A few days ago, I was about to post a new entry about voice in fiction writing. But when I went to my web site, I discovered something wrong: it was basically disappearing. First, it transmogrified into an outline of its former self. An hour later it had vanished.
I stared at the blank screen. I panicked. Then I emailed Brandon. Like a latter-day Jesus, Brandon can resurrect the dead with code.
“Looks like your site’s been compromised. I’m getting a warning from my browser that it thinks your site is a phishing scam. Probably the WordPress theme or some plugin we added caused this. I’ve heard they’ve had problems with that. But since your primary domain has been flagged as non-credible, the best option is to get a new domain name and go with a different web site service, like SquareSpace. There’s no hosting/server or database backend so it’s more secure.”
I understood about half of what Brandon was saying.
Brandon Ching is a data scientist and web developer. I’ve known and worked with him for years. He helped design my Arendt NEH web site while he was a graduate student in computer science at SDSU. Then he got his Ph.D. in public policy and works now as a consultant to business and academic clients.
What I understood: I needed a new domain name and a different platform.
We used to say some things are a dime a dozen. It turns out domain names cost about $12/year for one. Researching SquareSpace, I learned they would give me a new name for free for a year. Plus they offer educators and students with an .edu email address a 50% discount on the first year’s platform use subscription.
Sign me up, SquareSpace, I said, and set about exploring various permutations of Kathleen and B and Jones and writing.
Why not keep it simple? Why not just kathleenjones.com?
Well, for one thing, it’s too close to the old name and since, Brandon explained, that name’s reputation was sullied, I’d be hard pressed to establish my legitimacy with suck a moniker again. Also, not only are there thousands of Kathleen Joneses in the world, but I know several Kathleen Joneses who are writers.
Thus was kathleenbjones.com reborn as kbjoneswrites.com and resides now on the SquareSpace platform.
If you search that url, though, you’re unlikely to find the site yet. It takes Google, Bing and other search engines several days to index or record a site’s existence on the web.
Until then, kbjoneswrites.com is floating somewhere in the ethernet.
The odd thing is, though, if you’ve clicked on the link to this blog post, you’ve landed on my site. How is that possible?
Well, the site has a name and a location; it lives, so to speak, on a platform, waiting (and not very patiently) to be moored to some digital spot in the world-wide web, like some dangling participle longing to latch onto a subject to modify.