May 15, 2011

If you're looking for an old blog post and came here...

... I'm having a problem with Blogger, and it's somehow blocking the display of all the posts — the 23,000+ posts — before May 13, 2011. I am in touch with people at Google who seem to be in the process of restoring the archive. Meanwhile, if you've used a search engine to look for something specific, you should be able to go back to the results page and find the "cache" version of the old post.

I'm really sorry this is happening, and I will keep this post at the top of the blog until the restoration of the archive is complete. I have my own version of the archive backed up as far as March 17, 2011, so no matter how bad this Blogger screw-up is, I'll still be able to preserve nearly all of my work on this blog.

I hate to think about leaving Blogger, because I like the way it works, and I want to like Google. But this experience has made me look at the other options. Every hour that passes without getting the archive back erodes my confidence. Perhaps Blogger really isn't meant to handle very large archives. Some time ago the "manage posts" page stopped working to return search results further back than about a year.

ADDED: I'm not going to keep this post bumped up to the top. It's too tedious to see it, and it makes the stuff below it look old. So... this is all very annoying, but I think I'll recover the whole archive soon enough... and this has lit a fire under me to make a big change that I think you're going to love!

71 comments:

James said...

I hate to think about leaving Blogger, because I like the way it works, and I want to like Google.

Stockholm Syndrome?

Roger J. said...

Professor--perhaps this is the equivalent of the loss of the library at Alexandria--sad, of course, but life has gone on and things almost always work out.

chickenlittle said...

There's a lot of ammunition in those post comments. I mine them quite frequently.

Blogger still hasn't restored material posted by me between Wednesday and yesterday.

They said they would, but hey, the service is free so I can't complain.

B.S. philosopher said...

"Don't be evil." Yeah, right.

A. Shmendrik said...

Pardon my ignorance - what is (are) the alternative host(s)?

Coketown said...

Settle down, doll. This was, what, a 24-hour service outage? And a couple more days to get the archive back? After 7 years of virtually uninterrupted service?

I know it's frustrating but let's keep things in perspective.

Rose said...

I like Blogger, too - the platform, and design templates are much more user friendly than Wordpress.

And, we are taking advantage of a free service. I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt - I really don't think they are targeting you, it does seem more like the sheer size hasn't fared well in their restore and it is possible that "flags" from opponents factored into the "restore" glitch.

What is disturbing is the guilty until you find a way to prove yourself innocent, and making it impossible for you to do so tone of nitecruzr's responses to you.

Either way, I'm in the process of backing up all the blogs I am involved with, AND importing them to newly set up backup blogs at Wordpress. That last part is a time-consuming process, but we should do it anyway, since a free service can be yanked for any reason at any time.

It does bring up the larger question - since the media is becoming so unreliable, and those of us on the "right" depend on this ability to communicate - to argue points, to present facts and data, and oftentimes to expose the truth - what do we do if the ability to do that is removed?

Should we have a back up system offshore?

We don't have short wave radios any and large and we can't use smokesignals - how in the world do we stay in touch if it comes to that?

Rose said...

err, By and large....pimf

edutcher said...

Ann, nobody is giving you a hard time over this. Whatever it is you decide, we'll all still love you.

But you are right - Google's service has been lousy and it has to be disheartening on a lot of levels to have to go through this much hassle. If the app doesn't give you the service you need and want, maybe it is time to go.

Sometimes new and improved, isn't.

Oligonicella said...

Look at it this way, it's fifty-two card pickup, but you've been playing with a ten card deck. Takes longer to sort back into order.

Jason (the commenter) said...

chickenlittle: Blogger still hasn't restored material posted by me between Wednesday and yesterday.

They said they would, but hey, the service is free so I can't complain.

Um....

Ann Althouse said...

Google is getting paid. It is a commercial operation that depends on our good will. If it was crappy and gave the excuse "but it's free," no one would care. We'd go somewhere else, and then they wouldn't make money. So I am bored with the repeated assertion that Blogger is free.

My reason for using Blogger has never been that it's free, and I pay for all sorts of things in my blogging activity... such as the higher level of Site Meter and Flickr.

I want to be able to use something that has been good, and you're just saying to me... what? That because it isn't free, it's surprising that it's not really bad? But internet businesses are built on things that are free. You're reading this blog for free. Do I then say that I could also be bad, since you're not paying? If I were bad, you wouldn't read, and that would hurt me! Obviously, I care about providing good writing even though you're getting it free.

