flowing motion

Migrating from WordPress.com to self-hosted

My overall goal here is to organize my online assets and my specific goal right now is to move my 2 year old blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress blog on Dreamhost.  Though self-hosting costs a monthly fee and takes more maintenance, self-hosting allows me to control the theme, get Google Analytics and use advertisements.

So far, I have completed these steps

  • I bought a domain name, jojordan.org
  • I made a neat frontend for my domain using Posterous and connected it to the domain name that is housed at Dreamhost
  • I set up a sub-domain on Dreamhost flowingmotion.wordpress.om
  • I used Dreamhost’s one One Click install to set up WordPress including an admin account
  • I zipped a theme that I had edited on my local host version of WordPress and tested it on a dummy account

Uploading a theme

Now I am ready to import my own theme to my self-hosted version of WordPress.

I don’t need to login into Dreamhost.  I simply go to my browser and type in the address of my blog:  http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org/wp-admin and login in as admin (not me).

Now I can go to Appearance in left side bar and Add Theme.  I use Upload and Browse to upload the them from my hard drive.  Activate. Check. Done!

Setting up permalinks

Now the last task before I come to get the content here is to match the permalink style on my self-hosted blog to the style here.  If I don’t do that, then the post titles are going to get scribbled and people won’t be able to follow old links and bookmarks to find the posts.  I may as well leave them behind, in other words.

To prep the permalinks, I look at the bottom of the left sidebar, choose Settings/permalinks, and and choose the 2nd option, day and name.  Check they are same as usual.

Ready to import content

Now if I am right, I am ready to import content.  I will come to my hosted blog, go to dashboard and export all the content to my hard drive.  This usually trips up over size and timing.   As can never remember what I wrote, I will write it down this time and make post 5 in this series!

But that will be from the new blog!  See you on the other side!

My Online Strategy

My online strategy includes

  • My own domain name jojordan.org (that I bought through Dreamhost and will renew annually with them or somebody)
  • A front page for jojordan.org to have a smart CV to add to the bottom of emails’s.  I made that on (free) Posterous and “redirect” it to my domain name at Dreamhost.
  • A blog that I used to keep on WordPress.com (the free version).  I am going to move that to Dreamhost now, and pay for hosting.  Why do I want to do that?  So I can control the theme, get Google Analytics and have the freedom to advertise.

Steps in self-hosting WordPress on Dreamhost

To make a WordPress shell on Dreamhost, I must go through 3 steps.  Then I’ll be ready to pretty it up before I import it and attend to SEO (let the world know it is there).

#1  Set up a sub-domain

Because I am redirecting my Posterous blog to my domain name,  jojordan.org, that domain is no longer available to host my wordpress blog.  I need to make a subdomain, which I will call flowingmotion.jojordan.org.  I thought of using blog.jojordan.org.  It is shorter and easier to remember but some people already know my work as flowingmotion and flowing motion tells those in the know I am interested in a holistic paradigm of psychology.  Using a subdomain does mean though, that my my domain, jojordan.org, won’t benefit from the pagerank that I have already accumulated on Flowingmotion.

To set up my subdomain, I . . .

  • Log in to Dreamhost
  • Look for Manage Domains on the right sidebar
  • Choose Add a Domain
  • Type in flowingmotion.jojordan.org
  • Submit, and all is done.  Wait a bit and I should be able to access it from my browser: http://flowingmotion.jojordan.org

Now when I got to Manage Domains, the Dreamhost screen looks like this.  Notice my jojordan.org is not fully hosted because the physical asset of the blog is actually over on the Posterous computer.   Dreamhost is now expecting me to put something in space reserved for flowing motion, and, the world can find it.  If I put nothing there, a visitor will just see an “old fashioned looking” list of generic files.

#2 Create a WordPress shell

So I have a space on a computer waiting for something and the world can find it.  I am going to load up the WordPress framework into the space.

