Saving Branded…

By Shawn Robare

I wanted to take a second and let everyone know that I’m not like dead or anything. There’s just a lot of life junk going on in the background that’s kept me from Branded lately. That being said, and you may or may not have already noticed, but Branded recently had a sort of makeover. Actually, to be honest, the site was sort of on life support with the host I was using for the past seven years. When I first started this project it was as a podcast and thus I did my homework and found the best podcasting/website hosting option available for my needs and at the time Libsyn was the answer. But slowly the urge to solo-podcast diminished and the need to write increased. So I did my best with my limited html skills to almost literally take a hammer to the code and I banged the site into a shape that I was happy with. But if there is one thing that Libsyn is not known for, it’s their blogging platform. Pretty much, well, it sucked. The comment system sucked, the archive platform blew chunks, and it was seriously buggy as all hell. But I kept dealing with it year after year because as the site grew it became increasingly harder and harder to think about moving it. Besides, I did enjoy the freedom of having unlimited bandwidth for my audio files.

Recently though I sort of came to an impasse with the shittyness of the platform, the comments were almost totally broken, and honestly I wasn’t sure what I was going to do to save the site. Enter two supremely awesome folks, Ben Rollier and Jaime Hood. Having a twitter conversation with them one day about my lame comments section issues Ben suggested a way that I could port all of my posts pretty easily into a WordPress environment. Playing off of that Jaime took it upon herself to basically save Branded in the 80s from the trash bin. Over the last couple of months she’s been working tirelessly in her free time to rebuild my site from the ground up and has made it a fully functional big boy’s website where I can, like, work with a platform that makes sense and a comment system that’s actually geared towards conversations. Pretty much everything I always wanted out of the site. The site might look largely the same (by design), but it’s way cooler in the functionality department, and to be honest it sort of has me pretty darn stoked to be writing again. If only I can get past this speed bump in the real world.

Anyway, huge shout out to Ben, and especially Jaime who channeled all of her Ninja Turtle inspired craftiness to save my damn website. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out her site, do it. It’s one of my favorite places on the internet to hang out and learn about pretty damn awesome movies, music, and all the other stuff that runs through her mind.

This Chick Saved My Site

  • ^5 Jaime, you did a kick-ass job.

    • She totally did, but you were a huge help too man!

  • A branded HERO!

  • What does “AWESMONE!” mean? Is that like awesome? If so, I think you’re pretty AWESMONE too, Shawn! It’s a shame I don’t have those pants anymore.

  • I was so excited when I saw your site had Disqus comments :) Kudos to Jaime and Ben for helping get you moved over!

    • I love the new commenting system to pieces…

  • Internet friends always come through like K.I.T.T. through a jail cell….

  • I do like Jaime’s pants.

    • They’re hard not to stare at…

      • Oh my gods. It just NOW struck me how filthy that sounded.

        • Dude, she brought it on herself, those pants are mezmerizing!

          • I don’t think the “she asked for it… Look at how she’s dressed! Argument should be used in any case.

          • Sorry, just making a joke, I’m pretty sure she’d laugh. Any which way I totally wish I’d worn Skidds or zubas back in the day…

          • Oh that last comment was a joke too… In extremely poor taste. I honestly think Jaime had to be one of the bravest people I know for ever letting pictures of herself at that age leak onto the Internet. Me? I’d die of social implosion.

  • I hope you’re not telling me you were thinking of quitting. This is one of the most rad sites on the world wide web! Never leave us!

    • Nope, not thinking of quitting, just wasn’t sure how I was going to fix the site before Jaime and Ben stepped in. And thanks!

  • I am in a similar situation and may need to chat with you offline to get your suggestions on how to proceed. I can make do with what I have, but ideally would like it to be much better. Main concern is all of the existing articles/posts.
    Glad it all worked out for you! And nice work by your helpers!!

    • Yeah, definitely love the new version of Branded. I can offer suggestions (are you on blogger?)