If you said this is a crappy post, would I say, but I didn't charge you money for it, so you get what you pay for? That's nuts!

Rose said...

You're right. That's nuts.

Frankns said...

Rose ... Just as we created think-tanks in the 70's and 80's, supporting and publishing Libertarian and Conservative ideas, I'm wondering: "Is it time to create a dedicated web service that promotes and protects people like Ann?" (Not that she need protecting ...)

Carol_Herman said...

Well, it's FREE. Free beats other options. But lucky for Google, I newer knew "Blogger" was their baby. Because it STINKS!

From my point of view. As someone who comments. If I don't prepare a "copy." Highlighting this. Or that. It can get lost. Where all I receive when I fill in the "WV" ... gets lost in the ether.

Of course, because I "copy" first ... I just do it again. But I can't refer to the old "WV" ... Because the "blank slate" comes with a new one.

A good system would give you an archieve ... just in case you get sued.

Don't ask me what a lawyer can sue for! You train 'em.

Carol_Herman said...

Okay. Google gets paid.

Do they get paid by sticking the "red meat" ad on your blog?

Google is worth BILLIONS!

Are they using the NY Times model? (Once, to be like Hearst, and to be in the printing business) ... you owned a business that was on par with owning a printing press! In that it earned greater profits than other companies that paid more to produce "stuff."

Don't believe me? Before eBay, the NY Times had a LOCK on garage sales. Apartments for rent. And, people begging them to running wedding notices. Business is gone, now.

And, the NY Times did this to themselves. They had no respect for their customers. (Otherwise known as subscribers.) Because the whole paper was making money on ads. That costs thousands and thousands paid by advertisers. Who only wanted you to see their ads.

Hey, even TV is "free." In that sense. So what? Viewership dropped off because new technologies came along.

Google got on the bandwagon, of "new technologies" very early. But they're not creating their talent "in house." They're offering talent a way to be seen.

They're not saints.

rhhardin said...

Google isn't forthcoming on what's going on, which is not good style; but a restore can be pretty time consuming if they're doing a zillion of them. The software is structured for normal operation and may be pretty slow for other things as a result. It's also possible that bigger blogs take a lot longer than even their size would suggest.

If you have a google indication that it's being done, then wait for it patiently; but get some indication from time to time ("just checking in") that it's in progress.

Anyway a move out doesn't have to be done fast. Blogger works fine at the moment.

wv: Firefox suggests wv's, which is a nice touch.

reader_iam said...

If you said this is a crappy post, would I say, but I didn't charge you money for it, so you get what you pay for? That's nuts!

Well, it would be nuts for YOU to say that, because that's not something you'd say. That's not how you look at it. Which is cool.

I, on the other hand, might very well say something like that (hell, I think I might even have done so, at one point or another, on a long-time abandoned blog). And I suspect I'm not the only one in the blogosphere who might say something like that.

---

As for moving to a different platform, I say do whatever you want and think best. What else is there to say?

rhhardin said...

As for keeping in touch, nightly right-wing code practice is always an option, say just before W1AW on 3555 if they still do that.

Who can forget the nightly tube tables.

cubanbob said...

Google doesn't provide blogger for free out of the goodness of their hearts. It's a reason for people to use Google and hence to generate ad income from viewers. Sites like Althouse generate a lot of views and hence potentially a lot of ad income for Google. If the TV networks had near unlimited channels and willing content providers to fill those channels with the providers providing the content free of charge it would be a very sweet deal for the network. Althouse provides blogger a lot of traffic and probably more than a few bucks in ad revenue. Maybe they should be throwing some bucks her way above the small cut she gets for each ad.

rhhardin said...

Google wants content.

Organizing content in novel ways, some of which may pay, is the idea.

Keeping track of content might be a sign of competence in this business plan, which would seem to depend on it.

There's Google's cost of losing your blog, revealing how you can't trust them whether you're paying or not.

It's another matter if, as I'd expect, they can eventually recover your blog.

They might want to do so for that reason.

reader_iam said...

Riffing off what rhhardin just commented: Who knew Wisconsin (for example) still has so much Ham activity?!

jbell said...

pajamas, pajamas. (with apologies to B. Marley)

Michael K said...

