Marvellous end to the year – UPDATED AGAIN
I was – and the reason for was rather than am will soon become clear – just getting ready to finally give Blogger the flick over this:
I’ve ranted about this more than once. I see no need for Google to have my bloody mobile phone number. None. And since I’ve been nagged about letting them have it for some time and have refused on each and every occasion you’d be forgiven for thinking they might have given up by now.
Oh, no. Nononononono. Now they’ve added this patronising fucking ‘Are you sure about this?’ message that appears when you try to skip adding the phone number for the umpteenth time. So, let me see how I can put this politely…..
….. Nope. Can’t be done.
Yes, I’m fucking sure. Now stop fucking asking about it.
So that was it for me. I just felt like I couldn’t be arsed to carry on saying no to a mob that were persistently deaf to my answer and seem prepared, EU or toddler style, to carry on asking the bloody question until the heat death of the universe or until I cave in. More likely, I feel, it will become a demand and then my choice will be to submit or move, and since I’ve had a dormant home at WordPress since I began blogging I’ve been moving some of the virtual furniture over there in the past few months in anticipation of a permanent move at some point. In fact, I thought to myself, why not make it a New Year, new blogging location?
The only real issue is that there appears to be no easy way to move IntenseDebate comments to a free WordPress hosted, but just now I thought I’d finally hit on a solution. Somewhat convoluted but it looked worth a shot, and if it didn’t work then I’d just begin at the new place with an apology to those whose comments over the past year and a half or so I’ve been using ID won’t show up there until I nut it out. Not the end of the world, I felt. I’ve never intended to delete this place so they’d all still be here.
So, off to WordPress I go to test it out, first importing the most recent posts from here, and all of a sudden:
Damn right I had questions and concerns. ‘Violation of terms of service’ seems to be blogs that are created as search engine whores for marketing reasons or to spruik bullshit get rich quick schemes, and although I link to all sorts of places – because I began this blogging lark admiring the blogs that made an effort to back up what they were saying with sources and to credit quotes by linking to where they were written, and so I’ve always done the same – it should be pretty clear that this blog isn’t about that. The other thing mentioned, and which I suspect I may have fallen foul of, is that WP don’t like blogs that consist of duplicated content, and angryexile.wordpress.com is currently 100% duplicated content. However, this seems rather hard to avoid when importing an existing blog in toto into WP, and since it’s MY duplicated content I’d have thought the thing to do is fire off an email and bloody asking me about it. Instead WP have gone straight for the nuclear option and shut down a blog that currently isn’t open to public viewing anyway.
So, all this has been put into a web form and pinged WPwards in the hope that someone will look at it sharpish and let me back in. Unfortunately it’s only 5.45am on Friday in California where (I believe) WordPress.com are based, and it’s a bleary 12.45am the next day for me. I’m not getting anything done before I crash out for the night, and with New Year-y things going on tomorrow that’s going to cut into my time even if they get onto it and sort things out soon after they get in. I suppose that’s one upside for it being yesterday there because at least it’s still a workday. If it was here I could be stuffed until Tuesday.
As it is I’m not optimistic of a 1st Jan move, and it seems it’s all because of a what seems a disproportionate response by WordPress. It’s not as if some kind person noticed the similarity and thought there was someone with a WP blog masquerading as me and ripping off my posts – the place is private and I’m the only one with access apart from whoever or whatever system at WP has decided it’s in violation of the Ts and Cs. Disappointing, especially as one of the big appeals of WordPress is this:
“WordPress.com supports free speech and doesn’t shut people down for ‘uncomfortable thoughts and ideas’, in fact we’re blocked in several countries because of that.”
An admirable sentiment which I’d just love to blog about at my place there. Except I can’t, can I?
UPDATE – looks like a fairly trivial thing: in a post about anti-tobacco hysteria and state bullying of smokers there’s a quote from an online e-cig seller that WP don’t like for some reason. They haven’t said and I’m not that interested, though since the notice of suspension mentioned marketing and SEO trickery I wonder if maybe they’ve had people post/comment spam on behalf of that company. I’ve had similar things happen here – the most recent being someone apparently in the Philippines comment spamming on behalf of a British clothing company (who never responded when I emailed them to ask why a comment on a post about Australian tee shirts had a link to their page about ladies scarves) – which have caused me to add some interesting keywords to the comment moderation filter.
The trouble here is that I linked only to provide a source for the quote and that’s the only place in more than two thousand posts and two long sidebars where I’ve linked to this company, so I’m worried that if WP have a policy of instant suspension in these situations this could happen again without warning just because I happen to link to somewhere without knowing it’s on some kind of blacklist that automatically shuts the blog down. This is causing a rethink of the WP move. As Longrider points out in the comments
here (not here but at the old place – I haven’t imported those yet) I can always self-host, but if I was going to self-host I’d be using the Blogger platform for preference anyway. Well, at least for as long as they don’t force their piss-awful new UI on me. And this is the reason why I’m not up for self-hosting at all right now. I don’t much like the WP UI and I don’t like the UI that Blogger have said they will force on users at some as yet unspecified point. I want blogging to be like driving my car, but WP have so many options it feels more like flying a plane. Conversely the new Blogger UI is like driving a car where the location of half the controls has been decided by someone who is drunk, and the location of the other half by someone who is mad.
Ho frigging hum.
UPDATE 2: Jan 2012 – haven’t had further contact with WP but they’ve unsuspended me and I’ve found an alternative source to quote, so allowing for another day for the public holiday to pass in the US they should be able to take a look at hopefully give it the all clear.