Friday, April 06, 2007

Your Computer, And Blogger

All of the companies that I've worked for in my history, which had computers, controlled everything rather tightly.

Businesses do that. Businesses owned the big computers, aka mainframes.
  • We, as programmers, would write code.
  • We would test the code.
  • We would give the code to a computer operator, who would run the code as a job.
  • We would train the computer operators.

All code ran on company owned and controlled computers, over company owned and controlled networks, maintained by company trained personnel. Every change was made, and tested, by people working for the company. Very tightly focused, and controlled.

That was up to 30 years ago.

Enough history, let's look at reality.

Now, we have Blogger. Blogger owns thousands of computers (aka "servers"). The Blogger computers are
  • Operated by millions of operators that Blogger neither employs or knows (blog owners / readers).
  • Operated from computers that Blogger doesn't own (personal computers owned by blog owners / readers).
  • Operated through networks that neither Blogger nor the bloggers control, and running software produced by neither Blogger nor the blog owners / readers.

Many of these millions of blog owners / readers have no concept of computer or network management. Some know just enough to turn their computers on - and not all know that even much.

Strangely, most blog owners / readers think that Blogger is responsible for all problems with blogger "owned" computers. This is despite the Blogger owned computers being used from computers that Blogger doesn't own or control, over networks that Blogger does not control or support. And occasionally, a blogger "owned" computer can become controlled by a third party.

Very few blog owners / readers consider the fact the Blogger provides them use of the Blogger computers, without charging them directly for the service. I say "directly", intentionally, because Blogger is not a non-profit organisation. Nor do they operate at a financial loss. Blogger, and their parent company Google, make a very nice profit, and much of that thanks to the efforts from their millions of these blog owners / readers.

We also see that nowadays, people will listen to the wrong advice about blog content - or how to cleverly block Blogger features that are designed to make their blogs more accessible.

All of the financial issues aside, most blog owners / readers lack understanding of who is responsible for ensuring that Blogger code runs successfully on their computers. They seem to think that Blogger supports their computers, and there is part of The Problem.

Blogger / Google, though willing to benevolently offer the use of their computers to everyone worldwide, still needs to accept some responsibility for dealing with their users more consistently. I will keep saying that, and writing the same.

Blogger controls and supports the Blogger computers. They don't control your computer, nor how you use it. Nor should they. Very few blog owners / readers do nothing but blog, and very few computers owned or used by the blog owners / readers are used for nothing but blogging.

One of my theories about computers is that, outside large corporations with a very anal Corporate Security Policy, there are not any two computers in the entire world that are identical.

Blog owners / readers absolutely must take responsibility for their computers, and for ensuring that Blogger code runs successfully on their computers. And they need to also take responsibility for the fact that they use the Blogger computers over networks that Blogger / Google does not own or control. Blogger does not have the resources, nor the moral or legal mandate, to support your computer, nor the networks that you use to access the Blogger computers.

Yet, the first time that someone can't access their blog, or post to it, or view someone else's blog, what do we hear?
Is Blogger down again??

If Blogger can do that, surely it can do this too!!?? Why not?? I'm going to find another blog provider, that can do this, that, and everything else. And it better be free too!!!

Never a thought of
What did I just change on my computer, to prevent Blogger from working?
Maybe I shouldn't have loaded that software. It's interfering with Blogger.

It's more normally
What did Blogger break again??

Please, be aware of problems which are your responsibility. Examine the universal nature of your symptoms, carefully and objectively, before claiming that there is a global problem with Blogger.

It worked last month - but mysteriously stopped working, last week!
does not, necessarily, indicate a change made by Blogger.

Learn the processes of affinity diagnosis and of differential diagnosis. And be aware of the different domains which Blogger and Google use, in allowing us to maintain our blogs, and our readers to view our blogs, safely.

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Gordonj said...

I found this feature to be very informative and very 'fair'. I certainly redceived more information about 'Blogger' and 'Google' that I was unaware of and had not seen before. However I do have this contribution to make: Every NOVICE using both Blogger and Google for the first time, treated intelligently will undoubtedly lead to the possibility of SALES for manufacturers of soiftware and hardware of this technology. I am 80 years of age, a mere novice in the technology, and I find that websites all over the Internet cater essentially for the 'advanced' and for the 'expert'. The FAQ's and HELP provisions are oft written, in a language tat the novice finds difficult to comprehend.

Gordon J

Chuck said...

Thanks for the feedback, Gordon. Many of my posts come from questions like yours. Maybe there are more posts within me, and maybe I can write more, with more questions asked.

from the Lady Philosopher said...

Great post. I love the line about not 2 computers being identical-- like people.
Actually, I always think its my computer first, not Blogger, but if too many other people have the same problem, then I start thinking it's Blogger's issue.

Chuck said...

One of the challenges here is that the number of people reporting problems with comments is significant. However, having worked the forums for several years, I can say in perspective that it is not a 100% outage. I've seen 100% outages - this is maybe a 10% outage.

And the bottom line is that the problem starts with peoples personal computers. The only real way for Blogger to fix the problem, with 100% certainty, would be for them to collapse "" and "" into one domain. And if they did that, we'd still have the custom domain published blogs.

Nope, this problem is here to stay - until people learn to fix their cookie filters.

This is a problem that Blogger will not fix, on their own.

irenneionesco said...

Thanks, Chuck, I read your post...slowly...cause Im a beginner. A happy beginner with a 2 days old blog :)and 80 visitors (its a lot for me :)
I still have a short question for you: why do I have mostly Romanian readers on my blog when its a domain and not a .ro one?
I started this blog for non-Romanians visitors.My content is in English. What did I do wrong? And how can I change this..."visitors structure"?
Thanks a lot!

Chuck Croll said...


You publish the blog as "" - but since you (and your readers) live in Romania, you (and they) see the blog as "".