Saturday, June 10, 2006


This has been a particularly tough week for those of us who use as our blog-hosting service.

Just about every day this week there has been some sort of "outage" where people have
been unable to open Blogger-hosted sites, create new Blogger posts or (God forbid) be able to leave comments.

You can mess with my browsing, but DON'T mess with my comments!

It's becoming more common every day. You try to access someone's blog or leave a comment and your screen just hangs. Here's an example of some of the messages you may have encountered this week:

(click to enlarge)

Yet as a blog author, it's hard to complain too much. I'm one of those who subscribe to the "you get what you pay for" theory of product quality. Therefore, if I'm going to use a free service such as Blogger, I'd better shut up and take what I get.

The problem is - about 75,000 new blogs are created every day (see this post for more information), and Blogger is one of the most popular tools out there. Because of this, Blogger just simply cannot keep up, and therefore is constantly battling server overload and database corruption problems, which leaves us users in the dark. Eventually, the serious bloggers become too frustrated by the inconsistency and move on to more stable and expensive solutions.

Here's a look at Blogger's maintenance log just for this week. If you think it's frustrating for us, imagine the hell that poor Jason has to go through on a daily basis.

(click to enlarge - then magnify)
That's one outage or serious problem nearly every day. Thank you Jason, you can have your job. In the meantime, until someone decides to pay me to write this chatter, I'll probably take the free service and put up with the problems.

But for you all, I have one request...

Don't give up on leaving comments for me when you can't get through!

Jason will have them up and running soon.


Karmyn R said...

Saw you got Smacked this morning - and not too badly. So, I thought I'd check you out and leave a comment, considering that I actually CAN leave a comment today!! Yup, we get what we pay for!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Thanks for stopping by!

You're right, I did submit my site for a smack. But just like the last time I didn't get much useful feedback.

I was interested in hearing some constructive opinion in the name of continuous improvement, but all they can seem to focus on is how much they like or dislike your header image or template colors.

To me, a blog's template is not why I read one. I like to learn about the author and take a peek into his or her life. I should know better with IT2M though. If you don't write angry sarcasm or swear like a sailor they simply write you off as "boring."

So thank you to my regular readers. I really enjoy the feedback we share and that's why I continue to do this.

yellojkt said...

One thing you can say about Blogger, the price is right. It is frustrating when you cna't comment or post, but maybe Fate is telling me something about my priorities.

I've been thinking of getting resmacked, but I have to come up with a way to get some entertinment value for me out of it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a real newbie and am thoroughly confused...What is "smacked"? or to be "smacked"? Sounds faintly kinky.

You hit the nail on the head! Not being able to post is a drag, but not being able to leave a comment almost made my eyeballs explode with rage. I am calm now.

I agree. Being of Frugal Yankee stock from way back, free trumps all. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many outages are brought on by the thousands of daily spammers who think they'll actually get away with making a fake blog to spread their crap messages?

Congrats on the smacks - you fared pretty well.

Wendy Boucher said...

Hi Jeff. Thanks for frequenting my blog today. You know, I'm not paying for Wordpress. It's a freebie too. Although you can upgrade and I love shopping so it's just a matter of time.

If you actually want to see that dog picture, you'll get a better view at my website: Click on "Artist Stuff." I can't seem to make it enlarge on my blog.

I also don't know about getting smacked. What's that all about? If it's about pretty headers, I'm out of the race already.

Bonnie B said...

It's frustrating, but if you like the blogger enough, you'll go back and post that comment.

WHat does it mean to be smacked? Is that something I want? It sounds kind of racy-- hmm?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

ashley, wendy and bonnie - Getting "smacked" is a term for getting your butt handed to you by the crew at I Talk Too Much, which is a blog reviewing web site. 5 smacks is the best, 0 or negative smacks are the worst. They gave me 2, which, believe it or not, is not bad from them.

Their approach is something like "if you don't want to hear bad things about your blog, don't submit your site for review." Not exactly in those words but that's their general philosophy.

3:20 PM

Mooselet said...

Being married to an IT guy, I try to be patient when Blogger goes all wonky as it has done much of this week. I think of the multiple texts messages that start to pour in during the night when the system is crashing, and I take a deep breath. It still bites big Twinkies, but as you say it's free!!

I've thought about resubmitting to IT2M, but since I haven't changed a thing since my one lowly smack (except perhaps less political-minded thoughts) I don't see the point. Will have to find a more constructive reviewer, methinks.

Schnozz said...

I've been playing with Wordpress and I ADORE IT. You can password-protect entries really easily, for one thing (there's a little "Protect entry" blank in the Compose mode, and if you put a password in it, voila), and their themes are really modern and nice-looking. At this point, switching would be a pain, but I'm still considering it--that's how enamored I am. Just thought I'd share in case you were feeling desperate enough to switch!

Anonymous said...

Lurk, lurk, lurk,...see you Saturday.

Jenn said...

maybe if blogger would do some housekeeping and dumped 4 year old blogs that haven't been touched since the day they opened, they wouldn't have such an issue with their servers bogging down. I am glad they are up and running again!

As for being smacked: They are negative and have also been extremely rude to several friends of mine. Why do that when you can get the same rude and negative down at your local seedy bar while watching CNN? yuck.

People typically have blogs for their own enjoyment. Comments and friends are just a wonderful byproduct. I write for me and if someone doesn't like it, well, then don't visit me. hehe.

I like your blog and hearing of your family. Your template is easy to read, navigate and clean. You have my two thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

I started on Blogger in 2004, went through several serious outages and finally moved to a web host that I pay for, where I installed the open-source (free!) WordPress. My host charges as little as three bucks a month for a blog-type space (I choose to pay more because I use it for other things), and your own domain is included in the price. I was able to move all my posts, graphics and comments from blogger to the new WordPress blog, and keep going as if nothing had happened.

The good news? No more outages. The bad news? Many of my bloggin' buddies are still on Blogger, so when there's an outage I am still affected: They can't post, and/or I can't comment, and they are all pissed off because my blog is working fine. Life's not fair, eh"

PS: I'm from Minneapolis, and a musician. Good ta meetcha.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

schnozz & larry - Already in progress. I stopped by Wordpress the other day just to check it out and ended up reserving my blog name over there. Now I just have to find some time to convert.

I suppose I'll just leave my last post here at Blogger as a note to visit me at my new blog address. Is that how most people do it?

Oh, and Larry, thanks for stopping by. I'd love to chat sometime on your Mpls music experiences!

mooselet - I too would lke to find a more constructive reviewer. Early on I had Weblog Review take a look and said nice things but were not helpful in providing, as you say, "constructive" advice. Let me know if you hear of any good options with professional reviewers.

rick - I can't wait for Saturday. Sounds like it's going to be another repeat party of family and friends, only this time with MORE family and MORE friends!

For those of you in the area, stop by and join The Receders at Joseph's in Avon on Saturday night for their big Spunktacular Days celebration. No, I'm not making that up. It really is called Spunktacular.

emma - Thanks for the thumbs up, I appreciate that! Dittos for why you see me over at your place too.

Anonymous said...

I need to clarify two things:

1. I am using WordPress, the open source application, installed on a third-party web hosting server, not the free service at (which is also good, and free) and...

2. Born in Minneapolis, but my musical career was based in California, where I still live (don't know exactly where the "career" is at this time, though...).