Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rudely interrupted

So, where was I before I was so rudely interrupted?

There was a major disruption to this and countless other blogs the past couple days after Google-owned Blogger/Blogpspot, the host of this blog and tens of millions of other blogs, sorta blew up. They explained:
“Here’s what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night [Thursday afternoon NZ time], we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages… [snip] Yesterday we returned Blogger to a pre-maintenance state and placed the service in read-only mode while we worked on restoring all content: that’s why you haven’t been able to publish. We rolled back to a version of Blogger as of Wednesday May 11th, so your posts since then were temporarily removed. Those are the posts that we’re in the progress of restoring.”
I realised something was wrong when I tried to post Thursday evening and couldn’t. I eventually just gave up. However, any post and comments added after 2:30am Thursday NZ time disappeared (I wasn’t affected by that because I couldn’t post at all). At the time I’m writing this, Blogger’s still trying to restore them all. At about 10:40am today, Blogger Tweeted: “Thanks for all the encouragement. We [heart emoticon] our users! Still working away at restoring you posts. We really appreciate your patience & support!”

For me, this was just a minor irritation. After all, I sometimes skip days (and even a couple weeks with my podcast), so NOT posting something isn’t really a big drama for me.

The one thing that I did find a little frustrating was Blogger’s lack of communication with users. At some points, their own maintenance blog was inaccessible, so they ended up posting updates to a Google forum. They Tweeted more frequently than they updated the forum/maintenance blog, but still not nearly often enough.

However, the bottom line for me is this: You get what you pay for. If I were paying for my blog’s hosting and maintenance, I’d have good reason to complain. But Blogger is free, so I have to take the bad with the good. Plus, this is the first big problem I’ve encountered in the 4 years, 8 months I’ve been doing this blog, which isn’t bad—and excellent when you consider what I pay for it!

The failure does raise serious questions about the wisdom of moving to “cloud computing”, something I’ve been sceptical about since I first heard Microsoft pushing a similar idea back in the 1990s. I’m even more sceptical now. But that’s a topic for another day.

Right now, I just want to get this posted—if I can!

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