DM Osbon, a fellow blogger, sent me a mail announcing that he moved his blog to http://sweetflag.wordpress.com/. In his first blog entry on the new blog he says: "Many of the subjects touched on in my previous blog will see the light again here but things at Sweet Flag will be documented very differently. More consideration to the words & less clutter when it comes to posting. Less of the ‘heavy’ look of the past & instead a minimal, easy to read blog in Sweet Flag."
Well, it's his blog, and if he wants a clean break from his old blog to make a new and better one, I wish him the best of luck. But of course it made me think whether that would be an option for me too, and the answer came up negative. By making a completely new blog you lose all your history, including whatever counter you use to count visitors, and your Google page rank. If I moved to a new blog, it would be very hard for my readers to find me, even if I leave a last post here pointing to the new blog. Sitemeter tells me that of the last 4,000 visitors an astonishing 59 came here by typing "Tobold" into Google. I'm a "brand name" now, although a very minor one. Making a new blog under a new name would destroy that brand. Making a new blog and still running under the name of Tobold would at least hurt the brand, because my page rank would go from five to zero, making it less likely that people find me when using other search words. Google has a scary amount of influence on what people read on the internet.
Now I could imagine one day *having* to move, a nightmare scenario: Blogger / Blogspot closes down or implements heavy traffic restrictions. But fortunately that isn't all that likely, because Blogger is owned by Google, who with a combination of being very rich and having a company motto of "don't be evil" can afford to offer free services indefinitely. I *do* make backups once in a while, just to be on the safe side, but I'm not too worried.
So if I wanted to redecorate and change my style, I would keep the old address and history, and just change the layout and how I write my new stuff. That would be a visible break, and have some influence on visitor numbers, but at least I wouldn't be restarting from zero.