Saturday, August 02, 2008

Spam A Lot?

So yesterday was interesting. Blogger tagged hundreds of legitimate blogs (including mine) as "spam" and locked users out of their blogs, pending a review. If the blogger didn't request an appeal/review, the blog would be deleted in 20 days, according to the message. Unfortunately, no time frame was given for how long a review would take. It was very much a case of guilty until proven innocent.

The experience was little bit like returning home from a hard day at work and discovering that someone had changed all the locks on your house, and that your keys didn't work. This event also reminded me -- like a slap in the face -- how fragile "free speech" really is. With a flip of a switch, Google/Blogger can take us all down. Very creepy.

Some users saw political conspiracies here...I just saw a huge glitch and a massive malfunction. The whole thing was resolved (for my blog) in approximately 24 hours. In the scheme of things, that's not long to go without blogging or access to blogging. What the problem was -- in all honesty -- was that there was ZERO acknowledgment from Blogger until late in the day yesterday, approximately 6:00 pm or so, that they had made a mistake and were looking into the problem. They had locked my blog at 10:00 pm the previous night. Eighteen hours is a long time to go without hearing a peep. That's a long time to sit and stew and ask for help...with no answer. It was the uncertainty that was the big issue for me

For others it was more serious. On the Blogger Help Group page, I saw some of the more troubling repercussions. There were blogs involved in contests and giveaways that couldn't make important announcements in a timely fashion. There were other blogs hosting big events, that needed to provide directions to reporters and others in the field. There was even a five day workshop that couldn't use the blog on the last day of that (paid for) seminar. For me, I couldn't get to Friedkin Friday, which I hated, but I didn't suffer nearly as much as some others. The big scare for me was the lack of communication, and the idea that my blog -- two and a half years of hard work -- could be deleted in 20 days.

My response was that I posted a shadow blog at Wordpress; and imported all my posts there... replete with images. The lesson: silence from blogger - bad! Back-ups: good! Anyway, back to work...


  1. Anonymous10:52 AM

    I read your post about being locked out of your blog. I felt so bad for you. I was terrified that all your hard work might be lost. I am so glad to see you back on the blog today!

    I read a post made today by Simon Barrett at entitled Google Blogger Meltdown? Who Us?

    He was suffering the same tension that I know you were going through. He wrote, in part, "Google lost a great deal of my respect yesterday, not because the event happened, as the saying goes “sh*t happens”, sometimes upgrades do that. No, the loss of respect comes from the fact that Google has made no attempt to even acknowledge that anything even happened, it is as if the whole event was just a figment of everyones imagination!"

    I have read many posts made by people who have been attacked by Google Blogger's Spam Bot or whatever you call it. They have all lamented the lack of communication from Google when they screw up!

    In fact, one person who replied to Mr. Barrett's article, said this is the 5th time they have been locked out!

    So, I suppose the miracle here is that this is the first time it has happened to you!

    Anyway, it's great to have you back and blogging again!


  2. Thanks, Faninawe!

    Yesterday was indeed rough (and kept me from editing The House Between as I frantically tried to back-up my entire blog!)

    I concur with what you stated in your comment: it's not the lock-out that was so bad; it is the way Google/Blogger has totally failed to acknowledge the incident (and the scope of the incident). Even their first comment, noted that a "few" bloggers had been affected.

    That was an insult. It was more than a few. It was a LOT. And it mattered to every single Blogger who was affected.

    Anyway, I hope this doesn't happen again anytime soon...but now I have a shadow blog on WordPress, so...

    Thanks for the comment!