META-SPIEL keeps on spielin'

Coming at you from our new home

Hi there, Belindas!

META-SPIEL is back after a brief hiatus, now hosted at Beehiiv. Most of what you’re used to will be more or less the same, I think. I have to admit that I’ve been putting off this transition because I wasn’t really sure what it was going to actually look like to sit down and do it and I thought it might be a bad interface or the emails might have weird formatting and… I finally just had to get over all of that. So here we are!

I can still put things in italics. I can still put things in bold. I can still embed videos:

There are some other things I’ll need a couple of posts to figure out, especially in the realm of how the posts actually send, so please bear with me on that.

If you were a subscriber before, I just copied your email address over here to Beehiiv. The old instance will actually stay put as an archive of sorts indefinitely, in part because I haven’t figured out what else to do about it, in part because the comments didn’t move over. But all of the posts did. (I haven’t scrutinized them yet to see how they all look.)

I have a backlog of things to write about since I haven’t published since December 31, so you might see the break followed by a veritable splurge of activity. Or, hey, you might not, because it so happens that the redirection of some of my time has gone into more running and more reading, both things I’ll get to. I’ve finished 8 books so far in 2024, which matches the number I finished in all of 2023. But January is always a hunker down kind of month anyway, isn’t it?

One fun little thing about Beehiiv is that it automatically embeds social media links in the footer for me. But I’m not on TikTok or Threads, I’m not going to direct you to my LinkedIn account because that’s just bizarre, I don’t have anything really to show at YouTube, and one of the main things I use is BlueSky which they don’t have an icon for.

So I decided to include links to Instagram and Facebook, and to be mischievous and put my BlueSky URL in as my Twitter link.

I went with Beehiiv for a fairly simple reason. There were only two other contenders really in the mix for a more or less seamless transition (importantly including migrating over the older posts), but nobody was recommending Buttondown (though I don’t know why not), and Ghost seemed like it was more directed toward much larger publications who would be doing a lot more branding and such. Beehiiv seemed straightforward enough and I’m aware of multiple publications which have made the transition here, and in the end I got over how much I dislike the spelling of Beehiiv and here we are.

I kicked around trying to move everything back to a personal Wordpress instance or using a more stripped down setup. I didn’t actually get any recommendations along those lines though, except that one stalwart META-SPIEL reader and I did have a nice exchange about his setup, which is intriguing but which I decided wouldn’t work as well for the way I like to present META-SPIEL.

I’ve also secured the domains and - you won’t find anything there right now - and I don’t know exactly what the point of that is but that’s okay. There’s some way I can convert all of this so that email will come from my own URL so you’ll see that some time soon as well, maybe.

I did make the subtle change of doubling down on the hyphen in META-SPIEL. There are a couple of reasons for this, not the least of which being that my domain registrar told me that it would cost $8500 to get which I have decided is very flattering and also quite ludicrous.

And I also made this very simple banner which you saw at the top:

Do you all like having a banner? Even if the banner is below the subject line, which is how it apparently has to work? I’m very open to aesthetic input.

I’m also mulling over the possibility of having different banners and/or otherwise different templates for the various META-SPIEL series, i.e. Phthursday Musings, Running Around Illinois, Pizza Around Illinois, and whatever other madness I might concoct going forward. This is probably all a bit much, though, unless somehow moving to Beehiiv has the unexpected side effect of skyrocketing interest in my writing about calf compression sleeves and the like.

So that’s what’s going on around here. Look for a couple more posts in the next week, and please give me any and all feedback you have about content, design, pizza, you name it.

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