Goodbye My Porch, Hello Hogglestock

shutterstock_227271592I decided recently that I was really tired of the look of my old blogspot blog. I’ve been working on a new blog for work and helping develop a new website and became so dazzled by the possibilities that I began to find My Porch very, very dowdy. For years I’ve been annoyed with the clumsy way Blogger handles text and after seeing what WordPress had to offer and how clean all the text looks, I just couldn’t bear another month with blogspot.

My intention was to just transfer everything from My Porch over but I ran into two challenges. I was trying to figure out how to take my ‘Google juice’ with me. After almost 9 years of blogging I really didn’t want to give up my digital footprint. After much research and even trying to hire someone to migrate my blog to save my Google juice, I just decided I didn’t give a rip. I am going to do a few things to get redirects in place but if they don’t work I guess I will have to start over.

My second challenge was that the title My Porch no longer really worked. I still like the notion of sitting on a porch chatting about books and music and travel and food, but when I put up various banner images on the new blog and none of them were of porches I could barely handle the cognitive dissonance. And then when John brought it up I decided it was a bridge too far. So then I decided to do what I had previously thought unthinkable. I decided to change the name of my blog. Forget the fact that I have been Thomas at My Porch since 2006. Forget that my email address was onmyporch. Forget that my Twitter handle was also My Porch related. It jut seemed like time for a new world order.

So how in the hell did I ever come up with Hogglestock? Since I decided to pay $18 for a domain so that I don’t have a dot wordpress url, I really wanted something that was a single word. After much trying and a little research I discovered that pretty much every word in the English language has been registered as a domain name since about 2006. That would explain why adumbrate.com wasn’t available. Then I thought of choosing a name based on a fictional character. I thought of becoming Mr. Samgrass after the character in Brideshead Revisited. But as much as I love Brideshead I’m not a universal Waugh fan so that seemed a little too specific. Although I must say that the officious partypooper Mr. Samgrass does have more than a few things in common with me.

So then I thought about trying Trollope. Certainly my favorite Victorian novelist and full of made up names and place names. And then I narrowed it down to three possibilities. Bundlesham, Utterden, and Hogglestock. All are fictional place names in Trollope’s novels and each had its pluses and minuses. I swore Amanda at Fig and Thistle to secrecy and asked for her opinion and John also chimed in before I settled on Hogglestock. For those of you who don’t recognize the name right off the bat, Hogglestock was the name of the parish belonging to the Revd Josiah Crawley in the Barsetshire series. It may be a hideous, depressingly poor place, but the name was too good to pass up and I am definitely a fan of the Barsetshire books.

So here we are. My Porch is a thing of the past (although most of my 1,200 posts and your 9,047 comments are available here) and Hogglestock is a fresh new day. Same content, different look. I hope you continue to like me my blog.

It may take a minute or two to get some of my lists posted on Hogglestock, but fear not they will return.

49 thoughts on “Goodbye My Porch, Hello Hogglestock

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 7:11 am

      Thank you! I am glad you like it.

      Like

  1. Bettina Grissen April 25, 2015 / 2:48 am

    Congratulations with your new place here on the internet. It looks really nice and I do like the name. I only have to place this new blog under my favorites and I will be able to follow you again.
    Enjoy yourself at Hogglestock!

    Kind regards,

    Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 7:10 am

      Thank you. I certainly am liking the comments capability.

      Like

  2. Astrid (Mrs.B of The Literary Stew) April 25, 2015 / 6:19 am

    Congratulations on your new site! I too am frustrated with the blogger interface so much so that I’ve only blogged a few times in the last couple of years. I don’t know the first thing about moving to a new domain. I asked a blogger designer once and she was charging me 1000 dollars for a new domain and design! I’ll have to figure it out on my own one of these days.
    I’m not familiar with Hogglestock because I haven’t read Trollope yet. Where do you suggest I start?

    Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 7:09 am

      Except for the Google juice thing I wrote about it was actually quite easy. There is an export feature on Blogger where you save a file that contains all your stuff, then you go to WordPress and import that file. WordPress does the rest. All my posts and comments loaded pretty flawlessly. My extra pages with things like my book lists didn’t transfer but that is okay I kind of wanted to redo those any way. WordPress has plenty of free templates and you can get a name free as well unless you want one that doesn’t have the dot wordpress dot com extension. It definitely takes a bit of getting used to the features and menus, but not too bad.

      As for Trollope, I started with The Warden and think that is a good place to start. It is the first one in his Barsetshire series and it is pretty short, especially by Trollope’s standards.

