May 14, 2011

"Why as a Developer, I Switched to and Why I'm Staying With It."

Everyone's telling me to get out of Blogger. Here's the counter-argument, blogged last Monday — before the epic outage. This is hard to take:
I can expect my blog to be up 100% of the time. They simply don't go down! It was actually quite a relief today, with such a high traffic day (see my blog post about it), to not have to worry about any of my servers in the process. You simply don't need to worry about a burst in traffic, DoS attacks, or anything like that. Google handles all that for you and they're pros at it.
He's talking about going down because you get too much traffic. I've never had to deal with that issue. The idea of traffic as a bad, damaging thing... I've never blogged in that sort of environment. I've had the issue of getting waves of traffic from a very negative link, where I'm suddenly dealing with readers who are Althouse-haters. That's a problem in the comments, or if I click through to the link and see what sort of awful thing that's been said. Like on that blog that I don't link to anymore, where someone is trashing me for using the letter "M" to mean a thousand.


sane_voter said...

If you want to stay with Blogger, how can you get regular backups that preserve your blog and comments in totality?

Synova said...

I certainly didn't think you meant "thousand."

Lincolntf said...

I'm really fascinated by the M and MM designations for thousand and million. Sounds like one of those facts I would've caught wind of somewhere and then squirreled away. Learn something new every day.

MarkG said...

Where I come from -- science & engineering -- M stands for 'mega' as in millions. K means thousands.

I suspect Madman works in that tall building near the stadium. I'd like to hear his professional opinion.

bagoh20 said...

If you use "k" for 1000, it will never be misunderstood, but that only solves half the problem.

The problem with Google is it's too large. We can fix that. Use another search engine, blog hosting, and other things. There is no competitor for Google docs, but Yahoo mail is superior to Gmail in my opinion.

Spreading the wealth and power we have as consumers makes us all better off. The old problem of monopolies continues today but entirely by choice, laziness, low standards we demand, and herd mentality.

Republican said...

The benefits outweigh the liabilities.

Don't go rogue.

Carol_Herman said...

Comments are being chewed, and not posted. Blogger is back to being crappy, again.

Alex said...

Ann - do you have full backup of posts & comments?

bagoh20 said...

Rome is gone. Stop using Roman numerals and Latin. We have new stuff now. Get up to speed. If you use Latin where an English word is available, you are less interested in what you are writing than trying to impress people that you are educated. If your education does not allow you to make your point clearly in a modern language, then maybe you should downplay the fact that you spent time and money getting so smart.

bagoh20 said...

I'm not addressing anyone in particular - just ranting. GRRRRRR!

AJ Lynch said...

lincoln, I assume is is because "M" is Roman letter for thousand.

Maybe you first saw it in the movie credits as a kid when they showed the copyright year as, for example, MCMLVIII = 1958.

Issob Morocco said...

We all know "M" means the song, "Pop Musik"

YoungHegelian said...

There's two kinds of web traffic spikes. There's the avalanche of legitimate traffic (e.g. an Insta-lance) coming to your web site, and then there's the dreaded Denial of Service (DoS) attack which is where some malefactor deliberately sends a deluge of (usually deformed) requests to your site with the intention of shutting it down by overwhelming it.

The avalanche problems generally resolve themselves, but DoS attacks are simply a bear to defend against, and big companies like Google/Blogger are better able to provide that defense.

That being said, I don't think that even on Prof. Althouse's most controversial days, she truly pisses off the kind of folks likely to launch DoS attacks (e.g. hackers like ForChan, hostile foreign governments, black hats trying to greenmail porn sites, etc). Althouse mostly pisses off the cultural left, and they're not really into DoS as of yet, so I think she safe to move wherever she wants to go.

Maguro said...

Assuming the problem really was a technical glitch, it could have happened on any web hosting platform, free or paid for. Joe Posnanski used to blog at his own domain,, but it crashed last year and now he's got a new blog on...blogger.

