Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Transfer

This is now my blog home. I’ve got about eighty percent of the photographs from the kids’ blog up and working, and have converted the individual posts on relevanthistory.com to pages that forward to their equivalents here. I’m also going to keep relevanthistory.com up for an extra month, to increase the odds that people will redirect their browsers.

I’m going back and forth about whether I want to keep the relevanthistory.com domain name. I got it with an eye to setting up a consulting company a couple years ago. That never happened, but it made sense to use the domain when I started blogging.

The one thing that makes me hesitate is that I don’t want to lose the work and value created by the links and RSS subscriptions make relevanthistory.com. I’ve been reading Frank Ryan’s Darwin’s Blind Spot (thanks again, Howard), which is about the role that symbiosis plays in evolution. Ryan points out that the concept of symbiosis has its origins in nineteenth-century studies that established that many species of trees have fungus growing in and around their root structures, that multiply the root structure’s surface area by a hundredfold and help keep the tree alive. The relationship is so intimate, and so essential for both parties, it’s hard to say where the tree ends and the fungus begins.

Blogs (and other Web sites) and links are like that: yes, they’re separate, but they’re also deeply intertwined. If meaning is defined by context, then some of the meaning of what I write is defined by the fact that people link to it; and if I break those links, I lose.

2 Comments

  1. Will you keep the domain? I think it is good, a lot better than askpang.typepad.com. Is it possible to map your domain to your typepad account?

  2. I’ve been going back and forth on it. On one hand, there are clearly people who know me through the domain name, and associate it with me; on the other, since the URLs for the individual entries are all changing, it seems less essential– or perhaps even a bit misleading.

    Of course, if I can do a batch upload of the HTML pages with the old archive names, which will just redirect to the new pages, then that would solve the problem.

    The other question is whether, if I do map relevanthistory.com onto this domain, askpang.typepad.com will still work. I suspect it probably will; if it does, that would be a good thing. If not, it would mean having to send out another set of messages to redirect browsers and aggregators, which might seem like an aggravation.

    However, your comment does weigh in favor of renewing the old domain name…. and it makes me wish that a URI scheme was really working.

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