Seeking Advice for Blog Hosting & Moving!

Dear Readers,

Preservation in Pink is getting older and ready to leave the nest of wordpress.com to a self hosted wordpress.org. However, it’s a big, scary move when its been on wordpress.com for almost seven years. I turn to all of you who speak the language of blogs, hosting, website, etc. Can you recommend a host? A method for moving your entire blog? Any cautionary tales or other advice? What to expect? I’ve researched this process, and while it seems easy enough my biggest fear remains: moving the blog and losing everything!

Your help and suggestions are much appreciated!

Cheers, Kaitlin

PiP  is soon to be under construction. Watch for falling concrete!

PiP is soon to be under construction. Watch for falling concrete!

Thanksgiving Flamingo-grams

Hoping everyone had a lovely extended weekend. Count your blessings year round. Here are some of mine from the weekend.

You can follow Preservation in Pink happenings through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr — the sources for photographs and images if it’s not a blog post day. All of these are linked to each other (so the images should be found at each source) can be found on the sidebar of the main blog page. And every so often I’ll round up the images for a Flamingo-grams post on the blog. You’ll notice that not every photograph is directly historic preservation – some includes family, travel, baking, pets, just bits and pieces from my sense of place and environment. If you have links to share, please do.

And Happy 21st Birthday to my youngest sister, Erin!

Your Written Record

Documenting our lives is something we all do, whether through pictures, detailed letters and emails to friends and family, a personal diary, agendas, a blog, Facebook status updates, etc. There are infinite ways in which we could piece our lives together and reconstruct our own stories. Similar to the discussion about digital calendars or paper planners, digital records and your digital life, is the conversation about a hand written diary v. a digital journal.

Do you keep a diary or a journal? Or did you as a child and teenager? For most of my childhood and teenaged years, I kept a detailed diary that spans many, many notebooks, each one carefully chosen based on what sort of size, cover, paper stock, lines and colors I felt necessary for my writing at the time. These are books that I’ll keep forever. And then, soon after that, I guess life got a little busier and a bit less stressful (I can understand why I wrote more as a teenager), so I didn’t have to write as much. Shortly after that, I discovered the world of blogs: Live Journal, MySpace, Blogger and others. It seemed like an odd idea to me. Why would I write my diary online rather than in a book?

Many people were turning to online forms of journaling and recording their lives, some writing as if no one would ever read it and some writing for all to read. It seemed to me that what I wrote on paper were things I’d never write to the entire internet. While writing online will always be different for me than writing in a book (i.e. less personal), years later, I can see the advantages of an online diary. In a way, your words are stored in a safe place, safe as in, one you will not lose. Your journal entries can include photographs and it’s easier to read type than sloppy handwriting. If you are writing about your kids or everyday life adventures, it’s easy to share stories and photographs with family members and friends in blog form.

However, lost may be so much more. The pure satisfaction of flipping through a completed book, one filled entirely with your own words, is no more. The issue of privacy is not a question as long as you keep your book safe. Handwritten words seem so much more personal than pages of font. Handing down your diaries, if you choose, is easier in a book than writing down every web address.

Then again, with the world of fonts and templates and digital effects that we have access to, a blog can be a very personal place on the internet. Passwords can protect your blog from others reading it. An issue I’ve mentioned before, however, is remembering the URL and passwords.

There can be a modern compromise, if you’re interested. There are now publishing programs that allow you to convert your blog into book format. You can “publish” your book, buy one copy and then you have your digital diary in hard copy. While it’s a great deal more expensive than buying a small, lined notebook, this book can have your pictures and different fonts and formats. Since I keep a variety of books and blogs, I’m tempted to print my blogs into books someday. In the meantime, I’ll start saving my pennies and keep on with my combination of record keeping.

How do you record your life? Did you at one time keep a hand written diary and turn to a blog (password protected or not)? Do you find it easier to type or hand-write your words, and which would you rather have in the long run? I’d rather have books for posterity, and to read when I’m old and gray, but sometimes I’d rather be typing because it can be faster.