No matter which way you go, backing up your stuff is the only way to make sure it doesn't disappear into the ether. As much of a pain in the ass as that is.

Gary said...

The developer totally confuses the functions of running and maintaining the infrastructure competently with running the blog and he's been fortunate so far. I believe he's enamored with free while what he's really seeking is widely available for reasonable money.

It's still common to use "M" for 1000 in American commerce on price lists and invoices. Engineering, metric, no.

Lincolntf said...

Yay, I'll put this with B.C.E. (20 years ago) as another annoying new thing to internalize.

Brian O'Connell said...

"Rome is gone. Stop using Roman numerals and Latin. We have new stuff now."

And that new stuff is the even older Greek kilo, mega, and giga.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you use "k" for 1000, it will never be misunderstood, but that only solves half the problem."

I was taught long about to use M to mean a thousand, which it does. It's also used to mean a million, which creates confusion. I agree that it's better to use K now, but it's just dumb to go off on someone who uses M for a thousand. I mean there's a lot of ambiguity in language. Deal with it. If you're my editor, I'll agree with you about making the change to avoid confusion, but if it's already out there, you a jackass to get rude about it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann - do you have full backup of posts & comments?"

My most recent backup was done on March 17th. Close enough that I'm not despairing, but I should have done it every day.

BJM said...

There is no such thing as 100%...5 "9's" is the top benchmark...however it may be ungracious nitpicking to point that out.

Every server will go down, the difference is how quickly the host brings your service back up.
Blogger is easy and there is something to be said for that, but the length of your outage and that they won't/can't point to a backup/alternative site is, IMO, unacceptable.

Your domain DNS points to netnation in Vancouver, perhaps they have short turnaround DNS re-pointing service.

btw-I've used a 3rd party DNS service for years and can re-point in 15 minutes or less depending where my entry is in the server sweep. So you might think about that as a alternative. No-ip dot com is user friendly, reliable and cheap.

BJM said...


There is no such thing as "free" bandwidth, someone has to pay for physical overhead, access to the backbone and bits transferred.

Google earns beau coup dinero from Blogger, as do high traffic bloggers.

edutcher said...

There is no such thing as, "it never goes down". A programmer should be the first to understand that.

Granted, there are all sorts of failovers that can be put in place and some systems are legendary for stability, but backups, etc. are done for the reason that the system could go down and all the redundancies can fail.

Take that blog entry with a grain of salt the size of Lot's wife.

Ann Althouse said...

"Google earns beau coup dinero from Blogger, as do high traffic bloggers."

I'm sure Google makes tons from AdSense, but I took it off the blog because the amount of money is insulting to the individual blogger. It's just stupid.

BJM said...

Adsense is the visible part of Google's marketing income stream. Gathering demographics is a core sector of their business, always has been.

Google sweeps a high percentage of traffic passing over their servers.

Yahoo is even more blatant about email sweeping than Google, but then they're getting desperate.

I have no problem with Blogger, it's a good service, I simply like to be mistress of my domain.

RobinGoodfellow said...

In the metric world (SI units), k denotes 1000. In the world of English units, m denotes 1000, and mm denotes one million. Current air emission permits normally list boiler heat input limits in "mmBtu/hour."

BJM said...

@ edutcher

that the system could go down and all the redundancies can fail.

Including backups...While preparing the annual 10Q the CFO uploaded a corrupt database. We had to manually reconstruct the quarter.

Shit happens, just hopefully not on your watch.

Bob Ellison said...

"it's just dumb to go off on someone who uses M for a thousand"

No, it's just informed. In the modern world, M = million. Gotta get used to it. Don't be defensive about it; learn the new letters. K, M, G, T.

RE: not wanting to worry about bandwidth-- that issue went away years ago for people with real servers. Don't judge your potential by own-serving bloggers who run web servers out of their nephews' basements. Serious web hosting can handle overages. You might pay more, but it's totally feasible.

shiloh said...

