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Soon to be "Ripped From The Headlines" on Law & Order
June 15, 2004 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Murder Most Foul? Yesterday, Dave Winer, the self-described "inventor of blogs", abruptly pulled the plug on 3000 blogs being hosted by weblogs.com, saying simply, "I can't afford to host these sites. I don't want to start a site hosting business. These are firm, non-negotiable statements." He's giving his hostees a couple of weeks to request an export of their site content, but they're otherwise S.O.L. Not surprisingly, some people are a little bent out of shape, particularly since the blogs just disappeared without any prior notice. (P.S. What happened to "Blogroots"?)
posted by briank (90 comments total)

 
This post makes it seem as if he doesn't offer any explanation for doing this, which isn't true. Here is a link to a ten minute mp3 describing, in detail, why he did what he did. Frankly, if a bunch of people who I didn't know were stressing me out to the point where it was affecting my health, I'd pull the plug, too.
posted by mmcg at 6:36 AM on June 15, 2004


Anyone relying on Dave Winer deserves what they get.
posted by smackfu at 6:36 AM on June 15, 2004


Why audio notes? Why tiptoe around this? I'm trying to read Doc Searls' explanation, and all he's saying is "This is sad, but necessary, listen to the audio notes, it's just like that other situation we had a few years back, remember that one, listen to the notes, blah blah blah blah audio notes blah blah high-level pontification saying nothing in particular."

And what smackfu said.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 6:41 AM on June 15, 2004


Don't these folks realize? It's Dave's world, we're all just visiting.

Winer has truly contributed to the growth of the internet in some very real ways, but man, he keeps insisting on loudly proclaiming what an asshole he is over and over (RSS anyone?)...
posted by mkultra at 6:50 AM on June 15, 2004


Wait, we're still bashing Winer? I thought that was last year. Shit. Didn't we move on to the Trotts? Or is it both of them now? Damn, it's so hard to keep up these days.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:54 AM on June 15, 2004


CentralizedShinyWidget{tm} - 1
Willfully Ignorant Users - 0
posted by quonsar at 6:55 AM on June 15, 2004


When someone doesn't want you in their house anymore, you have only one recourse; grab 'yer shit and get out.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:59 AM on June 15, 2004


Wait, we're still bashing Winer? I thought that was last year. Shit.

Well, there was recently an uptick of demand to the tune of @3000 points.

BUY BUY BUY
posted by tittergrrl at 7:09 AM on June 15, 2004


I'm not sure I understand the animosity towards Dave. I don't know him, never used his service and so don't really have a dog in this fight...but it seems to me that he gave all these people free hosting and code, and then when the company he no longer worked for decided to charge for the hosting space, he had to shut it down rather than incur the costs.

Um...was he supposed to pay for the privilege of hosting the sites? Was he supposed to create a business so he could deal with the tax events and legal liabilities that come from being a commercial hosting agent? Exactly what was this guy supposed to do when faced with a bill that he didn't see coming?

I'm sure everyone would have liked more notice...including him. It seems that as long as he's willing to export the sites, and he's listed alternate providers, the only other thing he could do that would make the situation easier for users would be to point redirects at the new blog sites...but that's asking for code modifications, and continued hosting space, so I don't think it's a reasonable request. (From an economic standpoint.)

Am I missing something in this equation? Is there some reason why people are justifiably pissed that I'm just not getting?
posted by dejah420 at 7:10 AM on June 15, 2004


dejah420, Dave Winer has a long history of doing stuff and ticking people off. I think there were other public pissing matches, but those two were the only ones that had Metafilter FPPs.
posted by smackfu at 7:25 AM on June 15, 2004


smackfu, there was also the "I'm taking my blog and going home" incident.
posted by infidelpants at 7:29 AM on June 15, 2004


dejah420, for one thing Dave tends to be an abrasive person. He's already pre-sensitized a lot of people so that no matter what he does, he's going to piss them off. But what I think is torquing people is the suddeness of it. No "I'm not sure I can afford to keep doing this, can anyone help?" You don't just wake up one day and discover this sort of thing, not if you've been running a company.

