On June the First, 2003, I started this Blog as an add-on to an already widely read website.  I said at the time;

“The main site of course has been running forever. But, I wanted a way to add a daily blog without the added space being taken up on my Roadrunner account. (Pain in the butt 5 meg limit!) So, here we are.

Fear not…I have no intention of not doing my weekly commentary at the main site. This will be in addition to the usual weekly Bit’s Bits.”

That was a full year ago, this weekend. And, after a full year of blogging, and an increasingly great readership… and I don’t mean just numbers, but quality of readers, too… I’m very happy with how this has worked out.  I want to take the time to thank my readers and my fellow bloggers, both of which who have helped this project along the way in ways even they don’t know about in many cases.

Yet, I’m not totally happy with the way the site as a whole is working, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you know what I’m thinking. In all honesty, I’m finding myself itching for a change in this Blog. I suppose that’s like anything you take seriously. It would and could always use some improvement in certain areas.

Mostly, I’m becoming disastisfied with the way the long form weekly items are working out. The writing’s not bad, but I’m finding the site to be a pain to maintain, given the space limits at my home site. I’ve been considering posting the long-form stuff as part of this blog instead of at the home site, and using the RR domain space for my graphics links for this Blog. It would be a better use of available space, I guess, but I’m resisting doing that because it’d make it harder for people like Terry Pearson, who’ve been running my longform stuff in syndication for months, now.

Plus, my older boy’s been on me to set up a web page for his railfanning pics, of which we have quite a few. That’s gonna need some serious space on it’s own. With the Blog and Longform as well… you get the idea.

And look, I don’t really have a great deal of complaint about Blogspot; they’ve been pretty good, the service is OK, particularly given what I’m paying for it, which is nothing.  If there’s a major complaint about it, is the response Blogspot blogs tend to get from other bloggers…. Rather like a Honda at a Harley convention.

The other complaints I have involve the lack of the premium service. I’ve sent several mailnotes to the Google team as to when the new hosting service will be running; it’s been offline for new customers for over a year now, and frankly, I get the idea it won’t be coming back.

Given Google’s hosting the thing for free at the moment, though, I’m not about to bitch about what limits Blogspot presents in terms of flexibility. But I must admit that with all these factors, for many months, I’ve been forced into considering a different blogger than Blogspot, (Bill Hobbs, for example, has been trying to talk me into MT, and offer to help in the transition…) but in most if not all cases, that means having to host the thing myself if I’m to see any improvement in the look and useability of the Blog.

So, with those factors, I’ve been considering finding a web host I can afford, so I can take this format to the next level.

Most hosts offer enough drive space… 100 megs seems about the norm for my price range. The major problem is the monthly bandwidth limits; Some yahoo wanting to shut me down could do so very easily by simply draining my wallet with mega hits.

I’m considering my options, here. I’m open to suggestions. (HINT!)

But once again, thanks for a year that has been a slow solid growth pattern. I’ve met some really great folks along the way.

Here’s to another year of it.