since I’m a Minnesota Twins fan. Just goes to show the powerful unifying force of Twitter. 😉

It seems there are a lot of good hosting options available, ranging from shared hosting, in which your space is among several others on the same server, to dedicated hosting, in which you are on your own real or virtual server. The former is generally a few dollars a month, while the latter typically starts at $50 a month and goes up from there. As I mentioned, I’m really cheap, and Bill says shared hosting is probably a good place to start (although he’s outgrown it.)

I had gone to check out options at these various sites, including, where I have registered the domain name for SMUG. I also got a good illustration of some smart techniques for upselling customers, when I received this email yesterday:


The folds at GoDaddy know I’m in the market for hosting services because I visited those portions of the site, and they’re giving me an incentive to choose them. Smart business.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Tonight, after I get back from my son’s basketball game against the nearby rival Albert Lea Tigers, I’m going to start the switch. I’ll be tweeting about the process on the @SMUG_U account (please follow if you haven’t already) using the hashtags #smug and #blogmigration, and giving a real-time account of the process. As you follow and get my Tweets (although I know most SMUGgles have better things to do on their Saturday nights) , please feel free to share any pointers.

I’ll also be capturing screenshots and videos for more 300-level Blogging courses. Through Twitter I’ll have time stamps that mark how long each step takes. Hopefully I will be resuming the Twitter curriculum (and the advanced Blogging courses) on Monday on my new GoDaddy server and with a new theme.

Updated 1/5/09: As of this morning, about 35 hours after I activated my GoDaddy hosting account, they still haven’t completed the account set-up. I understand that my purchase at 10 p.m. on Saturday is probably unusual, but GoDaddy advertises itself as a 24/7 provider. I guess setting up is more labor intensive, and I don’t mind them not working Sundays. In fact, I would support that. But when they say it should be done within 24 hours, they should indicate the weekend exception.

Check Out Our SMUG New URL!

Social Media University, Global is still hosted on, but thanks to the wonders of domain mapping, we now have a URL worthy of a higher education institution:

I have said previously that I would only put things on this blog that were free. The reason for that was so I could tell FUD-plagued prospective bloggers, “If you see it on my blog, you can do it without spending any money or involving your IT department.”

I decided to make this one exception, because it’s only about the URL, not what you actually see on the blog. And maybe I’ll create a new page called “What’s not free” where I can indicate this and any other enhancements I decide to purchase.

This blog has been at since its inception, but with the rebranding I did last month, it seemed reasonable to spend the princely sum of $19 to get an appropriate URL. That way, as I recruit new faculty members, they’ll be writing for, which sounds a lot better than

So I registered this new domain with for $8.99, and then paid the $10 to for domain mapping. It took a while for my credits to go through, but all-in-all it was a painless exercise. The gang at gave really clear instructions, and if I would have purchased my domain through them instead of GoDaddy it probably would have been simpler (although it would have cost an extra dollar.)

I mainly used GoDaddy to better understand how the domain mapping process works. If I had bought the domain through it would have been simpler (they would have managed steps I needed to do manually), but the process would have been opaque to me, and I wouldn’t have learned as much. And practical, hands-on learning is what SMUG is all about!

I will be writing about this experience in a future course in the SMUG Blogging curriculum, Blogging 305: Domain Mapping.

Meanwhile, I’ll be seeing if this change creates any problems for RSS feeds or anything else. I expect it will drain some of my Google juice for a bit, but I think it will help a lot in the long run, having descriptive words in my URLs.

Let me know what you experience with this change.