It's not that he's doing this, it's the way he's doing this.
posted by tommasz at 7:29 AM on June 15, 2004


Why does doc.weblogs.com work, but none of the others do?
posted by mathowie at 7:39 AM on June 15, 2004


This is exactly why I decided long ago not to go with Winer for my hosting/posting needs. Can't trust the guy, don't trust the guy, won't trust the guy.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:47 AM on June 15, 2004


Is there some reason why people are justifiably pissed that I'm just not getting?

In addition to what tommasz said, there's the small issue that he's unwilling to export any data before July 1st. In fact, there's no specified date - it's just sometime *after* July 1st. And since his fellowship at the Berkman Center ends on June 30th, and he'll likely be moving and/or transitioning and/or looking for a new job, it's anyone's guess when the data will be available again.

On preview - mathowie: A lot of people have been wondering the same thing.
posted by Remy at 7:47 AM on June 15, 2004


Why does doc.weblogs.com work, but none of the others do?

perhaps Dave repointed DNS for that subdomain for Doc to another host and isn't willing to do that for the unwashed masses?
posted by machaus at 7:52 AM on June 15, 2004


I am more thankful than ever that Jason helped me to export my weblogs.com site and import it into MT. Thank you Jason!
posted by gen at 7:56 AM on June 15, 2004


Um...was he supposed to pay for the privilege of hosting the sites? Was he supposed to create a business so he could deal with the tax events and legal liabilities that come from being a commercial hosting agent? Exactly what was this guy supposed to do when faced with a bill that he didn't see coming?

The issue is pretty simple: there was no warning, the sites just went down in the past several hours. I've been hosting friends for free and when it came time to end five years of free hosting, I gave 6 weeks notice and helped with the transition.

A minor footnote is that Dave also has a history of freaking out on organizations that take sites down without doing proper 404 redirection, and this would seem like a hypocritical action to take for weblogs.com.
posted by mathowie at 7:59 AM on June 15, 2004


[deja420] I'm not sure I understand the animosity towards Dave.

Consider:

[mkultra] Don't these folks realize? It's Dave's world, we're all just visiting.

Dave's response to every criticism: "I Fight for the Users." In other words, in his mind, everything he does is blessed by the conductor of the Cluetrain. He's the last line of defense against both evil BigCos and Bolsheviks. He knows what's best -- after all, he fights for the users.

I've been reading Winer's blog pretty regularly for several years now. It's a great way to keep up on what's going on in blogging space.

That said, mkultra has got it nailed: Dave Winer thinks the world owes him respect he's not willing to give to other people. He's also got a history of being utterly unable to see when his criticisms of others (for things like divisiveness and lack of user-focus) apply as well or better to him.
posted by lodurr at 8:05 AM on June 15, 2004


Dark Messiah When someone doesn't want you in their house anymore, you have only one recourse; grab 'yer shit and get out.

That's the problem, right there.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:10 AM on June 15, 2004


I can't afford hosting anymore, but here's a 3.5mb audio file to listen to mmkay?
posted by gi_wrighty at 8:37 AM on June 15, 2004


So, change of tack, here: How would this shake out? Is this a L&O Classic or L&O:CI thang? (Hard to fit this into an L&O:SUV box.) I'm thinking CI, because it just gives us more opportunity to hear about Goren's Princeton buddies.

Here's the start of a short treatment:

INTRO: We see a middle-aged, type-A Angry Blog God guy getting a big ISP bill... fingering a totemic and significantly unopened pack of Marlboro Lights. He narrates the big bill, displaying suitable Shock, Awe, and Rage. Dissolve to him dictating audio blog. Cut to the Red Herring: High-profile blogger getting scoop by phone (sorry, email don't play on TV), going to post, and finding her site down. Instead she gets a link to Angry Blog God's audio blog. A loud phone call is made. Dissolve to cleaning lady knocking on door -- "Mister Blog God, it's Marisol...Mister Blog God... Mister Blog God!" Cue opening credits.

PLOT SYNOPSIS:

Goren and Eames on site. Goren correctly identitifies Mister Angry Blog God (suffocated by 937 cigarettes stuffed into his mouth and nose) and accurately maps his significance in the Blogosphere; Eames gets to comment about pathetic losers with no life, while making pointed glance at Goren, who brushes his cheek with his thumb to avoid looking at her while pointing at the unopened pack of M-Lights and noting that A.B.G. had a picture of them on his blog a few days before. He sits down at ABG's Mac and gets the password in three tries, based on little known personal facts about ABG. Finds the ISP bill, and angry, conveniently threatenging email from High Profile Blogger (HPB).