      Like

  3. lakesidemusing April 25, 2015 / 7:40 am

    Love the name and the look. Perfectly timed for Trollope’s Bicentenary, too!
    Hope you enjoy many happy years at your new online home, Thomas.

    Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 7:42 am

      Thanks. It does seem rather fitting doesn’t it, although I must say I didn’t plan it that way.

      Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 8:29 am

      Thank you. I’m glad to be here.

      Like

  4. Cosy Books April 25, 2015 / 8:00 am

    The new look is clean and fresh but when blogging comes up at the dinner table I’m afraid you’re still going to be referred to as ‘My Porch Thomas’. I’ll let you know how long the transition takes. By the way, your mapping London project is much appreciated! I’m heading there in a couple of weeks and made a note to find a copy of Look at Me. Looks like there’s tons of London porn in that one!

    Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 8:29 am

      I just finished A Friend From England. Marble Arch appears a lot in that one. I’ll have to try and get that up before you go. I feel like Thomas Hogglestock kind of trips off the tongue.

      Like

  5. Cal April 25, 2015 / 8:16 am

    Congratulations on migrating to WordPress (I’ve been a big fan ever since starting with it back before the Punic Wars). Love the template you chose (which one is it???) and the new name, so glad you decided on a new platform rather than abandoning the blog. I’m still trying to learn how to compress the reviews of the books I read into a few pithy sentences like the ones that you routinely manage to write for the books you read.

    Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 8:27 am

      I find it easy to write short reviews because I find it hard to write long ones. The template is called Plane I think.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 8:26 am

      Ooh, I am glad you noticed that it changes.

      Like

  6. Cal April 25, 2015 / 8:48 am

    Postscript to previous comment: Have duly updated the links to your new blog name in both my blogs (the Atlanta Booklover’s Blog and my personal blog, under its “Bibliophilia” section).

    Like

  7. Literary Relish April 25, 2015 / 8:50 am

    Oh this is awesome. The wonders of WordPress. Simon S pushed me to leave Blogspot ages ago and I was so relieved when I did as the blog looked so naff and I just had so many limitations as to what I could do. Hogglestock looks fab 🙂 Plus, when I enjoy your post but don’t have anything intelligent or meaningful to say (standard) I can simply lurk and ‘like’ stuff. yey!

    Like

  8. Christine Harding April 25, 2015 / 10:00 am

    Good luck in your new home – it looks nice and crisp and fresh, and it’s easy to negotiate, and anything with a Trollope connection is OK by me!

    Like

  9. Joan Kyler April 25, 2015 / 10:38 am

    Great new name! Trollope is a favorite of mine, too. I’m glad you could bring most of My Porch with you. Congratulations on a lovely new blog space.

    Like

  10. Nadia April 25, 2015 / 11:24 am

    I love the new name and look of your blog! Congrats!! Looking forward to reading your posts at your new place, Hogglestock 🙂

    Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 4:27 pm

      I know, now my post needs to live up to the hype.

      Like

    • Thomas April 25, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      I wasn’t finding what I wanted for a template on WordPress so I went to look at Nonsuch Book thinking it was WordPress only to find you use TypePad. So I second guessed my decision for a bit but decided not to open up that can of worms. Especially since I already had purchased the domain on WordPress.

      Like

  11. leonie April 25, 2015 / 8:34 pm

    Great Thomas xxxx

    Like

  12. q April 25, 2015 / 11:52 pm

    Congratulations. Love the new hogglestock…or are u now Mr hogglestock…i am already seeing wardrobe changes…mmmm…
    Very clean appearance. Though i will miss your blog list u follow…i use to use it to cheat when reading blogs..just grab the interesting ones off your list.
    I just finished The Warden….and so love your choice…i think it is the best of the 3.
    Enjoy your new home (does that mean you’ve moved in off the porch to a new cosy home)
    quinn

    Like

    • Thomas April 26, 2015 / 7:29 am

      For all my time travel fantasy, it never extends to the wardrobe. Comfortable cotton for me.

      Like

  13. q April 25, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    p.s.
    I want that Hogglestock Library (on your banner) in my home….may I have it please, please, please?
    Have big fun in your new home…quinn

    Like

    • Thomas April 26, 2015 / 7:29 am

      That is a stock image I found so I am not even sure where that library is.

      Like

  14. heavenali April 26, 2015 / 5:42 am

    Lovely to see you here – wordpress is so much easier to comment on. Great name I love it.

    Like

  15. Kateg April 26, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    Love your new look and I find WordPress easier to follow. Kept hitting the back button at first looking for the porch and wondering who hogglestock was. I read The Warden in my history of the British novel course in college and remember none of it after 30+ years, so I need to do a reread. Congratulations on your new space!

