Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Back - So is Most of This Blog

Update (5/13/2011 6:15 p.m. Central/11:15 p.m. GMT/UTC)
This blog's two missing posts are back:The Lemming is relieved!
First, the good news: The Lemming is now able to use Blogger's editing/posting service.

That's nice.

Now, the bad news: Wednesday's post is still missing. So is Thursday's.

That's frustrating: since the Lemming had opined about a (daft, in the Lemming's opinion) decision by school authorities (on Wednesday); and about the Crab Nebula (on Thursday).

Credit where credit is due, though: Blogger has acknowledged that there's something wrong - and been giving folks in the Lemming's position status reports.

Here's what Blogger has to say about the situation, in part:
"Friday, May 13, 2011

"Blogger is back now. We're still working on restoring some of the data. For more details, see this post:

"Posted by Chang at 10:32 PDT..."
That's good news, too, in a way :"still working on restoring some of the data." The Lemming hopes that the two missing posts from this blog is among the data they're working on restoring.

No rant, by the way: Blogger's system is big, complex - and SNAFUs happen.

Blogger's folks have a few words to say, themselves:
The Blogger shutdown isn't exactly front-page-headline material, but it has made the news:
"Google's Blogger was recovering on Friday from an outage that knocked the popular service offline.

"A Google spokesman said at 12:30 pm (1630 GMT) that users had been unable to publish on Blogger for the past 19 hours.

" 'Recovery is underway and we expect things to be back to normal soon,' the Google spokesman told AFP in an email. 'We're very sorry for the inconvenience this is causing.'...

"...Visitors who attempted to access the site at were met with the message: 'Blogger is unavailable right now. We apologize for this interruption in service.'...

"...Google was providing updates on Blogger's status at its official Twitter account, @Blogger, and on its status page at"

"Google got Blogger back online late this morning following a maintenance-related glitch that kept blogs dark for more than 20 hours.

" 'We're nearly back to normal -- you can publish again, and in the coming hours posts and comments that were temporarily removed should be restored,' Eddie Kessler, tech Lead/manager at Blogger, wrote in a post on the Blogger Buzz site at around 10:30 a.m. PT....

"...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. 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.'

"The publishing site has millions of active blogs, he said.

"Updated 10:59 a.m. PT to say Blogger is back up and provide more details."

"If you’re one of the many people that uses Blogger, a free blogging service owned by Google, you may have noticed some issues with your blog lately – namely, that you can’t update it. Blogger users have been locked out of their blogs since Wednesday night when a behind-the-scenes maintenance update went wrong.

"Users were informed on Monday that there would be an outage on Wednesday at 10 p.m. PST for an hour-long maintenance update. However, at 11 p.m., Blogger wasn’t back up. Blogger users were unable to update their blogs, and haven’t been able to for about 36 hours. Site content has been put into read-only mode, which means visitors can still come to the blog and read posts, but bloggers just can’t add any new material.

"As if that wasn’t bad enough, any posts that were added after 7:37 a.m. PST on Wednesday have been removed. We’re not sure if the content is just missing temporarily, or if the content is gone forever. We’re hoping it’s not the latter....

"...Owned and operated by Google since 2003, Blogger is mostly used as a personal blog platform. However, Google uses it as its blogging platform for its Gmail and YouTube official blogs among others. This means that if any of these popular services have announced news in the last 36 hours or so, Google has been unable to blog about it."
( [emphasis mine]

One of the reasons that the Lemming has used Blogger for years is that it's huge - and so is likely to get noticed by search engines. Think about it: If you were running a startup search site, would you take extra time to make sure that your bots paid attention to some blogging service run, say, out of someone's basement in central Minnesota?

Another reason the Lemming has used Blogger is that Google owns Blogger - and uses Blogger. The Lemming figures that the folks running Google aren't particularly daft, and will realized that it's in their own best interest to keep their blogging platform in working order.

Back to the news.
"Blogger is still down, after a routine maintenance update on Wednesday appears to have caused a major malfunction in the popular online publishing platform....

"...For blogophiles, this is a huge blow. No new postings from your favorite blogs, and no way to blog about the stress this is causing you....

"...By Friday morning, even viewing the blogs was shut down. For many people, reading the blogs they follow is as routine as watching the morning news, or drinking their morning coffee. How would your life be changed if these routine activities were suddenly taken away? No doubt, withdrawal would soon set in. If you are a blogger or blog reader, what are you doing today?"

In my case, it's not quite as bad as said. The Lemming's blogs are avaiable for reading. It was editing and posting that wouldn't work. Editing which included adding a URL that's missing from one of those also-missing posts.

Now, some blatant self-promotion. Blogs which you should be able to read. For the time being:

A Catholic Citizen in America
A Catholic Citizen in America

Through One Dad's Eye
Through One Dad's Eye

Drifting at the Edge of Time and Space
Drifting at the Edge of Time and Space

Apathetic Lemming of the North
Apathetic Lemming of the North

Now, one more bit of news, from yesterday:
"Google's Blogger service has been offline or unreliable for much of the day, with Blogger-hosted blogs changed to read-only mode, and posts and comments made after 7:37 a.m. PDT on May 11, 2011, removed....

"...Blogger had started rolling out its first major redesign in years in April. The team said in a tweet that the outage was not related to launching the new design."
(All Things Digital, CNET News)

The Lemming sincerely hopes that the outage isn't related to the new design. If it is, Blogger is in for the sort of off-again-on-again sporadic service that was plaguing Twitter for a while. Neato-keen, spiffy, new bells and whistles are nice - but reliable performance is better. In the Lemming's opinion.

While blogger was offline, the Lemming took a sort of unplanned sabbatical from blogging, organized some data, worked on a little art, and relaxed.

Relaxing is good.

After Blogger, What?

The Lemming's been told that WordpPress is a nifty bit of software for bloggers. The Lemming's also been told how easy it is to work with WordPress code and tweak it. And how many delightful hours can be spent, tweaking WordPress software.

The Lemming has coded now and then - but the Lemming is one of those bloggers who prefers to do research and writing for blogs, not spend hours playing working with the software. That's one reason that the Lemming hasn't started using WordPress, or any other alternative to Blogger.

Another is the time it takes to set up something new.

The Lemming had quite a lot of time, yesterday, and today. Also a very real incentive to find a sort of backup for Blogger.

There's nothing ready for viewing, yet: but the Lemming is working toward having a sort of 'companion blog' for Apathetic Lemming of the North, and other blogs.

The Lemming has also started composing and saving blog posts before copying them into Blogger's service - in case this happens again.

Now, to see if this will get posted.

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