Changes Coming to R-Squared
At the end of the week, I have to go to New Zealand for 10 days. As is often the case, my posting will be limited while I am traveling. Any time I travel, this always highlights one of the major weaknesses with a personal blog: Traffic is driven by new content, and if there is no new content for a week, traffic falls off. For this, and other reasons detailed below, I have decided that I would make some changes to the operation of this blog. I believe that they will ultimately result in a better experience for readers.
There are multiple reasons for making the changes. In addition to the travel issue, the blog is taking up more of my time. But a large portion of that is due to peripheral issues. Each morning I have to clear out a lot of spam, make template changes as needed, and deal with any technical issues.
Second, I don’t like Blogger’s comment structure. It becomes difficult to keep up with who said what, and then when comments exceed 200 in number, it becomes difficult to find the newer ones.
Third, I have a great number of technically savvy readers. My readers have shown that they have a lot to contribute. They frequently bring my attention to new energy stories, and they often post links to new stories. I have always felt like we needed a forum where readers can start their own discussions – and then discussions needn’t fall off if I am traveling.
If there is a noteworthy or controversial energy-related news story (e.g., the Bloom Box), instead of posting a link in the comments following the latest essay, I want readers to have the ability to start that topic themselves. That would also open up the discussions so that they aren’t so dependent upon me posting something new. I am always hesitant to post on areas that I don’t know a lot about, but with more reader-driven content the discussions could become more diverse.
I have been thinking about this change for over a year, but never quite found a good solution. Now I have found a solution (or maybe the solution found me) to all of these issues, but it requires migrating my blog to a different place. After a number of discussions with Sam Avro, founder and editor of Consumer Energy Report (CER), I have decided to base my blog there. CER is a comprehensive site for all things energy-related. It covers the spectrum from fossil fuels to alternative energy to politics to investments.
Over the next week or so, my blog will migrate there. You can read about CER’s mission here, which is consistent with my mission to have serious, thoughtful discussions on energy issues. But by combining with CER, I will have access to more tools than I have now. You can check out the new blog format here:
There will be a discussion forum for readers to start their own threads:
Readers who wish to participate in the forum will need to go through a 30-second registration procedure (Link here). It simply requires a user name and an e-mail address (which will not be shared, nor will it be publicly visible). This should help to minimize the spam. I also believe that this will facilitate civil discussions.
There will be a redirect from this blog starting later this week. Hopefully readers will come and join the discussions there. I will continue to post on a regular basis. It will still be “R-Squared”, just under a different roof with a number of improvements.
I want to build on the foundation that Sam and his staff have put together so that I can take R-Squared to another level. But it is of utmost importance to make sure it is a good experience for readers. We are open to suggestions from readers, and happy to answer any questions you may have. I believe Sam will be stopping by to introduce himself in the comments.
Questions, comments, or concerns?