Dreamhost has a One Click Install.  Choose it in right side-bar.  Then chose the Advanced option (can’t remember why – tip I picked up on the net).  Make sure the radio button for WordPress is selected.

Whiz down to the button and make sure Dreamhost will link to the right sub-domain.  Submit.

Wait ten minutes or so.  You should get an email saying everything is done!  So easy!

#3  Create an admin account on WordPress

When the email arrives, follow the link.  You are asked for a blog name and an email address and then given a password.  Cut and paste the password in the login for admin and IMMEDIATELY change your password to something you can remember.

Done!  You have wordpress loaded up.  Now you are back on familiar territory of adding a theme, etc.

Next steps

I have already edited a theme on my own laptop and I am going to zip that into a file and try loading it up.

Then I’ll import my content from WordPress.com.

The final stages will be to add plugins, set up Google Analytics, add the spam catcher Akismet, connect to Feedburner and most importantly, set up redirects from WordPress.com so that anyone who is looking for me is redirected to my new address.

So next step.  Have a go at importing a theme.

Comments very welcome!

Neat and tidy Posterous

I use a (free) Posterous blog as a tidy frontend to “serve” my CV at the end of emails and so on.  Here it is jojordan.org.

Redirect a Posterous blog to your own domain name

First, of course, you must buy a domain name.  Once you’ve done that, you will need to direct your Posterous blog to the domain name.

(PS You can buy a domain name through Posterous .  I didn’t; but it looks possible.)

Dreamhost

I bought my Domain name through Dreamhost and I intend to keep other assets on their computers, that is, use them to host some of my online assets.

“Redirecting” my Posterous account to Dreamost

My Posterous account will stay on the Posterous computer though.  But I want people who look for jojordan.org to be redirected there without them having to do anything extra.

The word “redirecting” is confusing, because it suggests the Posterous blog moves over to Dreamhost.  The opposite happens.  People looking for my Posterous blog will be sent by the world-wide internet system to Dreamhost who will redirect them, without them even noticing, to Posterous.

Settings on Dreamhost to “redirect” my visitors to Posterous

To setup Dreamhost to perform this magic redirection, you need to login in to Dreamhost and look in the left sidebar.  Pick manage domains.  Choose the domain that you will be linking to Posterous.  Then choose DNS.  You will get a wider screen. In the middle is the following information.

Copy the settings.  The numbers  in the second last line is the IP address of Posterous.  You will use your domain name throughout, of course, not mine.  The CNAME setting has the effect of allowing people to type your domain name without the www and finding you nonetheless.

Posterous settings

On the Posterous side, all you have to do is login, go to Manage (top menu bar), choose settings (tab one-third down) and type in your domain name.  It all looks like this.

The link up will take at least 30 minutes (the world wide web is a physically big place!).  Beware too, that once Posterous is directing to your domain name, if you break the Dreamhost side you won’t be able to get into Posterous because the WWW will still redirect anyone looking for http://yourblogname.posterous.com  to the domain at Dreamhost.  You are effectively locked out!  So remember to disconnect the Posterous end before you fiddle!

Problems

Let me know if you have any problems and I’ll adjust these instructions.  It’s sometime since I did this; though I did manage to lock myself out of Posterous today.  I got back in again with a bit of Googling and reading so, all good.  Patience and tolerance of geeky English and it comes together.

3 reasons to self-host a WordPress blog

I am planning to migrate my two year old blog on WordPress.com to a self-hosted version (WordPress.com).  The advantages of self-hosting are three

  • I can choose any theme I like
  • I can link up to Google Analytics that will tell me lot more about my traffic
  • I can add advertisements

Online strategy

I prepared for the big migration by thinking about my online strategy.  Despite wanting to put some adverts on it, my blog is not part of my commercial strategy.  I use it think things out and to write regularly.  It is a notepad where I develop, rather than sell ideas.

Ideally, I want it to link to my “CV” sites and to use its page rank to boost other online ventures.

