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Polling Blogger

In any computer network with any number of servers, you should actively monitor their status. In a small or home office, you can use a product like The Dude (what a name and what a product) to track the status of all of your computers.

With the thousands of high power servers in the Blogger / Blog*Spot infrastructure, you can bet that Blogger Support uses some polled monitoring system of incredible complexity, probably way better than The Dude. Unfortunately, whatever they use, you can't see it.

So if somebody chatting with you asks
Is Blogger down right now? I just posted to my blog, and I'm seeing the old 0%.

what are you going to say?

Nothing authoritative, unfortunately. But you can, at least, look at the current blog activity, and see if Blogger is totally dead. The Recently Updated Blogs page lists all blogs updated in the last 10 minutes, at any time, with timestamps by the second.

The list is thoroughly dynamic, and takes a few seconds to load completely (it will have, at any time, 4,000 - 8,000 entries). But if you want the answer to the above question, this will at least tell you when there's activity in the blog scene.

I don't know of too many Internet services that let you poll their status to this level of detail.

Now, when you examine the list, you'll notice that it's by blog title, and shows some blogs repeatedly, in order published. If you would prefer to see the blog URLs, which will help you see the pattern of splog publishing, for instance, you'll do best to use a pair of scripts, like vURL and hpObserver, which will generate an alphabetised and normalised list of URLs, then examine and monitor the status of the blogs in the list.

If you want a slightly focused list of blogs, you can use Google Blog Search. And still more alternatives, like Blogger Profile Surfing and Following let you find blogs by areas of interest, without any activity relevance.

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