Well, it’s that time again: renewing the hosting plan for my blog. To renew or not to renew, that is the question. How much is this blog worth to me in hard dollars and cents?
My hosting service is simply overpriced. Aside from requiring I offload most of my media files to another service for which I have to pay, my hosting service provides a really great service, but it’s way more than I need for the limited number of hits I get – just over 11,000 per year these days.
The cost of starting a plan with this host is far more reasonable. The renewal costs they advertise after the introductory deal are far more reasonable than my renewal cost. This feels like the digital landlord is once again trying to price gouge its existing residents. I personally find this irritating. And I simply don’t like having to deal with it every 2 years. Frankly, I hate it.
So, maybe it’s time to give up my blog for cost reasons.
Yelling into the Void
Everyone who knows me knows how I feel about the state of our nation. So, I’ve completely stopped writing about it. I felt like I was just venting into an abyss, and that exercise accomplished absolutely nothing.
It’s been very difficult, given my nature, to keep quiet about all of the hideous –very, very difficult. But I’ve said almost everything I had to say about it for years as it has been unfolding. I’ve made some spot on predictions that have come to be, sadly. And as the nation continues to slide further into the toilet, and it will until it is completely unrecognizable, my ranting and frothing will accomplish nothing. The cray cray1 will continue no matter. So why keep doing it? I decided to just stop.
So, maybe it’s time to give up my blog because I’m just tired of yelling into the void, which accomplishes nothing.
Social Media – a Bust
This personal blog has been my only active social media account now for 5 years2 . I gave up on all other forms of social media. They all are justing selling users’ content and toying with people for profit. Why would I want that?! Well, to keep up with what’s going on in people’s lives that I care about. However, the noise level was just too much. The constant manipulation for money became unbearable.
A little aside: And now Elon Musk is buying Twitter? He’s all for totally free speech until he can’t buy a kid’s twitter account that releases the current location of his private jet when it changes. Sounds like the billionaires want to keep their privacy while they sell and get rich off of everyone else’s. So he retaliates by buying the whole platform because, well, he can. God save us all from these obscenely wealthy spoiled brats.
So I kept my blog. I kept it as my only social media outlet. And it’s been completely free of advertising or any other money-making endeavors. It has been a tool to share my thoughts, ideas, perspective, life experiences. My blog has been a way to sift and sort, to pocket things I wanted to save or remember.
But I suspect that the vast majority of hits my blog gets are from Google searches and not from people following this as my social media outlet. And I’ve become less prone to post about things now as our internet service out here in the rural Pacific Northwest is ludicrously slow3
Oh, I forgot that I still do have a YouTube channel. But I hate Google’s insufferable advertising on the backs of content creators. And I have an account at 360Cities which actually gets a significant number of hits every year sharing and licensing some of my 360º panoramas. I need to actually blog about this.
So, maybe it’s time to give up the site for these reason.
A Change in the Purpose of My Writing
Instead of maintaining my personal blog with regularity, I have been journalling every day now for the past several (many, actually) years. I journal for myself, really, and nobody else. Maybe “social” media has come to an end for me? Maybe I’m in a new phase of personal reflection that isn’t designed to be shared with everybody?
So, maybe it’s time to give up the site for this reason.
18 Years Is a Long Time
I’ve had this blog now for 18 years! I find that amazing. But now that I’ve personally reached a new “age milestone,” now that we have a ranch with a bit of a significant workload for older guys to maintain, and now that I find less personal joy in my blog, maybe it’s time to close up shop?
Or should I try to make it to the 20 year mark and then call it quits? I don’t really want to suddenly have my blog just disappear. People might think I unexpectedly died.
And, if this pandemic ever ends enough to start traveling, I might start posting more of our travels. (Even though I have tons of posts and pictures from trips that we have already taken but have never been posted. Maybe I should post those when we finally get fiber to the house.)
Well, Maybe the Hosting Company Decides
It’s a really hard call for me to make because I have always enjoyed posting to my blog. Maybe the hosting company will decide this for me. If they give me a significantly better renewal deal than the one they are offering, I might stay. If not, I might just call it quits here at the old Reflection Connection.
Update! So, Here’s the Plan…
So, my hosting company decided to give me “an exceptional, one-time offer” of a 25% discount. This discount brings the renewal cost inline with what they are currently charging everyone else4 .
So, here’s the current plan: My blog, timtyson.us, will remain live and online for another 2 years, until its 20th birthday: March 19, 2024. During my blog’s final year I’ll look back and celebrate the blog’s past from time to time and say goodbye to the inter webs on March 19, 2024. I will close and take down the blog on it’s next renewal date, which will be April 27, 2024.5
At least that’s the plan for now.
my latest term for crazy insanity ↩
Our Ziply Fiber ISP has no zip and no fiber at this house. The name is totally false advertising as far as I’m concerned! A more accurate name would be Turtle DSL. I know we’re supposed to get a 1 gigabit fiber connection to the house in the next few months from our electric co-op, but, I’m not too sure that will lure me back to posting with more frequency. ↩
Not exactly sure why that’s considered “exceptional… ↩
This is all tied to my next hosting renewal date, which will be April 27, 2024. This blog was always only designed for sharing, not making money. And to provide a decent user experience, you have to go with one of A2 Hosting’s “turbo plans” or page loads are insufferably slow. I have always placed a premium on making the user experience here as fast as possible. They now charge a premium to do that.
I could do what many bloggers do: use ads. But no. This blog is about sharing, not money. In my opinion advertising sullies the entire user experience. Remember, I have always wanted readers/visitors to have an enjoyable user experience. Personally, I immediately close any internet page I visit that is loaded with advertising, especially those wretched pop up ads that start playing hideous animations or video. I don’t want to read anything badly enough to suffer through that noise.
The cost of hosting has skyrocketed through the years. In the early years, I hosted timtyson.us for a mere $20 a year! With inflation, that cost would now be $29.04. Trust that it’s vastly more (many, many hundreds of dollars more) than that now!
Frankly, I’m sick of haggling with A2 Hosting every 2 years. They play a little game of increasing rates for existing customers while dropping rates for new ones. If you threaten to leave them, they eventually give you the same renewal rates they give their new customers as “a one time offer.” I’m over this. They try to capitalize on that fact that changing hosting companies is complicated, time consuming and has a big learning curve for their brand-specific control panels. No more. ↩