Online organization

As I dallied, a tai chi outfit in the states snapped up flowingmotion. com.  My names is rather common as well.  So I settled on this strategy.

  • Buy a domain in my name (jojordan.org)
  • Take up jojordanorg on Facebook
  • Set up an central organizing point on a free Posterous blog and redirect it to jojordan.org
  • Make my blog a sub-domain of jojordan.org (flowingmotion.jojordan.org).

The reason I did this is because Posterous makes a good-looking front end CV site where I can link out to all my CV assets – Linkedin, Xing, Slideshare, etc.  It’s easy to redirect the Posterous blog to my domain jojordan.org which is hosted by Dreamhost.

I thought for a moment that I could host the blog at jojordan.org/flowingmotion and take full advantage of its page rank; but it seems not.  So a sub-domain it is:  http://flowingmotion.wordpress.com.

Costs and maintenance

In summary,

  • I’ve purchased a domain name http://jojordan.org.  I bought it through Dreamhost and will need to pay for an annual renewal.  At the time of the renewal, I could move it to another host/registrant like GoDaddy, if I want to.
  • I set up a “permanent” CV front end with Posterous.  That blog stays with them for free and I redirect it to the domain at Dreamhost.  This seems counter-intuitive because it is working the other way. People go to http://jojordan.org and they are redirected to Posterous.
  • I am now taking my blog hosted for free at WordPress.com and I am moving to Dreamhost.  I will pay them a monthly fee for hosting my blog on their computers but the software will come for free from WordPress.org.  I will use a free theme which I have edited to suit me.

Clear so far?  I need to add the instructions for redirecting the Posterous blog to Dreamhost because that tripped me up the first time I did it.

Now I am going to set up the “full hosting” for the WordPress blog.

Sleeping, resting or procrastinating before a big task

Have you ever noticed that minute you have to sit down to do a big task, such as write a paper, or get up to do a big task, like hoover the house, you want to go to sleep?  You dither, you fuss, you try to talk yourself out of it.  And you waste hours getting cross with yourself but doing nothing?

Procrastination is sane

Well you are in good company.  Sane company.  Your body is resisting being enveloped in one distracting task.  It knows better.  It knows everything else goes to wrack and ruin while you attend to this one big thing.  At best, it wants a good rest before your start.

Work little-and-often

So how do you get round your dilly-dallying?  Fussing and cursing certainly doesn’t help.  It just wastes time.

The secret is in little-and-often.  Yup, little-and-often.

Folks, 15 minutes is a long time for our alert, sociable, curious human brains.  Go much beyond 15 minutes, and you body will protest (in advance).  You might need an enveloping time slot of an hour to do that 15 minutes of work.  In reality, you are only going to do 5 or 10 minutes, but you will need a buffer zone to remember what you were doing, get out your tools, do the work, and put it away.

What work can be done little-and-often?

How can you do this, you cry?

Successful people work little-and-often.  That is why they are successful.

Successful professors, by which I mean professors who publish 7x as much as the run-of-the-mill professor publishing at 1x, get up earlyish each day and put aside 1 to 1.5 hours to write something, anything.

They get up. They go to their desk.  They look at what they were doing yesterday.  And they do a bit more.  And the next day rinse-and-repeat.

And they don’t break the chain.  They work little-and-often daily.  Because when they take a break, they’ve added the additional task of trying to remember what they were doing.   And then the task gets too big.

They write daily.  Adding something.  If they have two productive slots of 15 minutes in 1.5 hours.  Great!  But they just get something done.

When they have a real break, like a long vacation, they start again.  They get up. They go to their desk.  And they start work.  The first few days might be spent in remembering.  But they don’t get stressed.  That is the beginning point.  Because they have good work habits, they know the work will get done.

But what should I work on little-and-often first thing in the morning?

The trick though, is knowing our priorities.  What is the big task that we will attend to regularly and get finished as a landmark of achievement?

Professors have a simple (though remarkably bruising) work life.  They publish. They teach.  They do community/university service.  But they are only promoted for what is written and published.

