Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A NEW LOOK

Today's first entry points you to DD's new WordPress blog here.

Why the mirror?

Blogger and Google.

For over a year Blogger has had instability issues with FTP publishing to servers outside of Google's domain. Whenever one least expects it, Blogger will throw a wobbly and report virtually meaningless error messages -- either your blog is taking longer than usual to publish, or a variety of error codes which, in my case, never reflect what's going on with FTP access to DickDestiny dot com. These are bugs and problems as any study of the Google Help forums devoted to Blogger quickly shows. However, Blogger -- while it sometimes seems to try and fix the faults -- never completely acknowledges that it has any.

But the straw which broke the camel's back was having this blog labelled as a spam blog by a Google Blogger anti-spam robot a week or so ago. When this happens, you receive an automated message in your e-mail informing that your blog will be deleted in twenty days. Unless you can convince Blogger its anti-spam robots, or whatever, have returned a false positive. In this e-mail, one is supposed to receive a link to appeal the process so that a human being will look at the blog and determine that it is not, in fact, the work of a dirty spammer.

This appeal link did not work.

My problem was not isolated. Through May, many other legitimate blogs were labelled as spam and threatened with deletion. Some fuse within Google Blogger had blown. And, so far, it has been chalked up as collateral damage in Google's valiant war against nefarious spammers.

The only recourse in this debacle was to publish the letters from Blogger in the Blogger Help forum, hope a human being higher up would read them, and dispense unstrained mercy. This may have worked for some. But with Blogger, it is always hard to know.

In any case, it's really not reasonable or acceptable that a Google property would be able to peremptorily delete two years of posts on this blog. (Theoretically possible, depending on the mechanism Blogger uses.) While the system is backed up, it doesn't change the fact that one has to consider the possibility that one's work will whimsically be destroyed by software automation one morning.

Ergo the need to start a mirror with the aim of eventually migrating the entire pattern of usage at this blog to WordPress. For the time being, this blog will still be the first to update, followed shortly by an identical post at the mirror.

This post, for obvious reasons, isn't going to be mirrored today.

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