Goodbye, Blogger! Welcome to the New “Ray Woodcock’s Latest” Blog

Five years ago this week, I started a blog on Blogger.  I called it Ray Woodcock’s Latest.  As the name suggests, I figured it would be a general-purpose repository of random materials.  And it was that.  But it increasingly became oriented toward technical matters, especially but not only computer-related.

For most of the posts in that blog, the objective was just to record the steps that I was taking as I worked through various technical problems.  Putting things in publishable form (in the sense of publication in a hard-copy printed book or journal) would have required more time and expertise than I could offer.  That said, some of those materials did prove useful for me, as I re-encountered old problems.  Comments and readership indicate that some of those materials were also useful to others.  At this moment, that blog has had about 276,000 page views, and the number seems to be rising at a rate of about 750 per day.  So while it’s not fame and fortune, I am guessing that some people out there have gotten familiar with it and are checking it, now and then, for one reason or another.

I would have been glad to continue developing that blog indefinitely.  Much to my regret, however, Google’s management of Blogger has not been for the best.  As noted in one of my last posts on that blog, I knew that Google was capable of profoundly messing up huge amounts of content that might be of interest to millions of users; they had done exactly that with DejaNews, and they were in the process of doing it with Google Reader.  There was, in principle, no reason why Google could not accidentally or deliberately wipe out all of my hard work — if, say, there was a financial advantage in doing so, or if (as often seems to be the case) Google just happened to screw things up and was too busy to fix them.

Since Google’s acquisition of Blogger, I have treated these risks as abstract ones, and have continued to post.  During the past week or so, however (as noted, again, in that recent post), there has been a series of developments that have forced me to take the problem seriously.  Google seems to be forcing bloggers to use its own browser, Chrome, to edit webpages, and unfortunately Chrome is not up to the job.  The combination of bugs in Blogger and Chrome have made it unadvisable for me to continue to post in Blogger.

Three developments in the past 48 hours have pretty much forced the issue.  First, I awoke today to discover that a draft post to which I had devoted a tremendous amount of effort is simply gone.  Hours of work are lost.  Investigations indicate that Blogger does not maintain backups of its users’ draft posts.  There appears to be no way to get actual technical support from Google.  In this, as in many other instances I have observed, users post their cries of pain and there is no response.  No doubt Google does try to fix bugs that pose a risk to profitability.  But when one of the world’s leading computer companies decides not to provide any form of backup, you do seem to have a pretty fundamental indication of corporate attitude toward the bloggers who make Blogger possible.

The second development is that a Google search, yesterday or the day before, revealed that Google’s search engine was not leading users to the contents of its own bloggers’ posts.  I had posted material addressing a certain problem.  Yet a search for that material failed to lead to that post.  I knew the content was there, and was able to find the post by searching within Blogger; but the average person out there in the big wide world would not know that I had posted any such material, and therefore would not find it.  It’s not that Google was trying to manage the amount of material displayed.  My search turned up only three webpages.  Why it did not turn up the one that had the answer, I cannot say.  But I am writing these posts to be helpful, and I can’t do that if people aren’t told the material is there.  Of course, I have no guarantees that Google search will turn up WordPad webpages either.  But should I not infer that Google has lost interest in Blogger — that its future support will be, if anything, even worse than it is at present?

The third development, encountered just an hour ago, is that apparently Google is telling some users that my blog does not exist.  I say that because Google just told that to me.  The message I got was as follows:

Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

Did you expect to see your blog here? See: ‘I can’t find my blog on the Web, where is it?’

This was new.  Was this just a coincidence, or was I being punished for posting a new critical note in Google’s forums?  Coincidence, surely; perhaps a mere temporary glitch.  Yet a Blogger help page said that one explanation might be that I had violated Blogger’s terms of service.  Was criticism of Google against the rules?  I wasn’t going to investigate that.  Later, I was able to view the blog again, so I left it at that.  But that was enough.  Regardless of the reason, when people are told that your blog has been removed, it’s time to switch.

It might be different if this morning’s searches for tech support had revealed a generally positive blogging environment.  But as I investigated possible solutions to these problems with Blogger, I was seeing lots of horror stories.  Granted, forums are going to have a concentration of bug reports and complaints.  But unlike many forums, these complaints were not being addressed.  Lots of blogs were disappearing; lots of posts were being lost.  Problems of this sort had been continuing for quite a while.  There did not seem to be solutions, or even attempts at solutions.

So the time has come. I have reported those complaints here, in case Google does pull the plug on my old blog or on some of its contents.  But I would rather move ahead, at this point, with new issues and solutions.

Over the past several years, I have found WordPress to be a good blog host.  That, too, can change; such are the vagaries of big business.  But for now, at least, it makes sense to make a transition to this new blog.  I have decided to keep the name, in case some people recognize and are looking for it.  My plan is that this new blog will continue to function more or less as the old one did, but hopefully with less upheaval and more reliability.  I hope others do find it useful.

Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

Did you expect to see your blog here? See: ‘I can’t find my blog on the Web, where is it?

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2 Responses to Goodbye, Blogger! Welcome to the New “Ray Woodcock’s Latest” Blog

  1. Simon says:

    Hi, Ray.. Nice blog,I specially liked this post… though I’ve tested it yet.
    I was recently googling on “right click move to specific folder” where I came to a site & that’s where I saw ur comment “”

    I just had I question to ask? as it seemed that you were able to run the program.. where I wasn’t tried changing the compatibility mode in windows 7×64 but I kept getting error “unhandled exception has occurred in your application….. , –> were i had 3 option:–> Details, Continue or Quit”
    So did you modified it to run.. And/Or are you aware of any software that can be used for “right click move to specific folder”
    Oh I would also like to suggest that you can consider installing a free contact me form & also do update your “About” page. 🙂

  2. Ray Woodcock says:

    Moving this blog to WordPress was definitely a good idea. Since my departure, Blogger has removed paragraph formatting from a number of my old posts, so that they now appear as one continuous block of text; and as far as I can figure at present, there is no way to get in there and fix them manually — which would be a voluminous job in any case. Blogger also arbitrarily deleted the theme I adopted for that blog, which meant that its basic appearance would have been permanently changed if I hadn’t made a manual backup of that theme. I rarely see anyone using Blogger anymore, and with good reason.

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