Out of respect for Pip’s original vision for this site, I am inclined to continue using his ‘Maiden Voyages’ format to update readers on developments and hints of things to come. However, once in a while, there is a need to review major updates and these will be called ‘State of the Blog Addresses’.
A lot has happened in the last year. After being perfunctorily shut down by WordPress, we managed to limp along with a new and tolerant host, but as Pip and I are not technically-minded, the burdens of running the site became discouraging and things went slowly. Fortunately, one of our fans who also happens to offer internet hosting services came forward to offer his assistance. So far, his efforts on behalf of Pigtails in Paint has exceeded expectations. It seems when one is sincere and thoughtful in his endeavors, someone comes forward just when needed—a kind of guardian angel if you will.
In addition to our new home on biodex, we were fortunate to have someone come forward with a backup of our site we used to replace the posts that were lost. Because of that, Pigtails in Paint has now been fully reinstated—with some revisions—and now has over 600 posts to its name. However, no download is perfect so a few images did not download properly and with the assistance of a few others, we managed to restore all the images lost. I would like to thank all those who made possible the complete restoration of this site and put the last nail in the coffin of our would-be censors. In addition, as I tried to replace the posts quickly, there are inevitably some errors in reposting so please do not hesitate to inform me of even the smallest errors you may encounter while visiting the site.
There are many benefits to our being hosted by biodex and many more to come. First, we have established RSS feeds and if you are like me and don’t understand what that is you can read about it here. Details about supported RSS formats can be found in a menu just under the Pigtails in Paint banner. In addition, Pigtails now has its security certificate which means when you visit the site, you will notice the new “https” format indicative of such sites. To learn more about what this means, read here. Pigtails has also been given ample memory to accommodate videos in house. YouTube provides a wonderful service, but almost inevitably videos get removed because of content issues or complaints about copyright infringement. So far only two short videos have been posted to test the system (here and here), but as we gain more confidence, more will become available and in some cases links in older posts will be replaced with in-line videos.
Our readership is now growing exponentially and such popularity is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, our voice and those who support us is getting more exposure which is the first step in correcting the imbalance in our society’s attitudes, but the increased traffic means it is more expensive to keep operating to handle the load. Therefore, it will be necessary to ask those who are able to pay for memberships or make donations to help defray the costs. No matter how strong and credible we may seem at the moment, this is still a volunteer operation. We are currently strategizing what incentives can be offered for said paid subscribers/members. Whatever is decided needs to be in compliance with the Fair Use Act which legally permits us to present artists’ work with impunity on the grounds of education and/or critical analysis. In glancing at my notes, there are at least six other measures that we plan to implement in the next few months that will enhance Pigtails’ ability to serve the community.
I have a number of specific ideas about the future of Pigtails in Paint and what is needed from readers and other supporters. This will be published in a post called ‘Community of Practice’ (COP) soon* and will be given its own page for continued reference. COP is an expression used by academics to describe a coordinated effort among like-minded people to have a particular issue properly aired and recognized by a larger audience. Although Pip and I are carefully shepherding Pigtails to serve a responsible social function, in time the long-term growth and stability of the site will depend on a community of prudent people committing their resources to our mutual cause.
Thank you all for your generous patronage, feedback and support so far. I assure you that this site has covered only the merest tip of the proverbial iceberg of this fascinating subject. -Ron, Editor-in-Chief
*Editorial update: This ‘Community of Practice’ post has been removed and replaced by a ‘Community’ page.