Blogging a darkened Cleveland
August 15, 2003 2:19 PM   Subscribe

BLACKOUT BLOG - Cleveland.com decides a weblog is the best way to cope with their servers getting knocked out in yesterday's power outage.
posted by mrbula (8 comments total)

 
Not just cleveland.com, it's sites across the US. The sites are in the left sidebar.

These sites are run by Advanced Publications Internet, aka advance.net. The people who do their IT are ineffective yahoos, as is evidenced by the fact that they did not have any redundancy, battery backup, colocation, or generation at their main server farm for all of these newspaper websites across the country. They're losing thousands of dollars right now in ad revenue.

Advance Publications owns media outlets across the country... a large number of newspapers and internet media outlets.
posted by SpecialK at 3:55 PM on August 15, 2003


mildred's cousin ed, from up leighton way, he put one of them blogs under his hood to keep the deer from runnin' out in the road at dusk. works real good, too.
posted by quonsar at 5:08 PM on August 15, 2003


MassLive.com is actually using BlogSpot now: masslive.blogspot.com.

Meanwhile, Cleveland.com seems to be using someone's personal account: junior.apk.net/~jnoga/.
posted by mrbula at 5:37 PM on August 15, 2003


"They're losing thousands of dollars right now in ad revenue."

Um, it's been a while since I ran a newspaper's website, but I really doubt their online ad rates were high enough, even for all those sites combined, that the losses climbed into the thousands of dollars for one day's downtime. We were a pretty high traffic site, and even there, the banner ad rates were ridiculously low per thousand impressions, even during the boom/bubble years.

Also, at the time, we ran our servers locally so they'd interface better with Quark (admittedly an older version) to facilitate getting the news pulled from the local database, formatted for the web and turned into static pages, and up to the site with minimal staff oversight. Not all midsize or smallish papers are going to want to pay for a co-loco for a server (often singular, not a server farm), especially if it might muck with their ability to get stuff up to the site in a timely manner--keeping a VPN open to a server so you can pass a lot of data from your local Quark database eats up bandwidth charges and left open a slim possiblity of our internal servers being exposed if a hacker got in to the web server. Better (for us, at least, and at the time) to keep it all behind the local firewall.

Short version: cut advance.net a little slack. I'm sure they'll pony up the dough for a UPS after this, maybe get an emergency backup somewhere. But not every organization's running a CNN.com.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:55 PM on August 15, 2003


The Blackout Blog is hosted on BuzzMachine, the weblog of Jeff Jarvis, a founding editor of Entertainment Weekly, and the "President and chief investor in advance.net". Advance.net, which is a spinoff of Condé Nast, runs newspaper websites, which appear to be up and running, as well as its own branded sites. It is these latter that seem to have been affected by the same malady. Jeff has been blogging for almost two years, and continues to experiment; for a suit, he's pretty sharp. NJ.com also ran a war news blog.
posted by dhartung at 9:05 PM on August 15, 2003


Jeff Jarvis is also the former TV Guide critic who panned the pilot episode of Babylon 5, saying of its series potiential: "fat chance." The series' creator, J. Michael Straczynski, responded "Bite me, Jarvis" (this became a fan refrain) and was delighted to prove him wrong -- the show actually ran for five seasons.

At one point, Straczynski told online fans that the coffin which was used to launch a body into the sun in one episode was called "a Jarvis."

To be fair to Mr. Jarvis, the B5 pilot was pretty dreadful.

It's apropos of nothing, obviously, but certainly a fun fact!
posted by kindall at 9:43 PM on August 15, 2003


a fun fact!

to know and yell!
posted by quonsar at 10:30 PM on August 15, 2003


Also a good blackout photoblog at TextAmerica. (Self-link warning -- it's a community blog, and I've got a few pics on there.)
posted by Vidiot at 7:35 AM on August 16, 2003


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