I Promise You, This Blog Exists

I almost hesitate to start this post, because of the date. However, I promise you, this is no joke. Recently (and before today, so I don't see this as a joke), Blogger made a change to their servers, and to how they display "404 Address Not Found". And, I've seen some confusion resulting from the change.

Here, for instance, is a link to this blog. And here is a link to this post.

Simple enough? How about a link to a non existent web site. See the display?
Server not found
Firefox can't find the server at nitecruzr-non-existent-blog.

Duh. What's a server?

OK, "Chuck's Non Existent Blog" doesn't exist. Or, it exists in my mind, purely to make this point. Don't think about this too hard though.

How about a just deleted blog?
Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at nitecruzr-non-existent-blog.blogspot.com has been removed.
This address is not available for new blogs.

This blog did exist - for a few minutes. It doesn't exist now, and the name isn't available to anybody else either. And no, you can't have it.

Or maybe a (previously) non existent blog?
Blog not found

Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist.
However, the name nitecruzr-second-non-existent-blog is available to register!

This blog didn't exist, until I registered it. Now, it does exist.

Clear so far?

OK, now get this - a link to a non existent post, in this blog. Bloggers will, from time to time, delete posts that they have linked elsewhere. Or maybe they will mistype a post name when setting up a link, as I did (intentionally). And pity their readers, who don't know all of this technical mumbo jumbo.
The blog you were looking for was not found.

And, what's a blog?

But, "The Real Blogger Status" does exist. The post "This Post Does Not Exist", however, again exists only in my mind. Too many bloggers confuse the concepts of "blog" and "post", and this display is only going to enhance that confusion.

Looking at the last two examples shows that Blogger does recognise the difference between a "404 Blog Not Found" (the example second above) and a "404 Post Not Found" (the example immediately above). And if we know what each error display looks like, we can tell the difference too. But how about our readers, or the newbie blogger?

Can you see the confusion there? I've seen confusion here and there with some bloggers, referring to this post, as a blog - so I wrote this post. If I didn't understand web servers just a little, I'd be wondering if my blog was now gone. But, this blog exists. Really.

>> Top



it really a fun, when considered the many 'outcomes' of the blogger status of non-existing blog/posts.

Happy April Fool's day.
eightoclock said…
I agree, the word "blog" in the last screenshot should say "post".

I think you missed the point of the new behavior, though. A deleted blog tells you you can't have the subdomain, but a blogger blog URL that has never existed tells you you CAN have it, and offers a signup link. That's not a difference that was exposed before.
Chuck said…
Yeah one of the challenges of writing blogs is keeping track of the details. Neither Blogger nor I can do that without constant reminders.

Thanks for the reminders.