Saturday, 14 May 2011

Blogger Outage Outrage

Here’s what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, 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. A small subset of Blogger users (we estimate 0.16%) may have encountered additional problems specific to their accounts.

Which sounds tiny, yet Blogger boasts that it has “millions of active blogs”.

Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest seems to have had the misfortune of being among that “small subset of Blogger users”. The pages of the Blogger Help forum are crammed with zillions of angry and frustrated bloggers, whose problems are familiar. For example:

When logging into my account someone else's blog is featured under my account. Has my account been hacked? How can I get it removed?

Problems specific to Crap Cycling include denial of blogger profile, denial the blog exists, attributing the blog posts to other bloggers/individuals, giving access to other people's blogs (and I suspect giving other bloggers access to this one), inserting a post from another blog, arbitrarily changing the password, and ALL KINDS OF WEIRD SHIT. Fortunately no malicious hacking seems to have been involved; just a comprehensive Blogger screw-up, accompanied by smiley-smiley messages that everything would get better soon.

As one blogger poster on the forum remarked

At the very least frequent updates would be professional. I understand maintenance issues; however, there clearly seems to be an underlying, deeper internal issue seeing as how communication has been almost nil & vague at best, and this severe problem has lasted an unreasonable amount of time.

And someone else wrote

They have unfortunately now coupled a technical issue with a PR issue. In this day and age it seems silly to me that a company of this stature (especially one whose existence is primarily to provide forms of COMMUNICATION) would address a problem like this with such disregard to its loyal customers/users. I've only been a Blogger user for 6 months and have always heard that it was at the bottom of the pack when it came to blog hosting sites. Maybe this is why.

Late Footnote

To those readers who spotted a recipe for paella appearing on Crap Cycling, this was thanks to Blogger generously overlapping this site with those of other bloggers. Somewhere in the great blogosphere I expect there’s a cookery site which offered its readers the unexpected main dish of roast Waltham Forest Council on a bed of diced Transport for London, in a rich peppery sauce.