Monday, December 11, 2006

Moment of truth - when the free stuff lets you down

As many no doubt already know, Blogger is upgrading (catching up) with better web2 like features. But somewhere along the way they have stuffed up. I have just now tried to help 2 lecturers get started with blogging - now I'm certain that they will never blog again!

The problem is that we can't successfully get Blogger to hold a new username. We go in, we set up, we create new posts, all is looking good - so we sign out and then can't get in again. Google is in there claiming ownership over the username and asking us to sign in there instead - which just confuses the hell out of those poor newbies. BTW, I'm also experiencing trouble with Bloglines too - just to rub salt into the wound. Bloglines isn't adding new feeds to new accounts :( I suspect it is the computers here... but I can still get in to my old accounts, but not the new accounts! Blogger's help is no help, and they certainly aren't being up front about it in their blog either... could it be something in the way we are set up here?... either way, blogger beta is not rolling out smoothly, reminds me of a recent Blackboard upgrade just 10 yards from my key board a couple of months ago... So the moment of truth has arrived. After 2 years of using bloglines and blogger without a single issue - here it is.

About now is when all the IT people jump in and say, "see! I told you so! Its better to have control" and about now I would be closer than any other time to say, "yep! I agree with you Roger!" But no! the moment of truth is here, and it is now that I must drop back to first gear and employ that network flexibility I've been talking about.

To my mind, the free, web based and externally maintained services like blogger and bloglines are still better than what might cost you between US$200 and US$35 000 per year if you start including part of the salary you pay someone to maintain your internal servers. So if I had something up my sleeve when the issues with Blogger become so noticable - we could have jumped out of Blogger and Bloglines all together and used one of the many other free blogging and feed reading services available. I could start using my Del.icio.us to blog with, or my Flickr, or Multiply...

But that doesn't solve the problem of total newbies trying to get started. In the past, Blogger and Bloglines offered a reliable and easy service. Now that ivory tower has come crashing down and we are back to where we began. Either Blogger will regain some composure in about 10 hours, or I'm outa there and onto a whole other platform. In the meantime, IT can have their 12 - 24 months response time and try and get an internal blogging system up at no charge.

What a shame though. Right there was the making of two fantastic educational bloggers. Now, I'm sure they'll never blog again. I couldn't fix it in the time we had! They gave up trying after about 1 hour - or when I could say that I was at a loss :(

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Didn't we discuss about this already? and I am not an IT person. :-)

Do not trust them, rather host your own blog software or find a local service provider who will do it for you. Pay some little money for someone close to you and be happy.

- Teemu

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hi,
You are write about the concepts given by blogger and bloglines. Have you heard of the new version of blogger, its blogger beta. I dont know whether it will solve the problem or not.

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