Web junkies have become accustom to the idea that anything Google does is glorious, so it has come as something of a shock to realize that the its takeover of Blogger has been, well, not going well. In fact, for many people, the conversion has been a calamity.
Among those blogs that have converted, hundreds, perhaps thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of blogs, have been disabled. The main problem seems to be related to sites that use Blogger as a tool for remote FTP publishing. This occurs when people started with a blogger account and upgraded to a leased server with a new domain name. Blogger settings are then set for remote FTP publishing.
It sounds easy, and it worked fine for years. Then Google took over Blogger and people have been waiting for wonderful things to happen. Finally the day arrived with the new Blogger was taken out of Beta and Google encourage everyone to move. Then the blogging stopped. Many remote FTP sites will not publish. Images won’t load. The wait is interminable. Random errors appear. Meanwhile, Google has been unresponsive, for many weeks.
Theories abound. Some code in the old templates? Some strangely misinterpreted code on some host companies’ servers? Is Google attempting to nudge people to publish only its own servers? Whatever the case, the company has been incredibly nonresponsive.
Those who have found their way to the troubleshooting Googlegroup have been posting increasingly desperate pleas for help.
The most typical complaints:
“Blogger asked to change to new-blogger, so i did. Now that i have, all my blogs have disappeared from the front page.”
“Seems like every few days Blogger refuses to accept photographs, and it’s getting tiresome.”
“I did the switch over to the new blogger and I have been unable to publish a post since. Tried on IE6 and Firefox 22.214.171.124. Tried changing template but can’t republish blog to see if my original template caused the issues.”
“What good is a blog if you can’t blog anything? I believe it’s about time for the rats to abandon the sinking ship and head on over to WordPress or something. This erratic and sporadic behaviour of the “new” blogger is just too much to bear anymore.”
Here is one sad, sad thread with more than 100 messages.
What lesson can we draw from this? One is economic: even the most successful firms stumble, and perhaps ever more so the larger they become. Another is political: can you imagine the errors that would be pervasive if the government were managing the blogosphere?