Friday, March 17, 2006

Blog Stolen

This is a concern. BetsysPage Blog just disappeared a few days ago and now someone else has registered the name and started it up. This is the weak link in the blogger format; if blogger goes down then the majority of us disappear without a trace unless our pages are cached in Google, and they get flushed with noticeable regularity.

This is the letter she sent Glenn Reynolds - Instapundit.

STOLEN BLOG ALERT: Betsy Newmark emails:

Dear Glenn,

I'm writing you because you seem to have a finger on the pulse of the blogger world and maybe know some way to help me or at least to get the word out so that maybe Blogger will help me.

My blog disappeared from Blogger some time Tuesday. All I ge is a message that my blog wasn't found on their server. When I go to my Edit page, it doesn't show Betsy's Page as one of my blogs anymore. It's as if my identity was erased.

I just get this very irritating message
"The blog you were looking for was not found." It doesn't show up on my dashboard at all.

Now, somebody has started a blog using my address and hijacked it. This is not me, but it is my URL. How despicable is that?

http://betsyspage.blogspot.com/

I have been writing Blogger for the past two days and all I get are the irritating auto-generated messages. What does it take to get a personal contact from those guys?

They put up those deceptive notes on their Status Page saying that they are doing maintenance on the server and now everything is fixed. http://status.blogger.com/

IT IS NOT FIXED. They are either deceived or are deceiving people. Viking Pundit and DJ Drummond of Stolen Thunder and Polipundit have experienced the same thing, though DJ was somehow able to get his back.

It wouldn't be so bad if an actual human being wrote me and told me what was going on and that they were working on it and when I could expect it to be fixed and what I could do if it is not fixed at that point. But they don't do that. And so people will get angry and leave Blogger and go to some other format for their blogs. And their customer service will be the reason.

I was wondering if you could put up a post telling people of my story and see if anyone has any recommendations of how to get my blog back. I hope to be back as soon as possible at either my old address or at a new address. But I would like to get to the bottom of this saga of my blog.

Another weak link I've found is the sidebar links, Truth Laid Bear can stall blog loading and so can the stat counters. It may be time to switch to my own ISP and Wordpress or some such thing, I've got battery backup on everything I should do the same with my collection of ramblings.

I wish I enjoyed HTML.


Italics Mine

UPDATE: Betsys got here blog back -
I got dozens and dozens of emails from people all over expressing their dismay at the blognapping and offering help. All sorts of bloggers offered me the opportunity to guest blog and/or to help me start up a new blog. It was wonderful and helped to assuage the depression I was feeling. Thank you so much for all your messages. I really appreciate all the warm fuzzies that you guys sent me.

Then, today, I got a message from Blogger saying that they had recovered my blog and that somehow I had gotten caught up in some massive “automated spam prevention system" action that had thought that my blog was spam. Huh?! Then, the kicker was that they weren't yet ready to give me back my URL but would try to negotiate with the blogjacker who had put up a false Betsy Page using my URL. Huh?! The guy had just appropriated my URL yesterday and they had to ask him pretty please to give it back? Fortunately, after about five hours, they decided that, since all the content and comments had been deleted on the fake Betsy page, that they would kindly restore my URL to me. Thank you.

Google, I think we have a problem. If you're going to start deleting blogs and then take four days to figure out and correct what happened, you're going to lose more and more people. DJ Drummond expresses what a lot a people are thinking about Blogger at this point: they are interested in seeing how Google and Blogger address these problems that they have been having. You may think that we have no reason to complain since we're getting the service for free. But, presumably, Google is not in the blogging business out of charitable impulses. They hope to make money from Blogger. And they will not be able to if they have these sorts of problems. I know that I'm going to be looking into other options.

Thank you, everyone, for all the support in my blogless days. I really appreciate it.

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