December 6, 2005

The great Blogspot outage of '05.

I don't know why all the Blogspot blogs went blank last night for a few hours. Did I freak out? No. It helped that I could see my "compose" and "edit posts" pages, so I didn't worry that my writing was lost. I just turned off the computer, did some work, fell asleep early, and slept eight hours. I did wake for a minute during that long sleep, and it did occur to me that I could turn on the computer and see if we were back, but I didn't. It's nice to see it's all working now.

Do I hate Blogger now? No. This is the first significant problem since last spring. Anywhere else would have its own problems, and Blogger is too big to fail. Right? But I would like an explanation.

UPDATE: Blogger explains the outage.


Dave said...

"too big to fail"?

Perhaps you've heard of AT&T?

Or Bethelehem Steel?

Or Enron?

Or Worldcom?

"too big to fail" is a myth perpetuated by people who like to think the American economy is static. Which is not to say that Google is in imminent danger of failure, but there is no such thing as a company being too big to fail.

nina said...

Do you back up your blog?
I, too, would like an explanation. Fact is, it could all disappear and valuable contacts would be lost. To say nothing of your written material.

Ann Althouse said...

Nina: I haven't been systematic about it. I wish Blogger had a feature that would let you download your whole blog. Not just the text, but the whole formatting with links and everything. Is there some way to do that?

Dale B said...

This isn't the first time that I couldn't get at anything on Blogspot. It's happened at least three times that I remember. This one was probably the longest lasting though.

Outages at web sites are annoying but they happen all the time and have been happening ever since the web was created in '93. I just come back later. Now if the outage also resulted in some of your data being lost or a transaction getting hosed, that would be more than annoying.

Mark Daniels said...

I'm with you on this. Like you, so long as I was still able to see my archives and the compose and edit functions, I felt okay. (Although I was a bit concerned when I was unable to post.)

Mark Daniels

reader_iam said...

Explanation would be nice and easy download for backup, with formatting, even better.

For whatever reason, I could not see previous posts or edit and compose functions for a good chunk of the latter part of the outage. Not a good feeling. Luckily some nice people (!) were quite reassuring.

Can't hate Blogger, though--you-know-what happens everywhere. Besides, it's not like I'm paying for a service--and freeloaders have limited latitude to complain too much (as I kept telling myself last night.)

The real solution, I suppose, is to maintain one's own server (which is what my husband first suggested when we first talked about my blogging three years ago). The problem is, that could be a real hassle, too, and I sure as heck would want some idea of volume etc. before we put one darn more server down in our basement for my husband to maintain.

Life, as they say, is short.

me said...

You can have your posts emailed to you. I use a google account. Also, I think they gave advanced notice that they were doing maintenance. You could also simply periodically highlight your posts and dump them into a word document, though you probably would lose some HTML and reposting would be a major pain.

Kind of like when the power goes out?

erp said...

If you save your output to a Word file and then to a disk every night you'll sleep more comfortably. Also, you won't lose formatting if you save the Word file as Text Only with Line Breaks.

I just got a flash drive and use it extensively, saving CD disk for monthly backups only.

reader_iam said...

All good ideas, though of course I'd prefer an easier way.

About the e-mail thing--I do have gmail account set up for that specific purpose, but interestingly, I didn't receive any e-mails for posts I'd put up at the beginning of the outage until later. And, weirdly, I never did get one for a post that was put up earlier in the afternoon--even though that one I knew for a fact had posted.

Probably coincidental, but interesting just the same. Just goes to show you can never let yourself go all warm and fuzzy over technology.


Palladian said...


This is a major problem with Blogger and related systems: your content is out of your control and is not easy to back up. I used Blogger for a while back in 2001 on my first blog and finally got so distressed at the problems (If anyone things Blogger has problems now, ask about pre-Google acquisition Blogger!) that I switched to Moveable Type because it was more flexible and, most importanly, it was all on my server rather than someone else's. This meant that I was not subject to the whims and vicissitudes of a distant content management system, and that I could easily and instantly backup all my work. Client-side systems like Moveable Type (and others, I'm going to use the open source Wordpress for my new weblog) are things you might want to consider. Moveable Type will even set it all up for you, though it does mean buying a domain and finding a hosting company, though they're a dime a dozen. Anyway, just some thoughts.

Tony said...

This is why I deep sixed blogger after 2 months and never looked back.

I went to phpwebsite (CMS system) with a custom blog module I hacked^H^H^H^H^H^H developed.

Much better. My content is backed up every night. The program is under my control so I can add new features if I want. All is well.

Now to start working on a replacement for Haloscan comments and trackbacks.

Howard said...

I don't see what is so hard about putting a CD into your drive and copying each time period. I've been doing that for a long time. And I echo the post regarding Blogger until a few months ago, it was cheap. Period.

And Blogger NEVER gives an explanation about anything.

Stephen said...

Howard, Blogger almost always explains their outages.

For instance, here's the response about this outage:

Pooh said...

I didn't realise how invested I was in this until I couldn't get on yesterday...

As far as content goes, bloglines might well have a lot of stuff saved, as might google cache or the 'wayback' machine.

Personally, I think it was a PJM hack so that we had to go to their sight to get our fix...

theMickey's said...

Glad to know it was`nt just my machine. My stuff is all disposable anyway...

Mine kept doin the timed out thingy.