    Like

    • Thomas April 27, 2015 / 5:19 pm

      I would have loved to have read Trollope for a class. Would have been fun to discuss him in a classroom setting. Alas, I took no lit classes in college.

      Like

  16. Geoff W April 27, 2015 / 10:32 am

    YAY! I wanted to comment on My Front Porch so much more often than I did but the Blogger and WordPress meshing was the worst! Welcome to WordPress, love the new layout!

    Like

    • Thomas April 27, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      I knew that Blogger was problematic with comments but never realized how much until I made this switch. I love that lurkers will be more apt to turn into commenters.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ti April 27, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    Hello there.

    Like

  18. Audrey April 27, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    What a nice way to celebrate the bicentennial (even if you weren’t necessarily trying to! …) I’m going to be very disappointed if, when I get to Hogglestock (which book will that be?), there’s no Miss Adumbrate in residence. Sir Adumbrate? Angela Thirkell would have one in hers…

    Like

    • Thomas April 28, 2015 / 5:01 pm

      His name is Iolanthe Adumbrate.

      Like

  19. Pam April 27, 2015 / 6:11 pm

    Thomas, I too love the look of Hogglestock. I’m making a trip to the DC area this summer and thought you would be the person to ask about used book stores. I’m familiar with Capital Hill Books (I think that is the name) and Second Story Books, also Politics and Prose. Are there others I’m missing?

    Like

    • Thomas April 28, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      If you are looking for recentish stuff for trade paperback reading copies, Books for America is a charity shop and just a few blocks from Second Story. The Lantern in Georgetown is another charity shop run by Bryn Mawr Alumae and their fiction section has a bit more age to it–in a good way. And when Simon from stuckinabook.com was in DC he discovered a brand new charity shop called Carpe Libre somewhere downtown near or in the Penn Quarter.

      Like

      • Pam April 30, 2015 / 9:07 am

        Thank you! I’ve noted them all.

        Like

  20. Christy April 30, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    Congratulations on taking the plunge of changing your platform and blog name! I of course didn’t mind your earlier blog name, but Hogglestock is pretty great. I’m planning on joining JoAnn and others in completing the #6Barsets by reading Doctor Thorne in May. (I read the first two a few years ago). I am happy that you’re on wordpress now (so easy to comment!) I have toyed with the idea of switching to the paid version. We’ll see.

    Like

  21. letihawthorn May 1, 2015 / 6:40 am

    Hi – very keen to read the DE Stevenson as i have read others. My friend lives in Maine and would love to read it too (I’m in the UK). Is the title still available?

    Like

  22. Kateg May 1, 2015 / 6:02 pm

    Just saw an article from last week’s The New Yorker (May4,2015) about why Trollope is trending and has been popular for the last 40 years. I could not copy the link, but it seems really interesting (have only glanced through it will read it later when I get back from dinner and I am running late!).

    Like

    • Thomas May 1, 2015 / 6:08 pm

      I saw that too, but haven’t read it yet either. Recently they also wrote about Barbara Pym. I wonder which of my other favorite dead authors they will write about next.

      Like

  23. lonesomereadereric May 7, 2015 / 11:02 am

    Great looking new blog & love the name Hogglestock (though I never would have got the reference in a million years without you saying). I’ve updated my link to your blog on my blog. If I were going to start over again making a blog I would have made a WordPress site. SquareSpace has a lot of good features and really easy to use, but some of those features prohibit me doing other things and I’ve had several complaints about problems with commenting on posts. Makes me wonder if I should move over to WordPress as well.

    Like

    • Thomas May 7, 2015 / 2:07 pm

      Thanks Eric. I am glad I made the switch. I have to admit I have left some pretty detailed comments on your blog only to have them disappear. I didn’t want to be a complainer though.

      Like

  24. Anthony Shafton July 24, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    Re: Anita Brookner’s character Mrs. Duff in The Misalliance: This is the first of her novels to show a crack in the dualism of vice/virtue, or selfish/innocent, or pagan-natural/Christian-fallen, first, by referring to Plato’s Philebus, where, B says, Socrates proposes a third term between pleasure and virtue (which may be honor, or Blanche may think it so); and then, by the lovely Mrs. Duff scenes which you call to our attention. B seems to acknowledge with Mrs. Duff that real pleasure can be integrated into a virtuous life. And you may remember that it’s in the same stretch of the book that B first recognizes that the selfish may pay a price in life.
    It’s been many years since I read B. I’m looking forward to see if the complexification I think I detect gets developed.
    All the best,

    Like

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