Not surprisingly to me, but somewhat annoyingly, I went to archive a book review the other day only to find a notice on the blog concerned that it is closed to new posts. Vox is ending. Six Apart is no longer supporting the platform, and have asked users to export their blogs to Typepad (their other platform, which supports this blog). The old blog archive will remain for now, but will disappear, it seems, at the end of this month (30 September 2010).
I have now done as Vox advises, and exported the blog, so my book reviews are now archived here, at Petrona, on a linked blog with the original title of Book reviews by Maxine. I am in the process of updating the links wherever they appear.
I am not surprised about this because it has been clear for some time that Vox has been left to moulder a bit. It was never much of a blog, as one could not have a blogroll or use a dashboard. So I am not that sad to move away from it. However, it did have one feature I liked, which is that one could easily create a book library and display cover images of books as one read them, via a service hooked up with Amazon. (This was extended to videos, photos, etc). I have fairly recently opened an account at Goodreads which has a similar function, but it isn't quite as neat as the Vox service. (Goodreads is geared up to people who want to share, review, rank and discuss the books they read over at their site, and for me, life is too short to repost all my reviews manually over there.)
Another reason I am sad about the demise of Vox is that all my archived book reviews are tagged by country. Exporting the blog over here is fine for the blog posts themselves but, as usual on these occasions, not so good for metadata. So I'll have to tag up all the posts again by hand. I have done this for the first 30 or 40 archived reviews, but there is some way to go as I began my archiving back in 2006. I'll keep up the tagging as a background activity, but for the time being, my review archive tags won't be complete. On the bight side, though, I have made the tagging much richer now, so I (or you) will be able to retrieve posts by country, continent, genre, whether the book won an award, if it is a classic, etc, when I've finished. Which may take some time as tagging is clunky (can only be done for each individual post) and is somewhat boring. However, should you so wish, you will be able (apparently) to subscribe to the RSS feed of the review archive blog by category, so if you are only interested in books from a certain region (or other tag) then you can sign up to be alerted just to those posts.
Book-review archive. Please bookmark and/or subscribe!
As well as the blog you are now reading (Petrona) and this new book review archive, I have one other blog, called Filament, where I bookmark interesting articles and reviews that I find – often reviews of books that I intend to read one day. Like Friend Feed or Twitter, Filament is a microblog, i.e. just for posting quick links or comments.