Tech-y Tuesday | Who Owns Your Blog?

On Sunday, April 1st, I would have bet money Blogger/Google was playing an April Fool’s joke on me.

I mean this had to be a joke, right?

In the wee hours of the night (party animal right here, folks!) I found myself scouring the blogosphere (attempting to compensate for my absence from reading and commenting on your blogs lately) with the sole purpose of catching up and commenting my heart out, only to be greeted with the photo above.

Needless to say, my commenting quest was quickly brought to an end, and the only way to immediately remedy the odd and out of the blue issue was to comply with the request of this photo:

Instantly an article I read several months back (warning me about this) came flooding into my memory bank and I had to write this post. Unfortunately, I discovered this catastrophe around or shortly after 1AM, so I was spinning in exhaustion trying to determine a quick fix.

I immediately resurrected my WordPress blog where Jenn’s Adventures was born, but heartbreak sank in as I realized the last time I exported my blog content was back in February, thus any material after that–including blogs I follow via Google Reader would be lost. 

Feeling defeated, I turned to facebook so I could share the mishap and attempt to explain the technical difficulty of anyone attempting to visit my website:

While I am officially breaking up with Blogger, I don’t feel that WordPress is the replacement answer. In fact, it wouldn’t be worth the headache nor would it fix the problem because Blogger and WordPress share the same flaws: They Own Users Content and can therefore do what they want, when they want (IE: deactivate site).

In my fit of fury I quickly developed a new temporary website/coverpage bashing Google and this situation, but minutes before I was going to revise my Go Daddy settings and publish it, I received an email from The Google Team. They told me the issue had been resolved, which I am grateful for, for several reasons:

1) This inconvenient issue was rectified within a few hours.
2) This inconvenient issue happened during the wee hours of the night aka “off hours”
3) I can access my account now and export my most current content including scheduled and drafted posts.
4) I can attempt to rally all the blogs I follow and transfer URL’s to Linky Follower <– Makes me appreciate this Google Reader Alternative even more!
5) I can bid this place a f*%&ing Adieu

Moving forward, the question isn’t which blogging platform should I use? The question is whom am I more comfortable owning my blog?

If I use Blogger OR WordPress, they own my blood, sweat, and tears connected to my blog. Have you read Bloggers Terms of Service and their Content Policy? How about the WordPress Terms of Service. Not a fan!

After talking with my boyfriend we decided the only way to accommodate my needs, and therefore best available option is to cut out as many middlemen as possible.

So what are we scheming?

The original plan was to prep the server he built awhile back with [more] quality components to accommodate numerous websites, load times and page views efficiently. However, after talking with a few people about the idea, it’s apparent that simply will not work at this time.

My man is a huge Linux fan and swears I will love it one day, too. I’m definitely intrigued with open source systems and content management though, so why wouldn’t I love Linux, right? So that is the answer to this conundrum: get comfortable with OSS, then get my domain hosted.

In the mean time I will be strategizing my final goodbye with Blogger to alleviate as much headache as possible while learning as much and as fast as I can about open source systems and packages. Who knows if the change will even be noticeable, but I wanted to share [our] latest project and will continue to post progress updates for those who might be interested in this sort of series.

My risky plan for now is to continue blogging here until the official departure–but not without daily exporting my content! I can’t hardly wait to rip the Band-Aid off, but not until it’s absolutely ready.

Questions!

What are your thoughts regarding above? 
Were you aware of the Blogger & WordPress Terms of Service and their power over your blog?
Are you familiar with OSS?
Has this happened to you before?
If so, what was your resolution? 

I was naively unaware of either Terms of Service until I randomly came across an article a few months back explaining the reality and risk of blogging via certain platforms, such as Blogger, WordPress, or Tumblr (let it also be known facebook owns all our content as well). I suppose I disregarded the warning from the article I read thinking “that will never happen to me!” and was still completely blind-sided. I have never felt so helpless and so frustrated not having control over something that was legitimately mine. This experience very much reminded me of SOPA/PIPA and the very reason we can never allow congress to pass such a bogus Bill infringing on our Rights. I think taking matters into my own hands (literally hosting our own websites in the future and building our own “blogging” platform) is the best decision. The only third-party involved would then be the company I registered my domain through. It’s good to have goals;)  

Did anyone get April Fooled? 

 

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11 thoughts on “Tech-y Tuesday | Who Owns Your Blog?

  1. I actually had my blog disappear from blogger like that a month or so ago. It reappeared almost as quickly as it went missing. I still don't know what happened. It wasn't a typo, it was legitimatley gone – and – I came to discover that there is no real support for the blog either. The way you contact someone for help is to post your issue on a discussion board and hope someone replies. Not really the option you wnat when you are freaking out because your blog is gone.

  2. While the blog has never disappeared GFC hasn't actually worked properly for me in months so I no longer use it but blogger hasn't done me wrong YET.

    Not sure what Allan's mom knows about stuff like this but she is a computer programmer if you want to pick her brain!

  3. @Ali Mc haha, maybe!! I will definitely be posting play-by-play's of what I do. I'm bummed we're not going to be hosting my website ourselves, however, I am already looking into Joomla as an Open Source Content Manager. It's very tech-friendly for those who aren't completely comfortable with coding. I'm still in the discovery phase right now, so even though that may be the route I take, I'm not recommending it…YET. But I promise to update accordingly:)

  4. @Karen I can't believe the same thing happened to you, too! I think I clicked on the hyperlink stating “If you're having trouble receiving a verification code,” etc. etc. and hoped my piece of mind would get to someone who could help.

    I notice you're still with Blogger after your incident — do you have plans on leaving for fear it will happen again?

  5. @Suz and Allan Oh my goodness, don't even get me started on Google Friend Connect!! GFC is so useless, I don't even know why it's even still around!

    I hope Blogger never does you wrong girl, because I cannot express the feeling — This post just scratches the surface!

    I forgot Allan's Mama is a computer programmer. I should ask her what her favorite Open Source Content Manager is… Like I shared with Ali above, we sort of have a game plan, but I'm still in the discovery phase.

  6. That must have been horrible! As much as I dislike the terms of service offered by both Blogger AND WordPress, for me it's a matter of finding the lesser of two evils. I have neither the time nor the skills to investigate a third options, but I'll be happy to learn more about what you discover!

  7. Once again, I thank you for a great and informative post! I would love to have my [actual] own site someday, but have no idea how to do it!! Maybe your series will be of help as you switch yours. I will definitely be following along.

    I don't like the idea of someone else owning my content when, like you mentioned, it is clearly mine.

    Thank you so much!!

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