Exporting a Manila Site Using OPML

The RSS Advisory Board site now includes all of the articles, weblog entries, and comments from the group's old Manila site, dating back to the group's founding in 2004. I never got a copy of the old site's root file from Harvard, so I collected the content using an obscure but cool feature of Manila: All site content is saved in the discussion board as individual messages, each of which can be downloaded as an OPML file. For example, open this weblog entry from Craig Burton's Manila blog in ... (read more)

Launching 16 Weblog Communities with WordPress MU

I installed 16 copies of WordPress MU, the multiuser version of WordPress, to begin free weblog hosting communities: Autobiography.Com, Buzzword.Com, Cowtown.Com, Dumb.Name, EatThePress.Com, Gaze.Com, GladYouAsked.Com, GodHatesBlogs.Com, KarmaWhore.Com, Pundit.Info, Sleigh.Com, Technique.Com, Weblog.Name, Weblog.Us, WorldWideWeblog.Com and Yuletide.Com. I enjoyed running Buzzword.Com when it hosted 3,000 free Manila weblogs from 2004-06, but Manila couldn't handle that many blogs on a single ... (read more)

UserLand Software's Corporate Shuffle

Dave Winer writes: For what it's worth, I have not sold any UserLand stock, and remain its largest shareholder and a member of its board of directors. I've read, on the web, otherwise. Not so. In my item about UserLand Software's decline, I didn't claim that Winer sold any stock. My understanding is that Winer owns majority interest in UserLand Software Inc., the California company founded in 1988 that created Frontier, Manila, Radio UserLand and Weblogs.Com. He brought in outside management in ... (read more)

UserLand Software's Shrinking Role in Blogging

Dave Winer wrote this weekend that UserLand Software's still in business: On this day in 1999, MacWEEK (now defunct) covered the introduction of Manila. Believe it or not, Manila is still a product, and UserLand is still operating. ... Sometimes I think Radio, which was initially a success, was another example of breaking users. A year after its release I wished instead we had produced a Manila that runs on the desktop. Creating a whole new codebase and design for a blogging CMS wasn't such a ... (read more)

Buzzword.Com Will Shut Down May 21

Buzzword.Com will shut down on May 21, which means the last two dozen weblogs on the free Manila hosting service have one month to find a new home. I've enjoyed running the server for the past two years, but I'm doing all of my work these days on Linux servers running Java, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Buzzword runs on UserLand Frontier with Windows 2000 Server. All Buzzword weblogs can keep using their domain names after they move, so Google pagerank and existing traffic won't be lost. I'll provide ... (read more)

Weblog Mover For Hire

Cyndi Greening blogs about a programming job I did for her this month -- moving her filmmaking weblog from Radio UserLand to Movable Type: I have been complaining, whining and kvetching for over two years about how much I dislike using Radio UserLand as a blogging tool. When I started blogging in 2003, Radio was inexpensive and seemed easy to use. It had an automatic picture uploading tool. It had RSS features I liked. But then ... I started traveling more and wanted to blog from film festivals ... (read more)

Moving from Manila to Movable Type

Craig Jensen's long-running BookNotes weblog has fallen on hard times since the move from Weblogs.Com to Buzzword.Com in 2004. His site lost its Google pagerank and he's had trouble rebuilding his audience. As the first step in retiring free Manila hosting on Buzzword.Com, I'm helping him transfer the weblog to Movable Type, because I have a five-user commercial license that's going to waste on Workbench and I'd like to encourage a fellow liberal and bibliophile to keep blogging. Jason Levine's ... (read more)

UserLand Frees Up Manila Servers

UserLand Software is discontinuing free Manila hosting, as I discovered last week when one of their users sought refuge on Buzzword.Com. Edit This Page shut free service on Dec. 1 and ManilaSites will do the same Dec. 31. I can offer free hosting on Buzzword, but webloggers who are committed to publishing with Manila should be advised that I'm migrating the server to new software by May 1, 2006. A better long-term option for those folks is to subscribe to Weblogger.Com or UserLand. (As an ... (read more)

Losing Page Rank with Two Site URLs

I've been tracking the Google page rank of my web sites for the past year, trying to learn about effective, non-abusive techniques that improve their positions in search engines. You can really see a difference in a site's traffic when it goes up in rank. SportsFilter jumped to PR 7 in the last three months, and the site's membership is booming as a result. A lot of publishers are losing page rank because they use two different domains -- one that begins with www and one that doesn't -- for the ... (read more)

Redirecting Sites off a Manila Server

A few Buzzword.Com users set up weblogs on other servers during the extended downtime this month. Ralf resumed his German- and English-language weblog Moorbek on a new site that runs the Antville weblog software, keeping the old version around until he can move the data over, and Julian Harris is now publishing Julian on Software with WordPress. Manila can easily redirect weblogs to a new address on another server: All I have to do is edit a line in the table. The ... (read more)