So their priorities are clear.  The first and essential task everyday is to write – with a conference in journal in mind.  Then they go to campus and teach and “do” research for the next paper – tasks that are so much easier because they are sociable.   Their “day-job” is relaxed ,setting up a feed for the real job, that cocooned writing time first thing every morning.

Can we copy the little-and-often work routine of successful professors?

When we are procrastinating, we can be sure that we’ve left a task get too big for a series of 15 minute slots.  Or, we have left it too late and we have to do it in one fell swoop.  If nothing else, this is what university life teaches you.  Work little and often.  And begin.  Begin before you are ready.

To get into a comfortable working rhythm, we need to

  • Establish priorities (ONE, and two, three – no more)
  • Do what we are judged on first, before the house gets noisy.
  • Then do the feeder tasks during the day.

The solution is not reducing procrastination.  The solution is knowing our career priorities.  What are we judged on?  If we are judged on published papers, then we need to go one step back – where do they come from – we write them.  So writing is the main task.

How do we write?  Well, while we are writing one article, we are preparing for the next.  But without interfering with the main task.  Which is done in small time slots, little and often, beginning immediately.  The writing is the main task that must be protected.

The trick is understanding our priorities.  But that is hard.  A good mentor might spell out what we need to do.  Until w have those 3 priorities clear in our mind, then we will  be stressed and uncomfortable.

If we are in a readjustment phase,  and not clear about our priorities, we might have to weather the discomfort for while, but we shouldn’t let that stop us moving towards that clarity.  That is the hallmark of success and a comfortable, achieving life.  Clear priorities.

What will I work on daily, little-and-often?

What I promise

27 September 2009

I think I have kept my promise

flowing motion is approaching its 2nd birthday – well near enough for me to think about its party.

It deserves a party.  Blogging has been fun – more fun than I thought it would be.

From the outset, flowing motion was my miscellaneous blog.  I had purposeful projects elsewhere.

This is where I posted notes on books I was reading, and things I was thinking about, as they came up and without much of a plan.

flowing motion rapidly became my best blog.  It blossomed as I followed what I love.  And as I followed what I love, it blossomed too.

Two years’ ago, my preoccupations were

1.  What is positive psychology and how will working positively change my core trade – work & organizational psychology? (I can’t say occupational psychology because that is a protected label now in the UK).

2.  What is the mytho-poetic of management and can a strait-laced work & organizational psychologists wander around the corporate world talking about poetry?

3.  What is social media?  What are the hacks for using it efficiently?  How will social media change the way we work and in turn, the work of work & organizational psychologists?

4.  Why hasn’t the thinking of complexity theorists made great inroads into management practice?  Or, have I been missing something?

These themes may feel disparate but I knew enough about psychology and management to know that they have a common core.  What was missing was some plain-language renditions.

So, I read. And I wrote

And I wrote often.  It is so much fun writing knowing that occasionally somebody reads what we write – voluntarily – not because I told them to.

And I watched my stats and I set goals.  I was reminded of the variability of performance metrics.  It is good to apply our psychology to our own ventures.  And I noticed myself become more fluent.  Gradually, I began to explain the complicated notions of my field in simpler language.

After two years

I have well over 1000 pages.  Some are badly written.  Some repeat what I said in earlier posts.  I have enough material for a book or two – if I cared to write one.

Next

Because blogs are basically a chronicle record – organized by dates (despite pages, categories and tags), it is time to organize the work of the last two years and see what might emerge from the effort.

I’ve created a server on my desktop, downloaded a copy of WordPress, and ‘slurped’ my old posts.  I have an index in an excel file and I need to start printing, discarding, organizing and rewriting.

I think I will experiment with a magazine format or wiki, in lieu of a an ebook.  We’ll see.  Content first.

Will the effort produce worthwhile insight and clarity for a noobe to the field?

Carrying on

And in the meantime, I write on.  I chase my metrics, and set new goals for my content.

