Friday, August 01, 2008

An fyi to anyone on the Blogger platform

Well, you may or may not have noticed yesterday that my blog was put on a temporary, involuntary hiatus by our good friends at Blogger. I was amending a post when the blogging gods intervened. Halt! Thou shalt not post lest thy blog be spam! And so, at that moment, I was locked out of my blog, unable to publish. Receiving the dreaded word that many a blogger are experiencing as I blog had been flagged by the Blogger "robots" as potentially a spam blog. You know, those useless blogs that simply snag content in its entirety and republish it on the spam blog. You may see blogs linking to you from time to time that appear to have no visible authors but who, for whatever reason, want your content. If that is happening to you, you might be in for the experience I had.

You will receive the message that you've been flagged and you will be provided with a link to click on, after typing out a word they give you to ensure you are of the human species. This special link will thank you for clicking and tell you that Blogger will review your request to unlock your blog. What's problematic and needlessly provocative about this process is the warning that your blog will be deleted in 20 days if you fail to act or Blogger fails to review your request in time. That's a bit of a problem and would explain some of the upset being caused. I know that I can act but I do not necessarily have faith in Blogger to do so.

Ultimately, I was only locked out for a few hours. But based upon my review of the Blogger Help pages, it was entirely possible it could have lasted much longer, potentially days. What I would have done, don't know. Tried Word Press? Gone to a private provider? Taken an imposed blogging vacation? The lack of a plan B here suddenly set in. Now that it's back up, I'll consider checking into those other options. For now, Blogger will remain.

The best thing to do, if this happens to you, is to go to the Blogger Help pages and start or join a thread under the heading, "Something is Broken." Beg them nicely to fix your blog. Repeatedly. Keep adding to your own thread if no one else joins, although they likely will based upon the number of problems I witnessed last night.

Then go out to dinner or engage in some other activity that the non-blogging humans enjoy and when you return, hopefully all will be normal.

By the way, there are some interesting musings coming out of this to the effect that this could have been a coordinated "attack" on political blogs. I don't believe that, there are just as many "quilting" blogs or "tech" blogs that are complaining. Perhaps it's just the "robots" penalizing blogs for linking too much to other sites - but, hello? Isn't that inherently a big part of what blogs do?

Hopefully, they've "fixed" my site for good. A little bit of blogging excitement, the kind I can do without...:)