It started with a blog, as such things often do. Then not wanting to pay extra for media functionality convinced me to self host the blog. Having access to a Plesk panel and MySQL databases on a public webserver then opened up other possibilities.
I’m a regular Twitter user, and had for a while wanted to run ThinkUp , for archiving and analytics. Now that I was on the public web , I could do that. I started with a one click install at PHPFog, made to appear seamless with a subdomain redirect. When I got an announcement a couple of weeks ago that PHPFog is to disappear at the end of the month and an invitation to migrate to another product line from the same company, I figured I might as well migrate to a fully self hosted instance, So off I went to create a database, change the subdomain settings, and download the code. Migrating the content didn’t work well, because shared hosting doesn’t allow the database permissions that would enable one to export user data from within the app, (Believe me. I tried) so I just rebuilt the data store from scratch.
A bit later, I was writing a blog post, and remembered a wonderful tweet that was relevant. Unfortunately neither my ThinkUp install nor Googling could find it. It occurred to me that this was the kind of thing delicious or diigo were for. I have accounts both places and can never remember which item I bookmark where. Time for another self-hosted solution.
It seems that Scuttle is the most feature complete, open source, self-hostable web app of the kind available at the moment. Although Scuttle hasn’t been been updated in over a year, it had forked- and SemanticScuttle looked to be under active development, as well as allowing nested tags. I’ll detail the install and import in a forthcoming post.
So now here I am with two WordPress installs, a bookmark manager, and a Twitter analytics app sitting on my hosting space. Why did I do this again?
- To see if I could.
- Because , after the delicious almost shutdown and the moving targets that are the terms of service at third party providers like Facebook and Twitter, I no longer trust big corporate entities to have my interests at heart. I am much better equipped now to walk away from Delicious and Twitter (at least) should that prove the right choice at some point.
- Now that my data sits in my databases, my abaility to query it is limited by my ability to write code and SQL queries.
Finally, thanks to Lisa Lane, who’s reply to a tweet about this whole adventure prodded me to start documenting it.