AA, there's soooo many other things to trash you for, besides your uppity use of "M" lol.

just sayin'


My most recent backup was done on March 17th.

hmm, St. Paddy's Day as you must have the luck of the Irish ...

T J Sawyer said...

I admit to being a bit embarrassed for A.A. when I noted her use of "M". But, guessing at her readership levels, I interpreted it as meaning thousands. I figured it was due to the lack of adequate geeks in most quarters of the law profession.

On further reflection, I thought about all those contracts that lawyers write with sub-sub-sub-paragraphs (i) ,(ii), (iii) and the like.

But, of course, I realized! She probably is just thinking in Latin and the Roman Numeral M just came out naturally.

I wonder, though, what she thought the first time someone said "IM me!"

rhhardin said...

An inactive blog ought to be pretty safe from deletion, if you're worried about being dead.

The vulnerability is in a blog likely to be getting a pointer at a time when the system is delivering bad pointers.

Then you have a blog that their diagnostics will see as a recovery complicator, and delete.

If your blog isn't doing anything when the system is misbehaving, then it won't pick up bad pointers and won't get removed as collateral damage.

Steven H. Noble said...

Maybe a halfway measure is a good move. That is have a non-blogspot domain that you own and points to Clearly leaving will lose you a ton of traffic if you do it today but having a shadow domain will take a little leverage away from google (especially if you try to encourage people over to the new domain). Even if the level of perceived leverage that google has won't change their behaviour (it clearly won't) it can at least give you some peace of mind.

There are other companies that can provide you with the ability to handle large traffic similarly to google, also with very little headaches.

T J Sawyer said...

"Clearly leaving will lose you a ton of traffic if you do it today..."

And that is not nearly the problem that having all the broken links all over the blogosphere that currently point to this domain.

Of course, if Blogger never gets get those old post back up here ...

Nora said...

I had problems with your blog for several days before it went down completely. I got error messages or one or other piece of sofware missing messages from time to time, but all the problems were temporary. earlier I also had problems with Google mail. Not the best advert for their cloud platform launch.

K (kilo) is used for thousand, as in measurments. However, I can't imagine some dolt holding you to your mistake, as you are clearly not a person with scientific/eng'g background.

Fen said...

Shiloh: AA, there's soooo many other things to trash you for, besides your uppity use of "M" lol.
just sayin'

Shiloh remains obsessed with Althouse and follow her wherever she goes.

Serr8d said...

I notice you're still allowing the Blogger "Navigation Bar" (that thing at the top with the "Follow, Share, Report Abuse, Next Blog). You can do away with that completely.

Edit your template as follows:

/* Header

#navbar-iframe {
height: 0px;
visibility: hidden;
display: none;

That way, the Navbar will be disappeared, and no scurrilous LeftLibProggs can mount an attack on you.


shiloh said...

Breaking ...

AA never goes anywhere as blogger/WI is her permanent home.

Fen, take care my obsessed wannabe jarhead pet!

Instugator said...

So, what is the Over/Under on the time it takes Pajamas Media to offer to host Ann's Blog??

Henry said...

Sorry Mr. Developer. You get what you pay for. When you say "They simply don't go down" I think of the Titanic.

I like cloud services for a few things. I like them for backups. Because they're BACKUPS! If my backup server goes down, it doesn't affect my daily business.

One of my cloud backups is to Amazon's S3. It's Amazon. It can NEVER go down. Uh-huh.

Let's pretend that Google is really that big and that revolutionary. Let's pretend they're bigger than the Super Chief and California Zephyr put together. Well in 50 years, Google is Amtrak.

I wouldn't count on them.

rammer said...

Don't underestimate the potential disruption of an Instalaunch. I had one over the Christmas break while on travel, and my blog, hosted on a pentium server in my basement, just melted down, and I couldn't fix it until I got home.