After five years of writing, I’m finally running out of space on this site — I had to move a bunch of old images and photos to Photobucket — so I’m going to pull up stakes sometime over the next several months and move to a dedicated site, i.e., thomasn528.com or something like that.
I’m also considering sprucing up and improving the look and performance of the site. So I’m looking for recommendations both for hosting sites and blogging software, and/or for online discussions of same. I know that some readers (hi, Gary!) have been annoyed with slow loading times, but maybe that’s not all, so here’s your chance to get it all off your chest.
I’m thinking of going to smaller font and three columns, like most other blogs. I might use a third column for title feeds of other sites like leftyblogs Maryland or of the comments here, some kind of “currently reading” list, and/or a “quick hits” list like “Particles” and “Sidelights” at Making Light . I might like to tag my posts with keywords like “wal-mart,” “germany,” “village idiot,” and so forth. I’m guessing that all suggests a site supporting PHP or something like it; I assume the right software — Moveable Type? — makes that easier than it sounds, but at any rate I’d need some “help for newbies” to make it work. I’m also wondering whether I should set up individual pages for each post, and the “next” and “previous” post navigation aids many blogs have.
While I’m at it: do readers use the “digg,” “del.icio.us,” and other “social bookmarking” tools I’m seeing at places like firedoglake  (the colorful row of icons at the bottom of individual  posts)? If you blog yourself and include “digg this” etc. for each post, do you see new readership coming from these sources? (For that matter, can you see that? Should I care?) I don’t use them myself, at least not yet, so I’m curious what other people think. What about “spotlight “?
So have at it in comments: what changes would you like? What layouts of other blogs do you like? How absolutely-perfect, wouldn’t-change-a-thing is this one? Etcetera. Thanks!