About ten years ago, I was having trouble with my ISP which was called @home. I called the customer service line to complain and mentioned that I was using this service in business and needed it to be reliable. The girl on the phone said, that was a mistake because this service was for entertainment only and if I wanted to use it for business, I would have to go elsewhere

Maybe that is Google's rationale for complaining about the size of your archive. 90% of the blogs on Blogger probably have little activity.

rhhardin said...

What's different about blogger content is that it's hugely dynamic, with space being allocated across lots of servers all the time; and it can hit moments of for some reason screwing up, giving a contamination that spreads wildly if not firewalled, which may be the vulnerability they have here.

Most of their content, eg. scanned books, stays as it was when inserted and so is not particularly subject to wildfire screwups.

reader_iam said...

Oopsy! Screwed up the Ham link in my previous comment.

madAsHell said...

It would be interesting to know the top 10 bloggers at blogger.

It would also be interesting to know how google management communicates these results to their blogger team.

nitecruzer likely thinks of himself as an IT wizard, but needs to be re-educated as customer service.

Jess said...

reader,

Dang! I got ahead of myself and was looking for Hamm's.

Simon said...

My question is how, after this experience, staying on Blogger is even an option. How can you know that the old posts will be restored? How can you be sanguine with the knowledge that the entire written enterprise here can be taken away, forever, by an entity over which you have no control and little legal relationship? What will you do when this happens again and the blog isn't restored, when it's deleted altogether. I find it mystifying that you're seriously talking about how the templates are nice and other such frippery in the context of an existential threat to the blog, its future, and its archive.


MadAsHell said...
"nitecruzer likely thinks of himself as an IT wizard, but needs to be re-educated as customer service."

Experientially, IT wizardry is usually incompatible with being good with customer service.

Rose said...

frankns - it's not just protecting people like Ann - but it is about protecting against Big Brother Memory Holes.

We have all seen the devolution of the so-called "Mainstream Media" - the JournOlists, the Soros funded talking points, and we all see the possibilities for abuse in a White House kill switch, the collection of vast amounts of our personal data - etc. etc. It's a brave new world, and the ability for an entire side of the political debate to be silenced, wiped out at the touch of a Google or governmental button is something we should think about.

Businesses in our state (CA) have to have a Disaster Plan, and if they are smart it includes providing the ability to set up an alt site so that they are able to stay in business in the event of mass outages...

I don't know, I'm just asking - a whole lot of us depend on our ability to communicate online...

Right now it is the conservatives at risk, but that could flip, which is why we should all care and work to protect all voices.

Doug Wright said...

Althouse: Your blog and your choice. We'll be "here" regardless of where "here" is hosted, IMHO!

Google has a mixed history. Its Reader was great when it worked for RSS feeds. Then a couple of years ago, things went wacky and reader seemed to be stuck in a morass of its own making. Other examples probably exist, so I've been told.

Cheers and thanks for all those memories and many more.

wv: rellizi, wasn't it?

Trooper York said...

Well look it at this way. It says all the trouble for anybody who gets in a snit and wants to remove all his old comments.

They are all gone anyway.

Takes a lot of the juice out of the flounce off. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

I meant to say "Saves all the trouble."

Blogger makes my spell like shit. Yeah that's the ticket!

Browndog said...

Patterico Locked Out of GMail for Comments in Support of Ann Althouse
-Posted on Ace

Anyone who was paying attention in the summer of 2008 knows Google is evil-

Bloggers had to become quick-draw screen-shot artist as data disappeared before their eyes (and mine)

They hid Obama's past, and that of his affiliates within minutes of it being discovered.

Saw it with my own eyes.

Still wondering WTF....or as He says...Winning The Future.

paul a'barge said...

http://www.google.com/search?q=nitecruzr+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

bwah hah hah!!!

Look at this nimrod's hit counts.

Trooper York said...

Well I had a friend reach out to
the world's greatest consulting detective.

Perhaps we can get some answers.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

Google has a reputation as a brilliant company, but that's just very clever hype. It's funny April Fools pranks and a great email program.

For the most part, they are actually a stubborn and abusive company.

This will become more clear in the next ten years, and we're going to regret how much data they have on each of us. They know everyplace you've looked into on Google maps. They know what kind of car is in your driveway. They know who your kid googled. They will sell that information, else they wouldn't have collected it.

