Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Induced Evolution Of Bloggers


My friends Betsy Newmark and Eric Lindholm have finally been able to start blogging again, although damage was done to their sites, possibly permanent. I was much luckier, getting my blog back Thursday night and pretty much intact. At this writing Blogger/Google has yet to release any explanation for what happened, much less any sort of apology or proper confirmation of expectations. As a number of readers have observed, you get what you pay for, but as I observed in an open letter to Google, such tactics satisfy the lawyers, but never the customer. The clear message sent by Google, intended or not, was that they would like serious bloggers to leave Blogger for more reliable and trustworthy hosts, and leave Blogspot domains to fools and knaves. The message is compelling, in that measure.

I have to say that one reason I began to blog was the ease of it. I could choose when to blog, at no out-of-pocket cost except time and effort. For almost three years I have clattered away at my keyboard, with few disappointments againt many successes. I was able to meet my work and family commitments while still opining in print. Life was good. But the Bible warns us there comes a time to “put away childish things”, and every so often I got a wake-up call. Like the first time I received e-mails from active-duty soldiers in Iraq. Like the first time a news agency asked me for an interview about polls and the likely candidates for the next Presidential election. Like the first time an executive at a major polling agency called me at work to discuss, off-the-record, how they developed their methodology and question wording. Serious stuff, which reminded me to take my responsibilities seriously. Well, now Blogger has sent another shot across the bow. I am by no means a major-league blogger, but I have a history and I have a name, of sorts, and all it takes is a petulant server or programmer at Google and -poof- bye-bye blog.

This is going to take some thought. As always, I will report what I decide, especially if it is worth the noise.


Steven Den Beste said...

such tactics satisfy the lawyers, but never the customer.

A "customer" is someone who spends money. You are a user, not a customer, and because Google gets no income from you, Google doesn't care what you think.

Anonymous said...

i think this "problem" is related to their new click fraud filtering program that they have been trying to roll out. Google recently settled a lawsuit about click fraud and I think they are scrambling to try and clean some of this up. I guess they are applying the War On Terra tactic to the problem. Who cares if a few innocents get dragged in with the rest.

EvilPundit said...

Don't trust Blogger. It's owned by Google, which is evil.

Get yourself a domain name and a host. It can cost as little as $10 a month, and as a paying customer, you'll have at least some rights.

It's a good idea to back up your blog too, using something like HTTrack.