Diehards

Sunday, 13 June 2010

A Little Bird



On Savanna's blog today I read that one of her favourite blogs, infomaniac, has been removed by blogger and the author Mistress MJ ousted from google. She wasn't notified that this was to happen. It may be an error, technical or otherwise. I've never actually read the blog in question, I have come across MJ in the comments of other blogs, and hers has been on my mental list of sites I must visit when I get time because her comments are always witty.

Whatever the reason the blog has been removed we all need to know why. MJ has lost four years' worth of content, bam! just like that, and she can't even ask why because her voice has been silenced in googleopolis. Which all feels far too Kafkaesque for my liking. So I posted this question on blogger's help forum this afternoon:

I heard today that a blog – 'Infomaniac' – has been removed, and four years worth of content lost, overnight. The author was not informed that this was to happen and the blog hasn't broken any blogger rules as far as can be determined. The author has also been locked out of her gmail account. Is this a technical problem, a human error, or has it been done intentionally? If it has been done intentionally I would very much like to know how blogger justifies this action? If blogger has a censorship policy that involves removing blogs without giving notice to the author all blogger users need to be made aware of this.

One of the things I love most about the online community is that we band together and can, thus, both effect and affect the way it operates. This blog, another one I've been meaning to read for some time, provides the links needed to ask a question of blogger, which was rather handy for me as I wouldn't have had a clue otherwise. You can see my question on the blogger forum here, and should you so wish you can add your voice to it, to one of the growing others that have been asked about this matter, or you can ask your own.

Update: in my comments Vextasy provided a link to the data liberation front which explains how to back-up your blog. It seems well worth the five minutes or so it takes to do this, mine is being exported to my hard drive right now.

19 comments:

savannah said...

i just read your comment on the topic at google help and of course, the answer "(she) can create a new account" raises more questions than answers! it has to be possible to answer the general why of the issue directly. i do wonder what's going on. xoxoxo

debra said...

this also happened to another blogging friend of mine. Gone! Just. Like. That. No explanation; no warning. Free speech, anyone?

Vextasy said...

It's one of the big problems with Google - I think. They're great until something like this happens and then we realise how faceless they are.

One of the things that they should publicise a little better (in my view) is their own Google Data Liberation Front (http://www.dataliberation.org/) which allows you to export all of your data out of their products. That link includes a page that explains how to export (i.e. backup) a Blogger blog.

I would advise you to take a copy of your blog just in case, by probing, you trigger that same action that MJ did - just a thought.

Eryl Shields said...

Savannah ~ it has to be possible, you're right, I wonder if twitter might be the way to go. In fact all social networking sites should be made use of to extract an answer from blogger.

Debra ~ really, who was that?

Vextasy ~ thank you for this tip, and thought, I will spread the word as I know that others have been asking if it's possible to back-up a blog. Mine is being exported to my hard drive as I type this.

Kim Ayres said...

Just a wee point about your blog changes, Eryl - light writing on a dark background is harder to read for most people than dark writing on a light background, even if it does look a wee bit cooler

Kim :)

Eryl Shields said...

Kim ~ I'm just messing about with the options at the moment. I'm trying to get the feel of an old tea towel I once saw, which reminded me of the south cost (of England), in particular the light as a storm begins to gather.

I thought I found the light text on dark background slightly more soothing for my eyes, though whether it was more or less easy to read I couldn't say. Bob bought me a watch with a black face and white numbers specifically because of my failing eyesight and now I can tell the time again by looking at my wrist. But that could be because it's big.

Pat said...

I think Kim is right - especially for the visually challenged.
Well done for your tackling blogger. I clicked through to add my voice but it's a signing up thing and I can't get on with those.
I'll come back tomorrow when I'm fresher.
Did you take the photo? It's charming

Kass said...

Thanks for the reminder that I need to export and save my blogs. I'll do it. I like your new look and the photo.

Carole said...

It is hard to believe that blogger would censor a blog. How would they have the time to really check out the content.

Thanks for info on backing up content.

Mary Witzl said...

That is really worrying -- that a blog could disappear this way with no notice given, or explanation. If I write anything I consider worthwhile, I save it, but I still like the idea of my work remaining out there for others to read.

I've been having trouble accessing other blogs, but I will try to register my opinion too!

angryparsnip said...

This is so strange...
when you hit the "next blog" on the blog page, I have run into so many weird site and ones that are x-rated ...
I guess that I can't believe that they just dropped her site... with-out a word...
I will look into the site you mentioned.

Love your new Picture.

cheers, parsnip

Elizabeth said...

A most interesting post.
You can get banned from Google for hitting ads repeatedly and a friend
(Whatpossessedme) got chucked off Blogger for showing boobs..........but arty booms not salacious ones.
She's now on typepad.......

willow said...

Oh, thanks for the reminder...gotta go back up my blog right now....

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ I must confess that when I have to go through the rigmarole of signing up I tend to second thoughts.

The photo is of a member of my friendly blackbird family. This one, in particular, follows me around the garden and will eat a raspberry out of my hand.

Kass ~ I spent hours yesterday trying to get the colours just right. When I finally went to bed I still wasn't happy with it but this morning it made me smile.

I, too, need to be reminded to back-up constantly.

Carole ~ I've heard, since all of this started, that if someone makes a complaint about blog content google removes first and asks questions later. Which is a bit scary, I hope it's not true.

Mary ~ I never know if what I write is worthwhile until much later, but I will save everything from now on.

Always worth registering your opinion, I reckon.

Parsnip ~ I know, I've come across some rather shocking stuff when I've clicked on 'next blog' to the point where I've stopped doing it!

This is a happy picture from Bob's birthday a couple of years ago.

Elizabeth ~ I'm definitely going to look to other blogging platforms in the next day or two with a view to switching.

The Pollinatrix said...

Wow, this is scary. Just the thought of losing all my blog content makes me feel panicky. Thanks for the backup link!

I adore the new layout and profile pic, by the way!

Eryl Shields said...

Willow ~ will you do it while eating a muffin?

Polli ~ it is, bloody, scary: back-up now!

Glad you like the new layout and pic.

pilgrimchick said...

Wow! I hadn't heard about this tendency, and I hope more information becomes available about it.

newjenny said...

You are a kind purveyor of useful practical information. (Perhaps you should have a show on the radio or television.)

Eryl Shields said...

Pilgrim ~ I suspect it's more error than intention, but that makes it no less alarming. Thankfully MJ is sorted now.

Jenny ~ it must be the mother in me.