My blog leads me.  It shows me the path.   It allows me to truly achieve that terrifying feat suggested by positive organizational scholars:

build  a bridge while I walk on it!

Hopes

Next for me is carving out the work & organizational psychology of  social mediated business and business in social media companies.  Next for me is thinking of work & organizational psychology as design.  Next for me is integrating the new world of psychology with sound principles but at the same time jettisoning the ridiculous adherence to positivism – not to be confused with positive scholarship.

Time for a new world.   Time for another exciting two years.

Original Manifesto

I love working. I love doing my work. I like the idea of work. I like what we do with work. I love our audaciousness in flying aeroplanes and operating on hearts. I love our gritty planting of crops each season. I love the optimism of a youngster looking for her first job. I love the depth of knowledge of a person who has tended his craft for decade after decade.

I’ve made working my living. Not only do I put in the hours, as a work psychologist, that’s all I do. I think, live and breathe work.

This blog is not going to be organized. There is nothing in particular that I want to achieve. I am just going to blog useful tidbits that I find out about work from day-to-day. Or that I remember in response to something that I read, hear or do. I hope you find it useful. Use what you like. Give me a shout if anything is wrong. Offer a guest post if you have something to say.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

26 June 2008

I’ve been running this blog now for just over 7 months.  I am thinking now to focus it a little around a simple project

“what it means to train yourself as a positive psychologist to work in the 21st century with managers and organizations who developed in the 20th century”

  • What are the challenges of the positive psychology?
  • How do we do positive psychology at work?
  • Is there a positive HR?
  • Is there a positive management?
  • What are the challenges of the 21st century?
  • How is positive psychology influenced by these changes?
  • How does positive psychology contribute to a positive 21st century?

I may re-jig this as I go and I would be happy for comments – on the blog and on the journey to become a positive work psychologists in the 21st century.

5 January 2009

I am looking at what I said 6 months ago and I think I have answered many of these questions.  I’ve been feeling for a long time that I need to organize my posts and my good friend and web solutions provider, Paul Imre, agrees.

In the last few weeks, I’ve got into the numbers game wanting to drive my hit rate up.  Oddly, at the same time I achieved a little more interest in my positive posts which have gradually overtaken ‘law of attraction’, ‘batman’, “am I good looking” [a lesson in SEO for me’ and the recession.  I’m pleased about that.  And I am pleased to be gettting a lot more comments.  Oddly my page rank has dropped though that might be because I cleaned up some old blogs.

So where to next? Ned, loyal writing coach, thinks I should concentrate on what ordinary people want from work.  He makes the point that ordinary people don’t associate positive with work.  Yes, that is why the positive movement in management and psychology is growing.  We like our work and we don’t see why you shouldn’t too.  In fact I am outraged that isn’t the case.  I believe it should be possible for everyone to carve out a career they love and any unhappines should both strictly temporary.   So maybe that is what I should write about.  The question will be whether I can shuck the habits of academic and bureaucratic writing.

There is also the question of the recession.  It seems that more and more people think it will be “deep”.  The jury is out on its length.  Probably only a minority believe that it really challenges the economic system as we know it.  They are outweighed right now by people who have faith in Obama’s ability to lead us to a fairer world order.  Navigating our way as individuals will  be very hard without a good grasp of what is going on and how it is reshaped the opportunities we had and offering new opportunities we had never imagined.

So maybe I am going with Ned.  Then, I will need a much better layout and even a forum.  Hmm, don’t want to abandon the page rank that I’ve got.

And should I remain anonymous?  I know that is frowned on but there were reasons at the beginning and really people should read for content!  But if I am am offering advice rather than hust sorting out my thoughts, then people should know who I am.

Nothing like writing to clarify ideas.  So decision made.  I am going with Ned. I probably need an elementary game plan.  It won’t be much, but it will be more than I had when I started 14 months ago.  And people who stop by, thanks. Today, first working day of 2009 was a record day for hits here.  Really, thanks.