Goren poses earth-shattering question: Why did they leave an unopened pack?

To Be Dragged Out....
posted by lodurr at 8:43 AM on June 15, 2004


i am/was involved with a weblogs site. the service has been terrible for ages and we were in the middle of moving elsewhere (we asked them about paying for what we had, for a better service, but got nowhere). it was nice to have free hosting, but it's a pity that the service has been cut off so abruptly - the site is dead, as far as i can tell, so we have no way of putting up info so that the members can find the new site.

this isn't "grab yer shit and get out" it's finding the door locked with a promise of your stuff next month. but it's hard to get worked up about it when we knew all along who was controlling things and how he's behaved in the past. my main reaction is feeling stupid for not having pushed to get the move sorted a week or two earlier. ah well.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:46 AM on June 15, 2004


That's the problem, right there.

I've always had hardcopies of anything I've ever posted to my websites.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:47 AM on June 15, 2004


I've always had hardcopies...

Silly rabbi. Bloggers don't do hardcopy. They don't even do backup.
posted by lodurr at 8:52 AM on June 15, 2004


hmm.

i like Fred's comment from 10:34:50 AM:

Dick.

sums it up nicely.
posted by Stynxno at 9:01 AM on June 15, 2004


Winer kills me. From the comments on his site:

To Steve Kirks, make the offer here. I can't turn over all the sites to you, it's a lot harder to host thousands of sites than it might appear. I suggest you start with two or three of the people in this list. And answer all their questions (offline) before taking the responsibility. And it *is* a responsibility, not something to be entered into casually.
Dave Winer • 6/15/04; 8:29:01 AM


What a pompous windbag.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:17 AM on June 15, 2004


Winer is one of the biggest asses in the entire history of the modern internet. Nothing he can do will surprise me, this is par for the course because it involves many Winer trademarks:

1. Lack of care for others
2. Lack of understanding about the technological and personal issues involved with anything other then what he happens to be working on at the moment
3. Refusal to accept responsibilty, admit making a mistake, or take criticism.

This gets repeated over and over, and yet somehow people still take him seriously. All that being said, those are all professional complaints... Dave actually seems to be not such a bad guy at all in person and offline and actually has a heart when it comes to things like global issues and human suffering.

The core problem he has is a total lack of understanding of other people's needs and expectations, coupled with a mercurial desire to be a respected internet pioneer and mogul. The problem for him is that the internet involves people, horrible annoying people all over the place, everywhere you look, and to be successful on the internet you have to cater to their pointless, small-minded needs.
posted by chaz at 9:39 AM on June 15, 2004


chaz's post sound eerily reminiscient of something that Smith said in one of the "Matrix" films....interesting.
posted by djspicerack at 9:50 AM on June 15, 2004


Things we never knew 'til now: Dave is a Big-Hearted Moose

…now it was winter and that wasn't easy,
For moose-moss gets scarce when the weather gets freezy.
The food was soon gone on the cold northern shore
Of Lake Winna-Bango. There just was no more!
And all Thidwick's friends swam away in a bunch
To the south of the lake where there's moose-moss to munch.

He watched the herd leave. And then Thidwick knew
He'd starve if he stayed here! He'd have to go, too!
He stepped in the water, Then, oh! what a fuss!
"STOP!" screamed his guests. "You can't do this to us!
Your horns are our home and you've no right to take
Our home to the far distant side of the lake!"


posted by jfuller at 10:09 AM on June 15, 2004


And yet thousands of people still decided to use the service he was offering, even as they knew fully well what an asshole he is.

Seems to me they got what they should have expected.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 AM on June 15, 2004


The only advice I can give to David Winer:

Consider some sort of therapy instead of drinking as a way to deal with yourself in the world, because you act like a prick way too much.
posted by johnnydark at 10:26 AM on June 15, 2004


Don't expect Winer to respect your wishes. Ever. I've politely asked him several times to remove content of mine that he published without my permission and he has failed to comply. What's more, he somehow interpreted my amicable requests as threats. I don't understand why anyone would go out of his way to make so many enemies, let alone interpret Robert Shea Wilson conspiracy theories within clear and polite language.