PreservationNation Feature

A Preservation in Pink guest post at PreservationNation.

I am psyched to announce (if you missed the Twitter and Facebook chatter) that Monday’s Preservation in Pink post, You Do Not Have to be a Historic Preservationist, was featured as a guest post on PreservationNation, the blog of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. If you do not read the blog, check it out for Preservation News Roundups, special features and more.

Thank you NTHP and David Garber, the PreservationNation blog editor. Preservation in Pink is flattered!

Useful iPhone Apps for the Preservationist

This post was written prior to the news of Steve Jobs’ death on October 5, 2011; it seems eerily timely. The world will miss the man who played a role in changing the world. It seems only fitting to tie this statement from Apple to this post. Click the box below to head over to Apple.

For the longest time I was opposed to smart phones. Sure, they’re cool; but I already had an unhealthy obsession with email. Did I need to fuel that addiction? No. Smart phones quickly advanced and then the iPhone came on the scene, with improvements to follow. I knew a bunch of people with Blackberries, but they never seemed to work properly. I always figured that if you were going to get a smart phone, the iPhone was the way to go.

Back in April, Vinny and I cracked and we entered into the world of iPhones. Awesome. Sure, it reinforces my email addiction, but I decided that I would do my best to use the full potential of my iPhone. The wonders that it could do for blogging, photos-on-the-go, directions on the go, and much more. I’ll admit it – I love it. But I maintain that it is a luxury item, it is something I could live without. I like to remember that distinction. If you are wondering, my iPhone has a pink and black case; must include some PiP reference in all digital objects I own.

I’ve been working on compiling a list of iPhone apps that are useful for the historic preservationist. i don’t know of too many, so I’ll share my short list and hopefully you can add to it. Now that the unbelievably advanced iPhone 4S is out, my iPhone 3GS probably seems lame to iPhone addicts, but I’m still happy with it. Let’s start with my favorite app:

1. Field Notes LT (free version): I found this one by searching for notes and GPS. I needed to be able to photograph a structure, take the coordinates and add notes to create one single file. Field Notes LT will do just that, and then you can email your note as a .kmz or zip file. The .kmz files can be opened in Google Earth, for example. It has been incredibly useful (more on that another time).

2. Compass: The compass comes on the iPhone utilities already, so I didn’t find it. Regardless, it is incredibly easy to use. While I was a Girl Scout, cardinal directions on the fly aren’t my forte. This compass is easy to use and helpful for site descriptions.

3. Sherwin Williams Color Snap: Take a picture (or choose one on your phone already), zoom in to the color that you want and it will match that color to a Sherwin Williams paint color, providing the name and product number. Fun! Other paint companies should get on this. I haven’t used it for anything other than just playing around. Has anyone used it professionally?

4. WordPress: Of course this one is useful to me! I have written many posts from my iPhone. It is a bit more tedious, and until recently you couldn’t add in links or special fonts, but the most recent update is amazing. The app allows me to approve comments on the go, check stats, add photos and write posts. And publishing from the iPhone still alerts Twitter and Facebook that a new post is up. I love how they can all be integrated.

5. iHandy Level: That’s right, your phone can be a level. I’m not sure what carpenters think of it, but it’s good enough for hanging pictures and other minor household tasks.

6. Miscellaneous city guides, museum and road trip iPhone apps, though I haven’t tried any yet. I have only used free apps so far. If you’re taking a trip, you should check out available apps before heading out.  Google iPhone app and road trip or New York City or trip planner – there are many.

7. NCPTT app for assessments. I am anxiously awaiting the release of this one.

If you know of helpful smartphone or iPhone app for historic preservationists on the go, let me know. I’ll add it to the list! Or if you have advice for general iPhone usefulness, I’m happy to hear it.

