When I first started blogging with any kind of consistency, it was on a WordPress.com blog. At the time, I had no idea that there was a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. For those not in the know, WordPress.org is where you can download the WordPress content management system for install on a self-hosted site, whereas WordPress.com is an existing blog network that offers far fewer options in terms of flexibility but it has the desirable feature of plugging your posts to the other bloggers on the platform. Unfortunately, you kind of have to choose one or the other: if you are looking for exactly the kind of site you want, WordPress.com isn’t the answer, but if you go with a DIY site then you have to be really good at search engine optimization and promoting your site or no one will ever find it.
That was the situation I was in five years ago as I was busy counting down my 100 favorite albums in an absurdly thorough post-by-post format on a WordPress.com blog. When I finished with the list, I realized that I needed something a little more than WordPress.com could offer, so I took the content off-network and hosted everything independently and began exploring how to best present the content. After about five years of tinkering, I have everything about how I want it over at EricMackAttacks.com, which from now will function as more of an archive of all the stuff I have written about. I’m still constantly adding more content to it, but for instance when I write an album review, it’s typically months or even sometimes more than a year after the release date, so I always set the publish date back to the album’s actual release date to avoid confusing the reader.
Also, the content on the main site consists mostly of long-form posts with many sub-pages; it’s designed to have an evergreen focus. You can go there any time and nothing will feel out of date or stale. On occasion I have used a Tumblr site to post more current-events content that doesn’t really meet that standard, but the truth is Tumblr is more fun as kind of a more long-form version of Twitter and I’m going to use it from now on entirely in that context. Another platform that has caught my attention over the past year is called Medium, which actually was designed as a longer version of Twitter by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. I had never heard of it until I saw that Bill Simmons new venture The Ringer was using it instead of WordPress like his former site Grantland.
Here’s what the current architecture of my EricMackAttacks network looks now like:
EricMackAttacks.com — WordPress.org self-hosted site
Blog.EricMackAttacks.com — WordPress.com site
Medium.EricMackAttacks.com — Medium site
Tumblr.EricMackAttacks.com — Tumblr site
Twitter.com/EricMackAttacks — Twitter profile
Facebook.com/EricMack.Attacks — Facebook profile (it’s public and was created for interacting with readers, so friend request me if you’d like and I’ll accept)
Obviously, what I have done is just map three subdomains over my WordPress.com, Medium, and Tumblr blogs. (If you type ericmackattacks.wordpress.com, medium.com/ericmackattacks, or ericmackattacks.tumblr.com into your browser, you’ll just get redirected.) I plan to use all six of the above more or less in concert. Starting a year from today (which will be my 30th birthday — yikes), I’ll start counting down my 200 favorite albums on EricMackAttacks.com in a top-to-bottom update of my original list. I’ll keep doing album reviews and occasional favorite movie and favorite book profiles in the meantime, as well.
This new blog here on WordPress.com will see plenty of action too. Since it takes me a while to get around to posting stuff on the main site (I have to create a bunch of pages and make sure they are all ready and then write what I want to write), this will provide a good outlet for getting thoughts down on paper about various things (most of them entertainment-related) in a quick and precise manner. I have to say, WordPress.com has come a long way since I was last using it half a decade ago. Back then, it was kind of embarrassing to admit you were using it, since anyone who had any kind of web skills immediately took their blog and ran to higher ground in the form of a self-hosted site.
Eventually I did that, as well, but there are certain things you miss about being on WordPress.com. For one thing, it’s nice for traffic to show up at your site without you having to do anything. I also don’t need this site to be anything fancy, frankly, and WordPress’s Twenty Sixteen theme (the one you’re looking at) is one I have liked ever since it came out. I have been meaning to use it somewhere, so this is a good fit. As for my existing Tumblr, I’ll turn that into more of a collection of various media things I find cool. In other words, I’m not planning to post any more writing there. As for the blog I just created on Medium, I have some plans for that. There’s a lot of stuff I want to write about that just doesn’t really fit into the entertainment realm like politics and the world generally, and so that’s what I’m going to use my Medium blog for.
As for what you’ll see here, I’ll start with my predictions for the Oscars, which conveniently are on my birthday this year.