I've since moved on, but one thing I know is that instant karma's going to get him.
posted by ed at 10:31 AM on June 15, 2004


well, lambda is back. don't know about other weblogs.com sites.
[on preview - whoops. refusing connections again; ah, no, ok again...]
posted by andrew cooke at 10:48 AM on June 15, 2004


All I can say is "Suck it up people". It's not like he handed the users a retroactive bill or something. He's just stopped giving them something they've been getting for free. The users should be glad he's offering to export the sites, even if it is with a delay. Usually when something like this happens there is no warning and the sites disappear into a blackhole never to be seen again, anyone without a local copy is then SOL. What kind of fool spends any amount of time on something without executing a backup plan?

Depending on what the final straw was I could see myself doing the same thing with the exception that I would have provided some kind of redirector page even if it would have cost me money out of my pocket.

When Matt pulls the plug here I hope we can be a lot more gracious and understanding.
posted by Mitheral at 10:48 AM on June 15, 2004


And yet thousands of people still decided to use the service he was offering....

Let's consider the history, here. These were folks who signed up for Manila hosting with Userland, who were moved to Dave Winer's Manila server when he left the company (after his heart surgery, as I recall). So unless my timeline is off, these folks were essentially getting a free ride for at least a year (Userland used to sub you for a year at a time).

That said, I don't really think this was something people "should have expected"; I would have expected more notice, for example, since that would be basic politeness and good business. He might not have been getting paid for it, but this kind of episode does really damage his reputation and hurts his future employability.

What was done was pretty rude, there's no doubt about that, and there really are no good excuses (Winer does actually have a lot of friends, and somebody could have found a way to get another month out of it) aside from momentary bitchiness.

And none too bright, either. It's really not too cool to wake up, trash your own reputation, then make a public display of unrepentence, all while you're looking for a new job...
posted by lodurr at 10:49 AM on June 15, 2004


As the saying goes, Expectations create frustrations.

You may have expected Winer to be polite, considerate, intelligent.

He wasn't.

And because he didn't live up to your expectations, you're mad at him?

Live and learn, I guess. Sure as heck points out the importance of having a backup copy of one's data, f'rinstance. And to not expect free service providers to remain free. And to not expect polite, considerate, intelligent behaviour from a guy who has repeatedly demonstrated quite the opposite.

If you adjust your expectations of Winer, there's nothing to be upset about...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:59 AM on June 15, 2004


chaz, were you describing Winer or George Bush? I got lost in there for a moment.
posted by fenriq at 11:00 AM on June 15, 2004


If you adjust your expectations of Winer, there's nothing to be upset about...

Yeh, but not everybody's as cynical as you (or me, for that matter).

I'm not personally upset about this -- well, actually, i do wrinkle my brow from time to time and think, 'man, that's a stupid thing for a guy to do who needs a job...'

But a guy who's willing to be a bastard in print for money can probably command enough of a salary to pay cheap rent and board, so I guess I shouldn't worry.
posted by lodurr at 11:21 AM on June 15, 2004


Mitheral, do you really think Matt would pull MeFi off the air without notice? Really?
posted by tommasz at 11:32 AM on June 15, 2004


He's already pre-sensitized a lot of people so that no matter what he does, he's going to piss them off.

No kidding. All he's done here is take the sites offline for two weeks. It's abrupt, but he's willing to manually export site data to users, redirect old weblogs.com URLs to their new homes, and work with people like me to see if there's more than we can do to smooth the transition.

You'd think the guy had deleted all of the data, from the responses it has received here and elsewhere. On my weblog, I've linked to a few that are particularly charming, such as the person who called this "a 9/11 of sorts for the weblogs.com bloggers."
posted by rcade at 11:38 AM on June 15, 2004


please ignore my comments above - seems earlier it was just "the usual" access problems and the site i'm involved with still exists. does anyone know why only some sites were shut down?
posted by andrew cooke at 11:42 AM on June 15, 2004


All he's done here is take the sites offline for two weeks....

Umm... where did you get that idea?

