MT4 –> WP = Chewing Razor Blades

As some of you might suspect, instead of finishing those essays I’ve got halfway done, I’ve been very busy backing up and exporting my ScienceBlogs site, along with all my images, image links and reader comments to my wordpress blog. Considering the ethical disaster zone that the once-respectable ScienceBlogs has managed to transform itself into, and the possibility that the entire Sb site might suddenly disappear without warning, relying on WP as a mirror site until I decide upon the future of my blog is probably the wisest thing I can do. Except for one problem: The ScienceBlogs platform is Moveable Type 4 (MT4) whilst wordpress is .. well, Word Press.

Everyone seems to love WP, so when I went to import my MT4 blog three days ago, I did so blithely, lulled into a false sense of confidence about the success of this process. I felt even more confident when I found what appeared to be a nifty import function on WP where you can identify which platform your importing blog was published on, and there was one specifically designed for MT and Typepad. So far, so good.

But my calm was actually the same sort of calm that precedes a big storm. A hurricane in this case. After several hours importing my MT4 blog, I discovered that my many thousands of blog entries had been duplicated or triplicated, and reader comments had either not been imported at all, or they were imported and also duplicated or triplicated. Despite the assurances of the WP importer that it does not import the same material more than once. So I’ve spent the past frustrating three days deleting everything so I can start over, hopefully with just one of everything this time. Forgive me for my cynicism, but this duplication or triplication of an already existing resource sounds astonishingly like the new math used by American bankers to rip off millions of people who are already barely surviving as it is.

So currently, I am waiting for my most excellent colleague and good friend, Mark Chu Carroll (Good Math, Bad Math), to finish the script he’s writing to help with this import process.

What is my opinion of WP? I am not impressed, although I might change my mind after I’ve settled in. Am I leaving ScienceBlogs for good? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know what to do. And my readers, friends and fellow blog writers — people whom I respect and trust — have provided all sorts of insightful but conflicting advice. Am I moving to WP for good? I don’t know. I am in contact with several other “ScienceBlogs”-like sites who are offering a home, but I have “trust issues” at this time: WP is a home that gives me space and time to think before I make any binding decisions. Why am I setting up a WP blog? This site will act as a mirror for my ScienceBlogs content until I decide what I’ll do. It’s an insurance policy, if you will, since I do not trust Adam Bly to do the decent, honest or ethical thing under any circumstances where money is involved.

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About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. She writes the popular eponymous science blog hosted by The Guardian (UK) and is working on a popular science book about plumage colour. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots — and a slightly deaf spouse — somewhere in Germany. Grrlscientist's main blog is hosted by The Guardian, Grrlscientist. GrrlScientist's main blog can always be accessed through any one of these five domain names:,,,, and GrrlScientist writes a second blog, Maniraptora, at Nature Network. Online interviews with GrrlScientist: Kolibri Expeditions, ScienceOnline09, Nature Blog Network and ScienceBlogs. More biographical information about GrrlScientist.
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