Happenings

Dear Readers,

Life has a been a blur lately! Between final wedding preparations, house hunting and the process of making offers and buying, working, and trying to stay sane, my attention has been scattered near and far. That would be why the posting is sparse this week. The remaining days of June will be filled with much of the same activities, so I wanted to let you know that Preservation in Pink is on a mini vacation or more like a part time schedule now. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

However, come July, Preservation in Pink will be back with some awesome new guest bloggers, good summer stories and preservation thoughts, and soon – a brand new headquarters. (Well, the blog will be in the same place, but if all goes well, I’ll be blogging from another abode!)

For the time being, enjoy picture posts and let’s hope for some good end of June summer weather.

Thanks!

Kaitlin

p.s. here’s one to start:

The coolest flowers I have ever seen. We came across them in Boston Common.

As preservationists, it is important for us to remember that landscape – the natural environment – contributes greatly to our built and cultural environment.  Sometimes taking time to enjoy a flower garden with historic buildings as the background is just as satisfying as gazing up at the building cornices.

More crazy flowers!

Does anyone know the name of these flowers?

May 28, 2007

Three years ago today, I wrote the very first Preservation in Pink blog post. It was more of an announcement than a real post, but still, PiP has been a blog since May 28, 2007.  This goes back to the very first newsletter (6 pages only, all but one article written by me – just to get it out there). Three years ago I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do with a blog other than post the newsletter rather than requiring readers to rely on email. If you browse through the archives you’ll see that nothing happened with the blog again until October 2007 and then posts remained scattered through much of early 2008.

Blog posts began to take shape and routine around May 2008, when I attended the Poplar Forest Architectural Restoration field school. It wasn’t until the summer/fall of 2008 that I decided the Preservation in Pink should be more dynamic and that it should serve more of a purpose than announcing the newsletter. By August/September PiP became a daily (weekdays) routine.

Since those early days, readership has increased from a whopping average of 2 readers per day in 2007 (really, there was nothing to see anyway) to 19 per day in 2008 to 130 per day in 2009 and already at 200+ per day in 2010. Wow! And here we are hovering around 86,000 visits to Preservation in Pink.

This is the perfect time to say thank you to all of you, readers, who visit PiP, leave comments, share the link, display your magnets, and who offer encouragement and show interest. A great big thank you to guest bloggers. You have made PiP so much more diverse and are a wonderful addition to the blog! Mostly, I continue to write and share thoughts because it combines two of my passions – preservation and writing – but it makes me so happy that other people can connect to Preservation in Pink. From current events to ethics to road trips to the occasional soap box and personal essay with flamingo pictures and jokes, I hope that you can always find some way to connect with historic preservation through Preservation in Pink.  As always, whenever you have a suggestion for PiP or something you’d like to share, please do.

Thank you!

An Interview with Preservation in Pink

I am accustomed to conducting an interview, not to being the interviewee, but I am thrilled and honored to be featured at Voices of the Past for an interview about Preservation in Pink, its mission, and historic preservation. Of course, there is some talk about flamingos.

Here is the headline from the Voices of the Past homepage right now:

Audio Podcast: Kaitlin O’Shea on collaboration, platforms, and the role of historic preservation in the blogosphere

Neat, huh? I’m psyched. Click here to listen to the podcast or to read the transcript (photographs included, too!)

Spend some time browsing through the website and you’ll find it to be more than just an occasional resource. Voices of the Past is joining the forces of heritage and social media by bringing important heritage news, issues, events, and faces  to the new online heritage community via modern internet based media tools (blogging, twitter, Facebook, rss feeds to the online heritage community. Topics range from historic preservation, archaeology, conservation, genealogy, how-to’s and social media techniques, ethics, news, and profiles… all without a political agenda. It is a community defined by users, but done so in an extraordinary way. You can find podcasts, news programs, blogs, peers, videos, tips, and much more on the website. Jeff Guin, the creator, works tirelessly with people like Bethany Frank, a journalism student, to develop what they have called a new type of journalism. Thank you to Voices of the Past for including me in such a great community!

Oh, about the photograph featured above? It’s about time I shared it here. What could be better than a giant flamingo? My disclaimer is that it does not belong to me, but Fred the Flamingo does indeed belong to a flamingo girl. (What else did you expect?)