I'm really curious, because I've seen it elsewhere. Is it because he described a two-week warning option in his audio blog? Read it again: He never says he's bringing the sites back up.

If you really listen to Winer and take him at his work, then these sites are gone, man. Unless he gives you the Manila export, they're gone.

Fortunately, a bunch of folks (many of them "enemies") have leapt forward with decent technical suggestions about a resolution.

I read the transcript of Dave's audio blog, and basically what he described is coming through what I call the "f8ck-it moment": That point in a gone-wrong migration/update/launch where you just want to say "fuck it", and let the chips fall where they may. I've been there...but only when my rollback plan failed.

It sounds like Dave went into a migration without a rollback plan, or without properly scoping the project. So when he hit the "fuck-it moment", he saw himself as having nowhere to go.

What he should have done is call on a few of his technically capable, resource-blessed friends, and asked them to help. There are plenty of people -- even plenty of people who know Manila/Frontier -- who would have been willing to help. But it didn't occur to him to ask, and it hasn't occurred to him to go back and do that now.

I'm betting that the data is not really gone; but it's going to take a while for the negotiations to happen that let someone inside of Winer's still-trusted circle take control of the server, or for someone at Userland to realize that they could win many friends and influence many bloggers by taking their last image and re-hosting it somewhere. I'll wager these bloggers get their work back; but at the cost of Dave's reputation.
posted by lodurr at 11:50 AM on June 15, 2004


Rogers - could you point me to where Dave said he was willing to redirect weblogs.com domains for people? I can't find any mention of it on scripting.com or old.weblogs.com.
posted by Remy at 12:25 PM on June 15, 2004


Check it out, Wired News quoted quonsar (anonymously).
posted by hyperizer at 12:32 PM on June 15, 2004


Yeh, I noticed what Quonsar was saying on several comment threads. Same thing, more or less copied and pasted.

I thought we got past that tech macho bullshit years ago. Guess I was wrong.

"Shanna, they bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash."
posted by lodurr at 12:46 PM on June 15, 2004


tommasz Mitheral, do you really think Matt would pull MeFi off the air without notice? Really?

He doesn't seem to be that kind of guy but I wouldn't bet against it. After all the only thing I know about him is inferred from his posting history and moderation of MF. I have no knowledge of his meat space actions or enviroment. Things may be happening or may happen in the future in his private life that could cuase him to act irrationally.

I've also seen many long lived sites just disappear. Others like http://www.technocrat.net/ get archived (actually I see Bruce brought it back up yesterday) and some like BadgerPond gave lots of notice but you had to extract your own archive. Others just didn't resolve one day and for all I know the owners became moonies.

Back in the BBS days I hit once hit the "f8ck-it moment" because of user management issues on a board I was running. I only pulled the perverbial plug for two weeks but I can understand getting so fustrated that you just come to a full stop and let the cards fall where they may. lodurr 's speculation may very well be true.

Also is there a plan in place if Matt were to step outside and get hit by a bus? Or would MF just fall down and never get up?
posted by Mitheral at 12:46 PM on June 15, 2004


haha, go q!

on peview: looking at it from the "f8ck-it moment" point of view, i can understand why Winer did what he did but still, it was a dick move. If you truly have other people depending on you, it's my personal opinion that you have an obligation to those people. Sure, they didn't have to sign up for a free service. But he didn't have to offer the service in the first place either.
posted by Stynxno at 12:53 PM on June 15, 2004


I spoke to Dave on the phone about this yesterday. The sites are gone for two weeks, then Dave plans to export every requested site in one fell swoop.

With help from myself, Anil Dash, Erin Clerico at Weblogger.Com and others, these weblogs can be brought back online at their new homes quickly, at which point people should hop back aboard the PerspectiveTrain.

That Wired News piece is an inspired piece of work avoidance. It appears that every single quote was collected from the Web.
posted by rcade at 12:59 PM on June 15, 2004


All he's done here is take the sites offline for two weeks.

I'll bet you $20 right now those sites aren't coming back, Rogers. You can even promise to share half of your winnings with Dave if he needs a business plan first. ;)

smooth the transition

The first key is letting people know that they're being *ahem* 'transitioned' (important word alert ->) before it happens. As more than a few people have pointed out, merely providing 30 days prior notice would have made this a regrettable but understandable End-of-Free™ decision instead of a mass screwing of thousands of people.

