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March 17, 2006
The Great Blogger Degaussing Of 2006 (Updated)

Apparently the folks at Blogger have done a pretty horrible job of supporting their customers. Betsy Newmark had her entire site wiped out mysteriously by their system, and then experienced a boatload of frustration when she tried to correct the situation. Her URL also appeared to have been hijacked as well, but now seems like it's back on line.

She vented to Glenn Reynolds:

My blog disappeared from Blogger some time Tuesday. All I ge is a message that my blog wasn't found on their server. When I go to my Edit page, it doesn't show Betsy's Page as one of my blogs anymore. It's as if my identity was erased.

I just get this very irritating message
"The blog you were looking for was not found." It doesn't show up on my dashboard at all.

Now, somebody has started a blog using my address and hijacked it. This is not me, but it is my URL. How despicable is that?

I have been writing Blogger for the past two days and all I get are the irritating auto-generated messages. What does it take to get a personal contact from those guys?

They put up those deceptive notes on their Status Page saying that they are doing maintenance on the server and now everything is fixed.

IT IS NOT FIXED. They are either deceived or are deceiving people. Viking Pundit and DJ Drummond of Stolen Thunder and Polipundit have experienced the same thing, though DJ was somehow able to get his back.

Glenn's posting apparently did the trick -- someone at Blogger must have evicted the squatter and restored Betsy's blog. However, that kind of sloppy work and the horrid customer service rendered to Betsy should warn current and potential clients of Blogger to select another provider for their blogs. I've had great service from Hosting Matters, both in uptime and in customer support when things went wrong. I'm sure that there are many other blog hosts out there who could fill the need for Betsy and the many who were also affected by the outage.

Failures happen. It's what providers do to correct the situation that differentiates them, and of all industries, the blogging services should understand that most.

UPDATE: Betsy's back ... well, sort of. You can see her latest post here, but her domain still brings up a blank page otherwise.

UPDATE II: Jason from Generation Why? writes to inform me that his blog has suddenly succumbed to the giant Blogger sucking sound:

No sooner had I emailed Betsy Newmark to give her some advice on how to resolve her missing blog issues, then my own blog, Generation Why?, vanished from the face of the blogosphere. So, I've decided to permanently relocate my blog to:

I was fortunate to back up all of my archived posts, but unfortunately, because Blogger/Google trashed the cache of my site, I have to manually load them into the new site, which is beginning to look like a major undertaking.

Adjust your blogrolls accordingly -- and keep an eye out for other Blogger victims.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 17, 2006 6:49 PM

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