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Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Brief Word on Google Blogger's Despicable Treatment of its Users

While for the moment posting continues, as part of Blogger's scheme to pressure its users into switching to Beta Blogger, there are slowdowns in moderating comments because Blogger is blocking me from accessing my account unless I switch to Beta. There are ways to get around this but they are increasingly time consuming and problematic.

I have seen internet services try to annoy and nag people into switching to the latest version, but what Blogger is doing is actually shutting down accounts for as much as a day in order to bully users into switching to Beta. While Blogger's main page smilingly says, "lucky users are getting the chance to switch", the reality is particular users have been targeted, likely because of bandwidth usage, and are being browbeaten into switching to Beta, with accounts being shut down for periods of time. This is literally a forced migration.

Contrary to Blogger's phony claims about the switch, it does indeed risk a loss of data. Numerous people have reported loss of their archives, a messed up template and a frozen blog and other problems as a result of the switch. More to the point Blogger Beta offers only one advantage, categories, and a major disadvantage, the loss of any real ability to customize my blog. The design and layout of this blog was the result of painstaking effort by Lemon Lime Moon and myself. I cannot even begin to duplicate it in Beta's XML, which I've found impossible to work with.

The new Blogger on one end offers a lame WYSIWYG interface that's fine for amateurs who want to toss together a blog Myspace style. If you want something more than that though and want to edit your own template, it requires dealing with a system that's just impossible. That's why most Beta blogs have a cookie cutter look, where once Blogger's strength was customization, Beta Blogger is crippleware that all but disables any real customization.

Blogger's entire approach to the switch consists of a pattern of deception and lies. Initially Blogger tells users that they are switching their 'blog" to Beta. That isn't true. They aren't switching their blog but their account and all the blogs on it.

Blogger tells you about all the features you will receive if you switch your blog. This is a lie. Switching your blog to Beta will not get you those features. Only "upgrading" will. Upgrading means jettisoning your template for one of Blogger's cookie cutter templates.

Despite Blogger's forced migration of users, there is no note anywhere on the Blogger site describing what they are doing and why. No email message. Just warning signs when you are attempting to log into your account that give you no other option. While outwardly Blogger is maintaining its facade of a voluntary switch, the switch is not voluntary. It's a company bullying and abusing its users and depriving them of other options. And lying about it all the while.

Had I obtained a domain name for this blog, this blog would probably be on Wordpress already. Too many people though have bookmarked the blogspot address and I don't like the idea of losing readers in the process, but I am nevertheless strongly contemplating it now, as I continue to try and find ways to bypass Blogger's account shutdowns. Blogger's behavior is a gross breach of trust with its users and part of the pattern of arrogance and deception that seems to mark its corporate parent, Google's attitude.

People used to use Blogger because it was an easy and open system. It's not any of those anymore. And that's a shame.

3 comments:

Vanfield said...

I just wanted to give a word of encouragement, and say that you should make the jump, to your on domain name.

Lemon Lime Moon said...

Yes they are Philistines and truly are mean. *cries*

sultan knish 3 said...

thank you vanfield, the expense of a domain name is not that significant and my blog won't be held hostage of a particular blogging host anymore

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