Blogspot Sites Disappearing

Via Scott Elliot, I see that several sites on Blogspot, notably Betsy Newmark’s and Eric Lindholm’s, have suddenly disappeared owing to a glitch at Blogger. Some jerk even snagged Betsy’s old URL and is squatting on it. Michelle Malkin gives more insights into Newmark’s situation.

I had this happen to me several months ago, with my original OTB/OTB Backup Site disappearing and numerous niche blogs I had established just going away. Google, which owns Blogspot, never even bothered to respond to my queries. Indeed, my experience was almost identical to Newmark’s.

If you’re going to spend the time to blog, please get yourself a domain and rent your own server space. Unless you’re posting videos or getting big time traffic, you can do it for less than $20 a month–often much less. Frankly, this pathetic level of service is overpriced even at “free.”

Update: PoliPundit sees a liberal conspiracy afoot. Unless proven otherwise, however, I’m confident that a combination of incompetence, indifference, and arrogance sufficiently explains the situation.

Update 2: Betsy’s Page is back. Hurray! Now get thee to a private domain.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    Sounds like Google is going the way of Microsoft in its M&A and customer service.

  2. Jay says:

    I’ve told Eric many times that he should get a real blog, but his take was why spend anything when free was an alternative, and he didn’t have to maintain it himself. I can see his point, but here’s the result of that reliance.

    I offered him guest blogging at my place while he’s down, but haven’t heard back yet.

  3. Bithead says:

    The problem with the $20.00 a month figure is that you don’t pay a $20.00 a month.. you pay up front. And the cost of the domain, and, and the cost of the software, and the say the very least it becomes prohibitive.

    Personally, the only problem that I ran into with the system, was that I happen to take BitsBlog down for a brief time by removing the CSS, so that I could get a site backup. I do this about once a week these days.

    Essentially, remove the template and republish. I did that, downloaded my site in its entirety, then copied the template back into place. I then republished again . And there’s where we ran into the problem; it started running into serious issues trying to put the template back into place for all the posts . Since that time I am now back online , with only a lower it counts for the data show for it.

    Personally, until such time as the deal comes along where I have the money to deal with all of this upfront, and the deal comes along that I like the sound of, I will likely stay where I am.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Bithead: No, the $20 a month figure is the average I paid for the first nearly three years at OTB, including hosting and maintenance fees. You can register a domain for a year for under $10 and get adequate bandwidth and such for about $10-$12 a month. WordPress and most other popular blogging software is absolutely free; it’ll cost you a few bucks to get someone to install it for you if you’re not that technically adept but probably not more than $25-$30 one time.

    Because of the sheer size of OTB, I’m paying $100 a month for a private server. But I was subsisting on a $8 and then $11 a month HostingMatters plan until just a few months ago.

  5. CGHill says:

    I pay $19.95 a month for my site; I could knock $4 off that if I paid 24 months in advance, but I haven’t been. This allows me 40 GB of disk space and 1.2 TB of bandwidth per month: as a TTLB Large Mammal with no links from the Instant Man, I am in no danger of exceeding these figures.

    And the domain? Five years for $95, a price easily beaten by one of the new breed of discount registrars.

  6. James Joyner says:

    CG: Yikes, that’s a huge hosting plan! But it does give you a ton of leeway. I use RegisterFly for the domain. Most can be had for $9.99 a year.

  7. McGehee says:

    I own three domains ($13.95/year w/eHost — very reliable; I fired Network Solutions in 2003 and have never looked back), host all with Verve ($9.95/month, no extra charge for multiple domains), and use ExpressionEngine which lists for $200.

    I got EE for free because its makers saw a marketing opportunity in the initial response to MT3 when it first came out, and offered 1,000 copies for free — since my copy of MT3 ruptured my blog (because my then-host couldn’t support the new version), I was motivated to take the free software.

    Of course you can’t get EE for free anymore, but “EE Core” is free, as are MT and WordPress under the right licenses.

  8. Alan Kellogg says:

    I pay 5 bucks a month for the space and bandwidth, plus about 11 dollars a year for the domain. And I have toys to play with. Loads of fun.

    At present I could install two bulletin boards, a wiki, and 4 content management systems. No blog software however, because my host has concerns regarding MT and WP.Total Choice Hosting has to listen to their customers, because their customers pay for the service.