Google Blogger Service Outages Spark User Firestorm

What happens when bloggers get angry over outages and slow response times? They blog about it, of course, and they aren't happy.

Users of Google's blogging service vented some anger Friday over outages and slow response times that have plagued the service over the last week.

Engineers at Blogger acknowledged the problems on the site's own blog. "It's been a Murphyesque cavalcade of power failures, fileserver trouble, and wonky network hardware, and I hope you'll believe me when I say that the Blogger staff is even more sick of it than you are," engineer Peter Hopkins wrote.

Blogger staff advised users to switch to the new version of the service, which is in beta. However, users publishing team blogs or blogs with more than a couple of thousand posts, wouldn't be able to make the move yet. The same was true for users publishing blogs via FTP to a non-Blogger server.

Users vented their frustration with the service, and some were forced to apologize to their own readers for the technical problems.

"Allow me to apologize for something completely beyond my control," Jeremiah McNichols said on the blog Adventures In Visual Education. "Blogger's service this week was abysmal."

Another user said he was contemplating switching to another service.

"Look guys and gals, my blog buddies are telling me to quit you," Jim of Pottstown, Penn., said. "I don't want to, but you make it hard to stick around. Shouldn't it be the opposite? And forget about switching to the beta version, there's still too many holes in it to make it worth the headache."

Blogger's technical troubles went back as far as Oct. 18, when it reported that the service was running slower than usual. By Saturday, Oct. 21, the site reported being down for more than three hours due to the failure of a "critical component and its backup."

The service was taken down for an hour on Tuesday, Oct. 24, for hardware repairs, and the next day suffered an outage due to a problem in networking hardware. Blogger was taken down again on Thursday for 60 to 90 minutes to replace the faulty equipment.

Hopkins said the current Blogger infrastructure is the same that Google acquired four years ago, and the service has "more than outgrown it."

"The new version is ground-up more scalable and less error-prone," he said. Once the kinks were taken out of the new service, it would be "better than the current version in every way."

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