What happens when their databases are breached? It is incredibly valuable... it's inevitable. There is a sophisticated profile of each of us, built on our private emails, google voice conversations, shopping, porn preferences perhaps.

It's time for people to find alternatives to google. They let thugs handle their customer service because they want to scare people away from asking hard questions.

Fred4Pres said...

Google administrators are to Althouse as French IMF administrators are to NYC hotel maids.

Donald Douglas said...

Ann: Lots of people advise me to leave Blogger, and most say go to Wordpress. My standard line is composed of two responses: I like Blogger and Ann Althouse uses it. If you quit Blogger, I'll have less an authoritative reason to stay with it. All of this has really shaken my confidence, and frankly, I'm encouraging you to go ahead and go. I suspect I'll follow along not too much later, to a Wordpress blog on some hosting service somewhere. It will cost, but increased independence and control will come with the price.

ethan said...

Loss of your garbage is a net plus to the internets.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

Wordpress isn't the only alternative.

Typepad is one.

Facebook is arguably another.

Althouse's wish to have her blog last beyond her death is much better served by the Library of Congress, or some kind of annuity.


http://www.wave.net/upg/gate/

The Grand Inquisitor said...

"ethan said...

Loss of your garbage is a net plus to the internets."

Keep this in mind, Althouse. People like Ethan will be around after you are not. If you rely on a site like Blogger, they will report it as abusive, or otherwise find a way to destroy your blog.

There are enough angry little pre-loughners out there that you can't really rely on anything with community leadership.

Ethan, I don't get why you would think the internet should be cleansed of blogs you don't like. Why are you even here?

Sixty Grit said...

Ethan has arrived carrying the latest example of hate-filled leftist eliminationist rhetoric. Good to see you have not grown up, E.

Karl said...

Trooper said " Saves all the trouble for anybody who gets in a snit and wants to remove all his old comments.

They are all gone anyway.

Takes a lot of the juice out of the flounce off. Just sayn'"


I gotta tattoo of a skull puking roses - which seemed very cool during my completley misused youth - still on me. Do you think that Chuck the Google Tool could throw that down his bunny hole?
Am tired of the constant reminder of being that person

Henry said...

It makes sense to use a third-party service for non-essential activities. Backups, for example, or limited-use apps. I use cloud backup services and a number of hosted project management and email services.

But it's crazy to depend on a third-party service for essential content.

Neither Blogger nor Google has an guaranteed future. It is the buzz of the moment. Remember when CDs were the thing? And then remember when it was a big deal that over time through pinhole flaws their surfaces might oxidize and not last forever? And now, no one cares, because CDs are dead.

That's Google.

What matters isn't the host, it's the data. You need to own your own data.

Kirby Olson said...

I lost the first year of my blogging at one point, but I don't know why.

Then this last week I lost just the most recent post, and then all the comments. But there were only four comments.

It was not a loss as giant as the sinking of Atlantis, but it worried me that it was somehow the end of the world as I knew it.

However, your problem is far larger.

Maybe because your blog and your comments are numerically far more vast.

I know at least one leftist (Curtis Faville) who lost a couple of posts. On the other hand, he is against illegal immigration.

murgatroyd666 said...

Althouse, I've learned that Google maintains a team of well-trained efficient troubleshooters who can expedite service to restore your problems. Just go over to their help department and explain what's wrong -- I'm sure they'd be happy to help. In particular there's this one guy named, IIRC, nitecroller who can probably fix things in a jiffy.

LakeLevel said...

Google has made no apologies and even no comments about tracking every movement of the millions of android phone users. That should be enough said. Are you tracking this Google? you suck

Titus said...

My main concern is that my pinched loaves are still available and easy to locate.

As for the rest of you, meh.

shiloh said...

using this service in business and needed it to be reliable.

This blog isn't a business, it's a hobby. A self-absorbed, time consuming hobby, but a hobby nonetheless ...

MarkD said...

Ann's blog may just be a footnote to the death of "cloud computing."

I wouldn't trust these guys with my toenail clippings. Sometimes free just isn't worth it. Pictures of my kids or my vacation mean nothing to anyone but me.

I've worked in this industry for over 40 years. The only sin is to lose the customer's data. Hardware breaks. Networks go down. You always have backups of the data.

Just ask yourself if your bank would ever survive this. The Google circus will move on without me.

ethan said...

We stick around to note your spelling and grammatical errors, mostly.

