Blogger’s self-inflicted woes

I find it quite amusing that blog reading has just about stopped since that mighty engine of the internet and shining example of the power of cloud computing – Blogger, has been for approaching 48hrs now.

Yet tiny garage shoestring operations like NS or OOL sail on serenely undisturbed by the storm tost seas. Note also that the outage is entirely self inflicted by Blogger – from their Help Forum –

‘We have rolled back the maintenance release from last night and as a result, posts and comments from all users made after 7:37 am PDT on May 11, 2011 have been removed. Again, we apologize that this happened and our engineers are working hard to return Blogger to normal and restore your posts and comments. We will post a report once this work is complete.’

And note further that this is the second major computing cloud outage in a couple of weeks… The Amazon EC2 Cloud was out for an extended period a week or so back, also due to ‘maintenance’.

Mark Mayo of Joyent commented –

‘It was fantasy believing it was possible to pull off a centralized network block storage service in a multi-tenant cloud without any of the architecture shenanigans our enterprise brethren do and think that applications, databases, and business could depend on its being perfect.’

While technical, the article is worth a read.(h/t Theo Schlossnagle at Esoteric Curio)

You are invited to compute the financial implications were there service level agreements in play at Blogger, or if your business depended on your blogsite – e.g. to keep all your business documents, or process all your business transactions?

The ongoing and ever recurring re-invention of the mainframe computer monolith as the source of all that is good in computing is rather a good analogue/metaphor for the central state/individual dichotomy I think?

28 comments for “Blogger’s self-inflicted woes

  1. May 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Sorry to break in to Chuckles’ opening post but as of 17:57, I think Youtube is also down. All my youtubes have either disappeared or are in an endless loop. Is anyone else finding this?

    18:13 – seems to be back.

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      Not me. Are you using the Flash version or HTML5?

      • May 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm

        Flash but it does seem back though.

        • May 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm

          I blame Facebook. They’ve got a wax image of Larry Page and have been sticking pins in it. At least it’s all back. Or mostly back. TBH I didn’t even notice YouTube go.

  2. QM
    May 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Seriously not happy about this, but fortunately my last missing post I also copied to Orphans as well, so I know where I can republish from if necessary.
    As for being amused by bloggers being shafted by google, well I hope you don’t find yourself in a similar position yourself one day chuckles. Not so funny when it’s your labours screwed up by something beyond your control.

    • Chuckles
      May 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm


      I’m not in the least bit amused by bloggers being shafted by Google. That said, I would never use such a service for much of anything. If it’s important enough to be done, then it’s under my control/management. ‘Don’t outsource core competencies’ in ‘management speak’?

      My amusement is directed more to the breathtaking arrogance of people like the large multi-nationals that believe their own PR about the invincibility of their mighty multi-million dollar systems.
      As we see here, when the effluent hits the rotating, nobody knows what is going on, or how to recover, and it is a painful drawn-out process to stagger back to a semblance of normality.

      I must also confess to a fair dose of schadenfreude on learning that the Blogger Status Pages are hosted as a blog on…. you’ve guessed it, Blogger. What could go wrong?

      And while I have no proof thereof, I suspect that Blogger is similar to the Google search engine – don’t bother complaining about the way they treat the customer. You are not the customer, you are the product. 🙂

      • May 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm

        Maybe it was an “accidentally-on-purpose” outrage to get a load of weight off: many will now pay for their own www and others will off and pay for wordpress. IPv4 exhaustion is upon us…literally,
        IPv4 address exhaustion was estimated to be sometime from May to July.

    • May 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

      I have never used Blogger. When I first started out, I used Blog-City for a brief while. It didn’t take me long to realise that a self-hosted option using WordPress – or equivalent was the way to go. Not perfect as you can still encounter losses, but you have much greater control. Also, you can do your own backups, which is very, very important.

