Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Google Robots Ate My Blog

They didn't eat my blog exactly, but they had it locked in their jaws for the past week and wouldn't let go. They're well-intentioned robots...but they kept me from posting here for a while.

Scene from "Forbidden Planet"

Last week, I got a troubling (and at the same time charming) e-mail from Google's Blogger service which hosts this blog:

This is a message from the Blogger team.
Your blog, at http://thebusmansholiday.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: [personalized link]

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.


The Blogger Team

Imagine, I've been blogging play-by-play of the Wecht trial over at The Pittsburgh Channel for two months, and now -- as the end approached -- I feared I was going to be locked out from my personal blog here. When I tried updating The Busman's Holiday, these are the messages I've been getting...

[Click to enlarge.]

... until this evening. Tonight I made an urgent plea for help to some media contacts I tracked down at Google, who were kind enough to expedite my release from robot custody.

So, here I am again.


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