Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blog Name Availability Problems?

When you setup your blog, and elect to publish to Blog*Spot (as many do), you decide upon a name (xxxxxxx.blogspot.com). The "xxxxxxx" must be unique - that is, nobody else in this world can use the same "xxxxxxx". You type your choice, the Blogger script checks for its availability, and tells you one of two things
  • This address is not available.
  • This address is available.


If your desired address is available, you'll see the latter message. You can now continue with template selection, and your first post. As soon as you publish your first post, your blog (xxxxxxx.blogspot.com) becomes visible on the Internet, and is registered in DNS.

But how does the Blogger availability script decide if the address is truly available? Does it check its internal database, and make sure that nobody else has selected that name, but not yet published? Or does it maybe ping that address (ie reference its DNS entry, as you would do, when you ping)?
ping nitecruzr.blogspot.com


If the Blogger script uses DNS to verify availability, here is a big problem. There is a possible latency period, between selection (verification of availability) and publishing (actual claiming of address), when it's possible for someone else to also select that address. If you select an address, and somebody else selects that same address before you publish the first post, one of you will publish first. The second one publishing, to the same address, will overwrite the blog first published.

If you are selecting a desirable blog name, one that's short and easy to remember, it's possible that someone else would like to use that name too. If your name is based upon current events, you can bet that other people are thinking of those same current events. And if you're using Blogger, you're not alone. To see how active Blogger is, look at the Blogger Recently Updated Blogs list, which is constantly updated, and shows the last 10 minutes at any time.

It's also, remotely, possible that the Blogger script has a hole in it. Maybe it's identifying addresses as available, when they're not, and identifying addresses as in use, when they're actually available?

This is an odd situation, and may be coincidental. Maybe it's been a problem for a while, and just is becoming visible because of lowered noise in the forums. Or maybe it's a new problem. Who can tell, other than Blogger Support? In some cases, this might even be confused with Blog Hijackings.

Anyway, here are several cases, where there is something strange about name allocation. You be the judge - are these coincidental?


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1 comment:

Marion said...

I read your blog and your advice all the time. Thank you...sometimes things get so frustrating!Especially for a non-techie like me.