Jan 172008
 

Roughly $5 per month is all it costs to get host your blog on your own website, but people still flock to Blogger simply because it’s free. Well, Laura William’s Musings learned today exactly what “free” gets you-

Dear Blogger user,

This is a message from the Blogger team.

Your blog, at http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/, has been identified as a potential spam blog.

For an explanation of what spam blogs are, please see Blogger Help: http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42577

You will not be able to publish posts to your blog until we review your site and confirm that it is not a spam blog.

To request a review, please fill out the form found here: (go to a link they shared with me).

We will take a look at your blog and unlock it within four business days.

Please note that if we do not hear from you within 20 days, we will remove your blog. If this blog does not belong to you, then you do not have to do anything. Any other blogs you may have will not be affected. Since you are an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not spam. We find spam by using an automated classifier. Automatic spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and occasionally a blog is flagged incorrectly. We sincerely apologize for this erroneous result. By using this kind of system, however, we can dedicate more storage, bandwidth, and engineering resources to users like you instead of to spammers.

Thank you for your understanding and for your help in our spam-fighting efforts.

Sincerely,

The Blogger Team

With WordPress so easy to use, literally millions of people willing to help with support, and hosting so incredibly cheap, I’m simply out of sympathy for people who get screwed by Blogger. Based on the comments (on both the post and this PPP forum thread) and Laura’s far from the only one this has happened to, either. Of course, it didn’t take long for people to start rallying around Laura with the anti-Google cries for boycott, etc.

The fact of the matter is that as long as you’re depending on someone else’s free service you have zero control over your own blog. There is no recourse against Google because they haven’t violated the contract she agreed to when using their service. Although I have zero suspicion that Laura’s blog is actually a splog, she’s still the one responsible for not having access to it at the moment. You can’t have your cake and eat it to. $5 a month would have avoided the entire situation.

  5 Responses to “Isn’t Freedom Of Expression Worth $5/month?”

  1. ok, so what will $5 a month get me?

    A domain? where?

    Able to have a blog with that domain?

    WordPress? I do paid posts… that’s against their TOS so that’s a no go for me

    Laura @ Laura Williams’ Musings’s last blog post..I Just Got a Message From Blogger in my Email

  2. Domain @ GoDaddy.com – $9.99 per year

    1and1.com has webhosting starting at $2.00 per month (w/ a free domain name)

    Top Hosting Center has webhosting at $4.95/month (with free domain name) or $95 for lifetime hosting

    I currently host on THC (read my thoughts on them here) and on 1and1.com

    And I was referring to WordPress the software, not hosting on WordPress.com. That’s just another free option that leads to the same problems. Using free WordPress software you there is no ToS regarding content as long as you host the domain yourself. In fact, both 1and1 and THC will install WordPress for you (as will most web hosting companies these days).

    That’s all off the top of my head. A quick web search will come up with PLENTY of hosting options for around $5/month. That’s why I chose that number.

  3. ok, thanks!

    When you are on a budget , (7 children will put you there quick. lol) I have to know my options.

    Laura @ Laura Williams’ Musings’s last blog post..I Just Got a Message From Blogger in my Email

  4. Believe me, I understand budget constraints. I haven’t lived above the poverty line in more than 20 years. But if you lost even a single PPP opp because you couldn’t get into your blog then you’d already be ahead of the game with your own domain and hosting.

    Sometimes it does take money to make money. Luckily, on the web it takes very, very little. My best advice really is to go with THC’s $95 for life Rudolph plan. It can be a big chunk to drop at once, but from then on you’ve essentially got free hosting. Only this time you’ve got FAR better service and no content restrictions. Even if you were running a splog (which I know you’re not) you’d be free to do so.

  5. Thanks for the advice!

    $95 is something I don’t have right now to use for this though but I’m taking everything into consideration on this.

    Again, thank you for your suggestions. I really appreciate them.

    Laura @ Laura Williams’ Musings’s last blog post..I Just Got a Message From Blogger in my Email

  6. […] And it’s not a problem that’s going away.  It was a full year ago that I posted Isn’t Freedom Of Expression Worth $5 Per Month? right here at […]

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