The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

February 5, 2007

Uploads, downloads, off-loads

Feb. 4, 2007

Mr. or Mrs. Google Guy/Girl
World Wide Web

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing to inquire about what has happened to Blogger since Google assumed control of the entire planet and all its computer users as part of its corporate takeover and in the wake of its massive profits for the most recent quarter announced last week.

CONGRATULATIONS! You deserve your success! But bloggers don't deserve what they're getting from you now.

I am little more than a www.waif in the grand scheme of things, having failed Grade 10 French and buying my first computer long after Windows 95 came out, and only recently purchasing my second, a Dell with Windows XP within the past eight months.

Egged on by a friend last year, I started blogging on my new computer. It being the World Wide Web and all, I suddenly found myself getting to know and communicating with people all over the world, for free. It was quite amazing.

There were technical issues, of course. But these were eventually overcome. Blogspot had its problems, but then don't we all? Pictures taking forever to load, lost comments, etc. But it was manageable and predictable...and after all, it was free.

No burdens were being placed on any of the users. We weren't being "used," it was just a well-intentioned system that we had to live with, lovingly, with all its warts. And we did.

Then we started to get a constant message on our blogs about switching over to Beta. Some did, to their horror, and have never been heard from since. Those of us who didn't survived. But then another message started appearing -- switch to Google, the new version.

And no offence, but many of us ignored that too. If nothing's really broke, why fix it? But then I received an eery and ominous message one day, saying I would never again get the chance to refuse to join the new Blogger, where all my problems would be solved.

I wondered if I'd lose all blogging priveleges altogether. Fearing that and the chance I would lose all my friends and contacts and connections, and having seen some others do it, I complied.

I joined the new Google Blogger. I figured Google is all about the two guys who came out of nowhere with a search engine that couldn't be beaten. It was a story about the little guys who did good, just like Thomas the Train Engine or Tank or whatever he was.

It was about us -- bloggers. Just average people looking to expand their horizons.

And I understand something about corporate takeovers and all that, and how the bottom line is really the only line, but I trusted that this would be better, that there was, even on a corporate level, some understanding of what the Web was really all about.

But now, in the midst of all the chaos and billion-dollar bottom lines, I'm perplexed.

As nothing but your humble user servant, I am continually encountering problems relating to access, to security measures that are beyond ridiculous, that impede me from the entire joy and splendour of what the Web and blogging used to be.

Blogging isn't blogging without the free access to other peoples' ideas in their posts and the comments sections those posts create that give us all a voice and the ability to easily react to what someone halfway around the world is saying.

Access that allows us to be friends. And to say how full of bullshit people are for thinking that bloggers are lonely or somehow not intelligent. We're the most intelligent people on the planet, and we're the ones who spend all the money.

If every little attempt to create a post or post a picture or post a comment to someone else's blog requires a sign-on with a word verification system that only works intermittently, even though you know it's right, it becomes a chore.

If I have to comment on someone else's blog as anonymous, because Google won't allow the new Blogger and old Blogger to continue to intermingle, then the whole experience becomes less personal, like a business transaction.

And if this is going to turn into a business, then I'm going to point out why I would never buy what you're offering, which is more on your terms than on mine. If you were a salesman trying to sell me this piece of crap, I'd walk out your door...

Here I am, simply trying to submit a comment on MY OWN blog...for which I, in addition to anyone else, have to submit to this word verification thing...which used to work under the old blogger but which rarely does now...

Note I've taken a pic above of the box first prompting me to do the word verification. The pic below should illustrate that I've properly entered the word verification on my own blog...

But it doesn't work. So I have to do it again. And sometimes again. Isn't this a lot like buying a car and then, trying to drive it off the lot, having it not start? Or buying a house and using the bathroom for the first time...and it won't flush, or it overflows?

I DID enter the words as shown on the image. And it didn't work! And now you want me to do it again! This might seem so minor-league and inconsequential. It's not. If you're hitting 20-25 blogs a night or even your own blog 10 times, it becomes tedious.

After a while, you don't want to do it. And after a while, you won't do it at all. Or at least I won't.

I was going to talk about other things about Blogger/Google or, as my best buddy has called it, Gloogler. Right now, this is work. It shouldn't be work, it should be pleasure.
Instead, this is the screen that comes up even as I try something as simple as adding a new contact to my blog Roll...someone I care about, someone whose opinions I respect, someone I'd like to stay in touch with.

Blogger is buggered. Mr. and Mrs. Google Guy, is there anything you can do to change that?