Rising Like the Phoenix: The Rebirth of My Website and Blog

“Found deep water…for I even learned to swim
Found deep water…for I even learned to swim
Never thought I’d see the sun again.”


Like an honest fool, I first turned to technical support. I tried the message boards associated with the software because that’s what the company suggested. The software is called iBlog. And while I will name it for you, for reasons that must surely be dawning on you, I will not give you a link.

After a week of complaining there –all the while having the hunch that my issue was deeper than a message board could handle– the actual tech support people from the actual company finally called me back.

Turns out it’s one guy. That’s the whole tech support department. That should have also been a big honkin’ “Warning Will Robinson!” moment for me.

But no, I’m a sucker and he was a nice guy. He tried everything he could. I emailed him files. He emailed them back. He rebuilt the entire database and sent it back. He spent two evenings operating my computer remotely (from India?) trying to get the software to work. (It’s weird to watch someone else move your cursor…)

But nothing ever worked, no matter what he tried.

Eventually, he just quit calling me back.

So, I went from cursing him…to being impressed by him…to cursing him again.

With no good solutions, and no returned phone calls, I decided enough was enough.

“Like a Phoenix…I have risen from the flames
Like a Phoenix…I have risen from the flames
No more living…
Someone else’s dreams.”

In the course of trying to figure how to port my messages to some other software (found there was no easy way to do that…) I stumbled on some software called “RapidWeaver.” It’s an all-in-one website/blogging solution. It’s Mac-based, intuitive, and has GREAT technical support. It seems to be created by some really cheery folks in England. And for the past week, I’ve been pelting their message boards with questions, and I have gotten a great answer every time. And quickly.

So, this past week has been “rising from the flames” week. While it’s still looked like radio-silence on your end, I’ve been busily converting my entire website to RapidWeaver on my end.

I’ve had the www.ericfolkerth.com website for almost eight years now. I’ve had the blog for three, going on four. Converting it over is a big job. RapidWeaver makes very easy. But with that kind of history, it’s still a big job.

It’s not really like cleaning your closets (the first analogy I thought of…). It’s really more like moving to a whole new house. It’s still all your old stuff, you just have to figure out where it all goes, what you want to keep, and what you need new.

I’m mostly done now. And the result, I am happy to report, is a fully integrated website and blog, with an eye-popping new design, and cool new features my old house/site never had.

Take the picture pages, for one. They’re really, really cool. Check them out. Same old pictures. But they look a lot better here.

And, the blog is fully integrated with the website. So, if you find the blog, you’ll find the website, and vice versa.

The new blog address, at least the main blog page, is a much easier url too:
http://www.ericfolkerth.com/wheneftalks/blog.html

That’s a permanent new address. So, save it as a “favorite” now, and subscribe to the rss feed with this link. You’ll have the ability to leave comments just as before, and I think that overall you’ll come to enjoy it as I have this past week.

As for what I still need to do, I am still porting over the blog entries to the new system. That way, if you want to peruse old entries, you’ll be able to do so within the new system, and ingore the old blog. Don’t know how long that will take. I’ll let you know when it’s done.

So,
welcome to the rebirth of my website/blog.

If you’re a regular reader, I’m really glad you managed to find me again. I didn’t leave you hanging on purpose. The old site will stay out there, like some dead satellite drifting around earth. It’s not going to be updated. But there are too many folks who have linked to it through the years for me to take it down either.

So, sorry for the radio silence. As Han Solo used to say, “It’s not my fault!!”

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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