Monday, May 14, 2007

Sorry - That Blog*Spot URL Is Already Taken

If you're a fan of the classical rock group Rolling Stones, you may remember their 1960's hit You Can't Always Get What You Want.

Regardless, many Bloggers may decide to setup a blog based upon their favourite rock star (porn star, TV show, whatever). But when they select the URL of their choice, they see



Oh noooooo! What do I do now??


So what to do now? Well, the obvious solution, for many, is to get into the Blogger Help Forum, and whine.
there are tooo many users who sign up with blogger, and chose some url, which i wanted to use, and yet, they left the pages blank.. this led me to the final resort of choosing a very silly url for myself.


Unfortunately, they are wasting time, as Blogger has explicitly stated in the Google Blogger Help database.
Blogger accounts and Blog*Spot addresses do not expire.
and again in Google Blogger Help online forum FAQ
People claim blogs after years without use more often than you would think.


That's whether any given blog was created 5 years ago and never updated, or it was created last week, and updated daily. That blog does not expire, the Blogger who set it up has it for eternity, and you can't have the URL. Maybe the blog was deleted by the owner - you still can't have the URL.

Why not concentrate on getting indexed, by the search engines? Content and Indexing - that's where your hits will come from, not from people who can (or can't) spell the name of the rock star (porn star, TV show, whatever) of interest. How many ways can you spell Jessica Simpson's name, after all? Pick something imaginative, for Pete's sake!

Now, along with the problem of wanting an unavailable URL for their blog, some folks want access to a private blog, without knowing the owner.
I find that for some reason, I can't access a blog I had regularly read in the past. According to Blogger, "It doesn't look like you have been invited to read this blog. If you think this is a mistake, you might want to contact the blog author and request an invitation."

How do I get the blog author's address to request an invitation or find a way back on?


But, as I've said before, if you don't know the owner of the blog, Blogger isn't going to help.
... we do not give out contact information for the owner of a blog.

If you had a popular URL, would you want Blogger to be handing out your email address, or emailing you monthly, or whenever some hopeful person (like you) decided to ask for your URL?

All that said, maybe you can do some detective work, find the owner of the URL, and persuade him / her to give it to you, or give you access. And, if she / he is willing to give the URL to you, have him / her transfer it properly - neither deleting the blog, nor deleting the owner account, will help you at all.

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11 comments:

Brenda said...

Well, crap ... that answers my question.

After laughing myself silly over Brotherhood 2.0, my sister and I thought that "twosisters" would be a great blog name for a text-only blog. So did two other girls ... six years ago ... for about three weeks.

The end. They get that awesome name, and they don't even care!

The absolute impossibility of contacting a real person on blogger will very likely take us somewhere else. I've done OK with my blog here, but not OK enough to start a new one.

Thanks for the information -- at least I know that they really are completely unhelpful, and it's not just me.

Chuck said...

Brenda,

Join the club. I wanted http://pchuck.blogspot.com.

8-(

I ended up using http://nitecruzr.blogspot.com.

Tim said...

thanks for the help. much appreciated.

John Mc said...

Ditto. Thanks for the information, even though it is a worthless policy. I bet in 3-5 years when we start running out of silly names, they may change their tune. It especially hurts when the name I happened to want, created 4 years ago, has zero entries, so it's not like it's being kept around as 'critical information'.

Richard said...

That may be the policy, but they should change it. OK, so some inactive blogs may become active again. But what about those that have never been active?



I'm not saying they should just remove all inactive blogs - they should require the owner to "reclaim" them. Otherwise they will sit inactive forever. How is that in anyone's interests?



With domain names, you have to keep paying for them to remain active. I'm not suggesting that the same should happen with Blogger, but the owner should at least have to do something to show that they continue to have an interest in it.

Chuck said...

Richard,

I would guess that Blogger won't change the policy, because it's not in their best interest to do so.

It's not in their best interest to do so, because there could be scenarios where both the current and future (wanna be) owners might each have equally valid arguments. The legendary King Solomon, in the Judao-Christian Bible, would be truly challenged by some such situations.

So, rather than possibly create precedents that might later lead to legal entanglements, they wisely choose to prevent any precedents, by saying monolithically
"Blogger accounts and Blog*Spot addresses do not expire."

Jack said...

Is it possible to have blogger contact the owner. I would like to take over a URL that was only posted on once in 2002. unfortunately there is no profile so I'm sort of at a lose end.

Chuck said...

Jack,

Can you spell the "freak" in "chocolate" ?

Spencer said...

Chuck,

In response to your response to Richard, I believe it would in fact be in Google's best interest to provide a way to reclaim long-stagnant domains.

Google's purpose is to bring as many visitors as possible and compete against other blog services for traffic. It seems that active blogs would draw more traffic than stagnant ones.

I'm not saying that current owners may not have valid arguments, and I'm not saying they even need them. But I think many of them honestly lost interest and forgot, and what's the harm in asking? Say, "You haven't used this account in 7 years, do you mind if we close it?". And it wouldn't close automatically if they didn't reply, only if they replied and said, "Yeah sure, go ahead! I don't mind at all". If it were me, I really wouldn't mind, and would free up the address.

As to the legal question, all they have to do is mention this in their EULA and they'd be square. Wouldn't effect existing blogs, but could stop this from happening in the future.

Chuck said...

Spencer,

I suspect that you're right. Unfortunately, I don't believe that it will happen. That's in my professional opinion, after working with them for over 3 years now.

You've seen (maybe) the arbitrary and capricious attitude that they take towards unlocking / restoring false positive spam detected blogs. Or maybe how unreliable they are with clearing Custom Domain corruptions?

Please think of the implications, legal and otherwise, were Blogger to involve themselves with any type of discussion about re issuing blog names.

I'm not going to re start the thread with Richard, even though I sympathised with him in part, because that is one subject in maybe half a dozen that I could name that could, with the right involvement, go on for months as one long endless thread. And probably attract a few trolls too.

If you want to see a comparable thread, look at this thread in another forum (NOT Google). The latter thread is still going on, and it involves active moderation to keep it at that level of civility. Not Google style "moderation" in Blogger Help Group.

Blogger Support simply doesn't have the management necessary to operate a controversial procedure like arbitrating ownership of blog names, voluntarily released by the first owner or not.

ICANN, in the public domain world, is just starting with the concept of arbitation on domain name ownership, and endless streams of lawyers are probably lining up to be in that one. What you'll see in Blogger will be a Google imitation. Please let's not go there.

Let Google simply say it
"Blogger accounts and Blog*Spot addresses do not expire", and leave it.

Fishie said...

I'm extremely confused. I deleted my blog, but it says that it's unavailable. Is there any way I can get it back then? I deleted the entire account, and started from scratch.