There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of blogs out here in the blogoshere on HR, on psychology, on positive development, on management, on productivity, on running your business.  We don’t really need another one, particularly one dedicated to the esoteric features of HR, running an organization, choosing a career, and making your way in the business world.  Or do we?

Serious ideas for fun and prosperous workplaces

This blog is intended for people who are fairly serious about the people-side of a business, who read widely, and yet are practical and look for ideas-turned-into-method that they can use in contemporary workplaces.

The good, the true, the better and the possible

The blog is biased towards the emerging field of ‘positive organizational scholarship’, which is not to be confused with positive thinking or positivism.  20th century thinking assumes that the person at the top is all-knowing and all-seeing.  The ‘commander’ defines the direction and the ‘ground that we should capture’.  Our task is to follow and implement.

Positive organizational scholarship abandons that idea.  No one is capable of defining direction and by the time we have defined it, it is too late.  The opportunity has passed.

The task of 21st century organizations is to be nimble, flexible and resilient – ready to move quickly and defining our objectives on the move.  It is what we have always done.  We just acknowledge it now.

The task of management scholars is to describe how we do this and to help us talk and think more clearly about what we are doing.  This blog is about that emerging conversation.

How are organizations nimble?  How can we describe them?  And what are the advantages of talking about them more articulately?

Me

I write this blog from a small town in England, United Kingdom.  Olney is on the Great Ouse which flows across several counties.  About 8000 souls live here and we are in the Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton triangle.  We are in commuting distance of London and the Midlands and all the international airports in the south.

I am a work & organizational psychologist by training and I moved here two years ago after a joint career in university teaching and HR consulting.  I am used to creating large HR systems for very competitive organizations and central critical organizations.

In the last two years, I have been shifting my work into social media – meaning blogs, Facebook, etc.  I run a small private company, Rooi Limited.  We are interested in the virtual world as a collaborative resource.  How can we and do we, use social media to work with other people to explore activities of interest to us?

Strengthening organizations, communities and economies

As we are work & organizational psychologists, we tend to work in the economic space.  Our first project was  Olney100, a social network for the town of Olney.  It had as its byline – Talking to neighbors over our horizon. That is the general principle of our work.  We use virtual communities to talk to people who are at the 2nd or 3rd degree of connectedness – the friends of our friends.  By using the virtual world as we once used the telephone, we are able to strengthen organizations, communities and economies.

More communication, cheaply

This is a straightforward goal and we often feel we could do just as much without the internet.  We could.  The internet just makes connecting faster and easier.  It is economical, in other words.  It allows us to connect more for very little cost.

More ad hoc fun and profitable projects

We are not just saving money either.  The trace left on the internet ‘captures data’ and allows us to position ourselves relative to other people more easily.  We can form a flock, in other words.  Like birds we can soar and swoop together without colliding.  In addition to our successful journey, we can journey with others.

More invitations, more possibilities

And like birds, when we are on the internet, we are high up.  We can see further.  We can dream bigger.  We find new destinations.  The world from the internet is both bigger and smaller.   We see further and see people beckoning us to join them.

Academics

Complexity theorists, who have read this far, will be recognizing the concepts I am using.  I hope theorists will find this interface between theory and practice useful.  My intention is to talk to people who are running organizations beginning with the organization of one, otherwise known as ‘my career’.  I will be adding practical heuristics though, and I would love your comments on whether I have represented ideas about complexity accurately.

What is happening on this blog now

This blog has been running for just over a year and there is lot of material here.  I will be re-organizing it during the next few months.  I am also writing a science fiction account of a company called Xoozya.  Xoozya is run in a strictly bottom-up fashion.  It has few rules and as yet, as a newcomer to Xoozya, I am not quite sure what business it is in!   It is my experiment to see how far I can fashion an organization that has extremely permeable boundaries.  Always happy to have comments.

Thanks for stopping by and reading so far!

Jo Jordan

Olney, May 2009

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