The first change is that Guido will be leaving the tender embrace of Google’s Blogger platform. A lot of geeks and “expert” consultants look down on Blogger, but it is a brilliant (and reliable) place to start blogging at no cost. They have been excellent with technical support, they have weathered days when traffic has spiked to over 100,000 hits in a matter of hours without their backbone even noticing the bandwidth jump.
One reason for leaving is because as the site becomes more commercial it really isn’t appropriate to use free services (as that recent Flickr foul up demonstrated). Secondly as it is the intention that the site will also slowly become more three dimensional, there will be a lot more user interactivity opportunities for you the co-conspirators. This necessitates a shift to a less vulnerable more “distributed” platform, which for legal and practical reasons has to be on infrastructure not owned by enterprises that crumble at the first hint of a writ. Google have until now been very resilient but at the end of the day they are not going to risk their corporate neck for Guido or his co-conspirators. Google UK likes to please governments, that presents a risk to Guido that he can no longer take.
Wikileaks has demonstrated that the British legal system can be thwarted, even as privacy laws become ever more draconian and the government and the EU start thinking about how to suppress blogs, it seems to Guido wise to pre-emptively protect himself from legal threats to freedom of speech. The UK press is nowadays one of the most injuncted, litigated and censored in the West. British ISPs quite understandably don’t want to risk their profits for a principle. The most straight forward way for Guido to frustrate lawyers is to make sure no element of the infrastructure of the site is within the domain of a British judge.
Comment policy is also under review; Guido likes a free wheeling comment section, but the light policing of the comments is necessary otherwise they will become over-run by the BNP, 9/11 Troofers, T** I******, New World Order Jewish Lizard Conspiracists, illiterate Lefties.
The new functionality will start to be introduced early in January. Hopefully the platform change will be little noticed by users at first.