And to gather material for "Professor" Althouse's eventual discharge.

reader_iam said...

My main concern is that my pinched loaves are still available and easy to locate.

Wait a minute. You mean they're not organic?

Oh, Titus. Talk about rocking my world.

: )

Laurel said...

ethan: We stick around to note your spelling and grammatical errors, mostly.

And to gather material for "Professor" Althouse's eventual discharge.

Really? REALLY? Love the scare quotes, ethan. Does not capitalizing your name (or your handle, natch) count as a grammatical error? Gosh, I'm sorry. 'Natch.

reader_iam said...

We stick around to note your spelling and grammatical errors, mostly.

Really? You do that sort of thing for free?

And to gather material for "Professor" Althouse's eventual discharge.

What's that supposed to mean? You're collecting material with which to regale her once she's retired?

You mean, no doubt, this: "And to gather material to use in an attempt to oust her from her [tenured] position."

Proofreader, edit thyself.

Mike Rophone said...

No matter how this turns out--and I hope the entire Althouse is restored to its original, fascinating state, Google's reputation has taken yet another hit. "Don't be evil"? OK, Google, stop being evil!

Andy K said...

"Google is getting paid. It is a commercial operation that depends on our good will. If it was crappy and gave the excuse "but it's free," no one would care. We'd go somewhere else, and then they wouldn't make money. So I am bored with the repeated assertion that Blogger is free."

Gee, Doc, when was the last time you balanced your metaphysical checkbook? Maybe your soul is overdrawn.

reader_iam said...

Ethan strikes me as the sort of guy who couldn't discern the difference between "equip" and "e-quip" if his life depended on it.

reader_iam said...

Dang! That line would be much better had I chosen "livelihood" instead of "life." Diction's a bitch.

; )

ethan said...

The intellectual firepower here is only rivaled by YouTube comments.

reader_iam said...

The intellectual firepower here is only rivaled by YouTube comments.

At last, Ethan!--there's a trickling of self-awareness on your part. Good job and congratulations, dude.

reader_iam said...

Of course, now I am quite curious: Which YouTube threads, Ethan? You do know they're not all the same, right?

reader_iam said...

I suspect you don't, you bastion of intellectual firepower, you.

Gary Rosen said...

ethan has a thing for discharge.

"The intellectual firepower here is only rivaled by YouTube comments"

Best post here since "Why are you wingnuts so insulting?"

Revenant said...

Google has a reputation as a brilliant company, but that's just very clever hype.

Er, no. They really are brilliant.

That doesn't mean there are plenty of ways in which they are jerks -- but technologically speaking, they are first-rate.

David@SimplyClicks.com said...

Ann,
I've had a similar problem this morning. A blog I've been writing since 2004 - http://travelthinking.blogspot.com - has gone. And no explanation. I have no backup. I can try to screenscrape the Google index which still shows the caches for 506 pages.

reader_iam said...

ADDED: I'm not going to keep this post bumped up to the top. It's too tedious to see it, and it makes the stuff below it look old. So... this is all very annoying, but I think I'll recover the whole archive soon enough... and this has lit a fire under me to make a big change that I think you're going to love!

So, a Huckabee reference.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

"Revenant said...

Google has a reputation as a brilliant company, but that's just very clever hype.

Er, no. They really are brilliant.

That doesn't mean there are plenty of ways in which they are jerks -- but technologically speaking, they are first-rate."

No they aren't.

There are some innovations, but they don't have the best search engine, they don't have the most bulletproof unhackable email, and their blogger technology is atrocious, ancient, and fails all the time.

They are like Apple. There's some cool factor and some innovations, but 99% of the appeal is just hype.

The Grand Inquisitor said...

And yes, I realize that the media presents Google as being 100% genius rocket scientists.

But their products are the result of brute force. Anyone could take a billion dollars and take a photo of everyone's house and record everyone's map searches and phone locations. That's not brilliant.

Donna B. said...

I've read plenty about blogging on Blogger, but very little about reading/commenting on a Blogger blog.

I hates 'em. As a rule, they load slowly, they hang, commenting format is the least useful around... and so on.

Here's to whatever change you're going to make!

shiloh said...

Again, ad nauseam, conservative whining aside ~ Google is free, so you are free to use it and the freedom not to.

Much like IE and Firefox, etc. etc.

take care, blessings