  3. May 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Blogger is at least no longer in read only mode and those of us who use them can now post again. Missing content and comments seems to be a work in progress. I guess it’s possible that some may be lost for good but we shall have to see.

    Personally I’m outraged and shall be demanding a refund of at least two month… oh, wait 😳

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      It seems you can only post again if you post something new, right now. Attempting to post something you’d scheduled already, either now or in the future, is megaFAIL! 👿

  4. May 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    *weeps quietly, rocking in the corner*

    • May 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      Oh, dear. Looks like we have a blogging addict in need of an intervention here. Someone hold her hands long enough to put WoW on instead. 😈

      • May 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm

        Away, vile tempter!

  5. May 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Apparently the missing posts and comments will be returned. When, they didn’t say. It’s my experience that weaknesses like this in any given system have a tendency to repeat like smoked mackerel.

    Hence I shall be ‘jumping ship’ from blogspot.

    • May 13, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      As I did in 2009, Bill, after they shut me down because someone decided to flag me for what eventually became obvious was no reason.

      • May 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm

        I’m seriously considering it, having seen how easy WordPress is to operate on my stint bwhind the levers of power at OoL.

        But I’m like an abused wife – no, no, Blogger loves me, it can change!

        • May 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm

          The bugger is the lack of customisation possible with free WP blogs. That’s been the main thing that’s kept me with Bugger after I lost patience with their shithouse comments system. I’m in the process of moving but I’m still not sure I can have a similar layout as I have over at Bugger. And in fairness to Bugger although this cock up of theirs has been pretty massive it’s not like things go tits up there all the time. Mine’s three and a half years old now and I’ve been following blogs for about a year or so longer, and this is the first time I recall anything like this happening.

          • May 14, 2011 at 12:27 am

            If you host WordPress your self on cheap or free hosting it becomes a lot more customisable. You can pretty much run a WordPress site on a plug computer if you want to.

            Run your own infrastructure it’s the way forward 🙂

        • May 14, 2011 at 8:01 am

          WordPress and its like – Movable Type, for example – give you much greater control but the important part is self-hosting and doing your own backups.

  6. May 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I can confirm that YouTube has also had problems today and Twitter has been unavailable at times due to overload – probably everyone complaining about Blogger.

    I’ve spent my time setting up at WordPress.

  7. microdave
    May 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    According to the following report Bloggers OWN blogs are also affected – including the status one!!

    I’ve just clicked the link in that article and they claim that most things are now back and running. Some of the “missing” data is still being worked on.

  8. May 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Well, suddenly all of today’s scheduled posts have just appeared. Still some comments missing from late last night/early morning, as far as I can tell.

    • QM
      May 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      My last post is still missing and I’m not going to attempt anything today, just to play it safe.

  9. May 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    This is of course why introducing single points of failure into a resilient network is silly. And it’s actually really really easy to run your own instance of wordpress or the like on cheap/free hosting and thus not be at the behest of a single large provider.

    I really must get round to writing the second part of that article.

    (still running on independent shared hosting)

  10. May 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    “is rather a good analogue/metaphor “??

    I wouldn’t know about that, although I’d accept it “is rather a good analogy/metaphor”.

    • May 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      I’ve got one of the new digital metaphors myself. Bloody thing keeps breaking down though.

      • Chuckles
        May 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

        MW, can we appoint you Chief Proff Redder for OOL? Alternately, Ah, I see you spotted my deliberate error…(as my physics lecturer used to say)

        AE. Yes they can be quite temperamental, either work or they don’t. Digital stuff is quite funny like that, in a binary sort of way. Did you perhaps let the magic smoke out?

  11. Lord T
    May 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    And they wonder why all us old farts are concerned about Cloud Computing.

    btw: You can host your blog at home is you are on broadband. If you have a fixed IP it is easy, if not you can use a dynamic IP service. Buy your domain name via one of the many service providers and get them to put your IP in the DNS.

    I wouldn’t recommend that btw. A fully hosted system can be had for £5pcm.

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