New Host

This blog has switched from one host to another.  For those who care about such things, it has moved from Posterous to WordPress in the wake of Posterous being sold to Twitter. I hope it will perform adequately at its new address, and I ask that readers bear with me as I learn the advantages and disadvantages of the new system.  There are a certain number of difficulties in transition, and no doubt some of these have not yet appeared. I will also no doubt make clumsy beginners’ errors long after I should not be considered a beginner.  Please accept my apologies in advance.

I need to express my gratitude to two categories of people.  A number of people have offered spontaneous encouragement to continue the blog and others have offered invaluable technical advice.  I regard both of these categories with great warmth and thank those who fall into them wholeheartedly.

Notice

Posterous – the blogging service which hosts the pages you are reading now – has been bought by Twitter.  Industry observers are indulging their usual guessing game as to exactly what this means, but it is very possible, even probable, that Posterous as it exists now will be closed down.

Sachin Agarwal, founder and CEO of Posterous (and now presumably a rich man), has put out an ominous release which says : “We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.”  I hope those words ‘ample’ and ‘clear’ mean what they say, because I’ll need both.

I operate this site alone and am not a technically minded or technically able person. It may be that I can ride this change without difficulty, or it may be that I cannot.  Either way, I expect there to be some disruption. The purpose of this notice is to warn of that possibility, and to apologise in advance of it coming to pass.

Teething Troubles

The sharper-eyed among you will have noticed that a post here appeared and disappeared, and several have enquired why.

The story is simply this: I had written a little piece regretting the passing of the immensely distinguished UK photographic magazine Portfolio, whose current issue (Number 52) is to be its last. I was careful to hold my peace until the magazine arrived through the mail, when I saw that it contained printed (and therefore entirely public) announcements of its own demise. I was complimentary about the magazine and very complimentary about its editor. I was then surprised – more than surprised, to be honest; I was angry and offended – to receive a stroppy little e-mail from that same editor demanding that I withdraw the piece on the grounds that it was ‘ill-informed and ill-considered’. It was neither of those things, and nor, as the same e-mail alleged, did it contain any breach of trust. I might very well have left the piece here, to hold its perfectly legitimate ground. But I am new to this blogging game, and I don’t at all want these pages to become a forum for vituperation or calumny, so I took down the entry.

Perhaps I was wrong to take that Portfolio entry down; it certainly feels so now. But it is done. I count it a few blogger’s baby-teeth coming through.

I still very much do want informed debate to circulate, and to participate in it myself where I may, although this little episode knocked me a little. Photography in the UK is not in such great shape that we can easily afford to sit in silence while its institutions fail. No doubt I will receive plenty of stroppy e-mails in the future. From this range, so long as the ordinary human courtesies are observed, I will regard that as a price worth paying.

Meanwhile, what does everybody feel about Portfolio, the manner of its passing, and the chances of filling the gap it leaves in UK photographic publishing?