In all likelihood, this post will only publish to the mirror, which is here, if you’re reading it.
One of the reasons for this mirror is to migrate from the old blog (the one you’re used to reading, to this — on WordPress — in a different directory on DD dot com) is the regular failure of Blogger’s FTP publishing infrastructure. It is now so obvious a problem to users, one might call it a feature. (See here and here, for example.)
This adds to the April problem of Google Blogger’s overzealous spam robots regularly classifying blogs which aren’t spam as spam blogs. (See here.)
And this does not include the failure of Blogger’s syndication feeds a couple weeks earlier, one in which the application was corrupting atom and rss feeds worldwide and replacing them with 0-byte files.
Or the time, when FTP publishing failed previously for DD this year when the application simply blew away the index root file of the old blog, necessitating a restoration from snapshot backup.
These problems are not isolated. They happen to Blogger’s users worldwide, particularly if they’re using FTP publishing to deliver their blogs from Google’s servers to wherever they are hosting, usually on a small business site or an institution. And they largely go unaddressed UNTIL hundreds of people start posting in Google’s ‘Help’ forums. At which point, wheels start to slowly turn, and something gets a little fixing without anyone actually explaining much about what was wrong. And then the punters stop whining. That is, until next week’s similar failure.
One might think this would occasionally be read of in the news media. After all, Blogger is a fairly widespread and socially well-entrenched application. But no, most reporters won’t deal with Google because it has become so big no one can talk to it.
Instead, Google tells them what for. It tells them they need to shut up and find new jobs because Google is going to take their news and spread it globally for free until they no longer exist, which will be soon. So all the good little journalists on the business and tech beats at the dailies spend their time extolling Twitter and how everyone ought to use it right away or their lives will crumble into ruin.
Hey! Maybe Google could be persuaded to take Twitter over and give it that unique Blogger touch. Then everyone would really have some fun.
Update: Blogger eventually took enough ragging over the FTP issue that one of the milksop computer business websites did a story on the subject here.
However, if you read through the short piece, the reporter never really gets around to putting the Blogger rep’s feet in the fire. For the record, it’s Rick Klau.
Since the FTP problem had been so obvious, Blogger did manage a rare apology.
“Let’s start with the most important comment on this state of affairs: this sucks, and we’re sorry,” said Klau.
However, Klau also furnished the standard response Blogger has delivered during the last few years whenever there’s an FTP publishing screw up.
It’s the private domain user’s fault. And it’s his or her fault because the hosting service is always changing its FTP logon protocols, flummoxing poor Blogger.
However, anyone who has used FTP through Blogger during the past couple of years knows this song and dance is the stock reply, one delivered even after the user has run down every detail on their hosting end and determined that nothing has changed.
In another way of speaking, it’s Google Blogger’s standard excuse. And they stick to it rigidly until complaints in the help forum get so loud they’re forced to quietly fix what is cocked up on their side. When the momentary trouble with FTP abates, they go back to whistling the same tune.
It’s one of the primary reasons I abandoned Blogger. Couldn’t stand the technical faults and excuses insinuating it was always the user’s fault. If you want to use your domain to host a blog, you should not go down the road with Blogger drawing your carriage.
Another way of describing various Google apps and their general approach to failure and crack-up:
Google’s introverted population certainly knows that it’s easier and cheaper to legalese your way out of a customer’s problem than it is to hire a person to pick up the phone.