Google Blogger Blues

Writing this post about problems with Google's Blogger seems apropos whilst sitting online only a couple blocks from the blues music scene on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Blogger Blues hit home because a post could not be put up by myDigitechnician when it was attempted several times last week. At that point Blogger could not even be logged into, at least from the connection available in Appleton, Wisconsin.

So today, as tech news was being scanned for tidbits to be added to the NEW NET issues list for the week of 30 October, it was interesting to note several articles and posts, two of which are here and here, talking about the problems on Blogger. The articles talk about problems that have been occuring, off and on, since 18 October 2006. Blogger appears to be staggering under the weight of its success due to its infrastructure being the same one Google inherited when it bought Blogger/Pyra Labs four years ago. Google recently rolled out a new beta version of Blogger, complete with new hardware and software, which has not been affected by the problems mentioned in the above article and post.

The problems with Blogger and the response of its users are instructive with respect to the future of the internet in several ways:
  • Even though the service is free, users expect a very high level of reliability (why use it if it's not reliable??)
  • Many internet residents expect their internet connections, applications and websites to be always available (instant gratification)
  • Internet residents should expect their connections, applications and websites to have problems occasionally, and should prepare appropriately for those problems (learn from history)
  • Inertia and resistance to change keep people from switching to new and better (frog in pot of water on the stove)
If you've considered using web apps such as Zoho, Kiko Calendar or Google Docs & Spreadsheets, it would behoove you to know what you'll do when your web app is temporarily (or, gasp, permanently!) unavailable. That's what makes Apollo from Adobe so intriguing. Apollo is a way to run your web apps when you are offline, essentially making the online web apps into client programs on your computer. If I understand it correctly, this would allow you to work on your Google Docs & Spreadsheets when you're not connected to the 'net, and would (correctly, we hope) synch the online and offline files when you reconnect to the 'net. For more info, see the Apollo articles in the NEW NET issues list which will be posted on this blog tomorrow.

Today's tip: Use Blogger beta and avoid the problems being experienced by those on the original Blogger system...



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