From the Wired article:Some bloggers contacted for comments for this story said they didn't want to make disparaging comments about Winer's actions, for fear he wouldn't provide them copies of their blogs.

[Homer]It's funny cuz it's true.[/Homer]

On preview: Oh, it seems that when you said they were "taken offline for two weeks", you didn't mean to suggest they'd actually be put back online after that. Nevermind.
posted by boaz at 1:10 PM on June 15, 2004


That Wired News piece is an inspired piece of work avoidance. It appears that every single quote was collected from the Web.

...which doesn't necessary mean that it's bad. It was a summation of a vast number of opinions online. For someone just hearing about this story, it's a good starting point.

With help from myself, Anil Dash, Erin Clerico at Weblogger.Com and others, these weblogs can be brought back online at their new homes quickly, at which point people should hop back aboard the PerspectiveTrain.

Does that mean that those 3000 bloggers are going to get free technical help to setup their new blogs on whatever systems they want?
posted by Stynxno at 1:33 PM on June 15, 2004


Yup. But I won't be offering weblogs.com migration help for free. Boaz is paying me $20 to do it.
posted by rcade at 1:47 PM on June 15, 2004


Only Mussolini could make the PerspectiveTrains run on time.
posted by ed at 1:47 PM on June 15, 2004


Does that mean that those 3000 bloggers are going to get free technical help to setup their new blogs on whatever systems they want?

maybe it's time for a lot of bloggers to figure out how to do some of this stuff for themselves. not to mention take responsibility for their own data and keep regularly updated back ups on their hard drives. it's unbelievable that so many don't do this, especially when you consider how precious some of them consider their writings.
posted by t r a c y at 2:04 PM on June 15, 2004


maybe it's time for a lot of bloggers to figure out how to do some of this stuff for themselves. ...

Sure. But there's a difference between self-reliance and tech-macho-bullshit. I've seen more than enough of the latter to last me for six or seven lifetimes.
posted by lodurr at 2:16 PM on June 15, 2004


Yup. But I won't be offering weblogs.com migration help for free. Boaz is paying me $20 to do it.

Sure. If all 3000 weblogs.com blogs come back online in two weeks, even on other hosts with different URLs, I'll flow you the $20 anyway. I'm easy.

However, telling bloggers, who were probably complaining on their blogs 2 days about burning their tongues on their morning coffee or how Jimmy won't ask her to the prom until he asks Sharon first, to get perspective is a bit fatuous.

I'd suggest that rather than bloviating further, bloggers should protest by simply dropping their RSS2 feed in favor of Atom. That's probably the only issue in the blogging world that would get Dave and Rogers to switch from lecture-mode to listen-mode.
posted by boaz at 2:21 PM on June 15, 2004


That Wired News piece is an inspired piece of work avoidance. It appears that every single quote was collected from the Web.

Heh, I have to agree. When did serious tech journalism turn into the combination of several webblogs and a blender?
posted by mathowie at 2:21 PM on June 15, 2004


Futurists! Snort! Blurt! Gack!

Yes?

Reading the comments, I see mostly thanks and some disappointment for the lack of notice. I did not read them all but, frankly, mountain meet mole hill. Every criticism of Dave Winer may be right on the money and for all I know he likes to wear ladies knickers (not that there's anything wrong with that) but unless someone here has a specific axe to grind I think we can all take away our own little lesson here.

Mine is: don't offer something that you can't make good on. (Damn it! I was supposed to have learned that lesson already!)
posted by Dick Paris at 2:34 PM on June 15, 2004


When did serious tech journalism turn into the combination of several webblogs and a blender?

How long has it been since Wired.com was considered serious tech journalism?
posted by djc at 2:38 PM on June 15, 2004


tech-macho-bullshit

what is that exactly...? and why does it matter in the context of bloggers learning how to, say, code shit for themselves or install their own blogging software, or to know about other free hosts in the event their current one goes tits up...? sure it's great that there are services that will hold your hand when you're first starting out, but it's either stupid or lazy to then just willfully not learn about what's holding your blog together or how to take control of it for yourself.
posted by t r a c y at 3:08 PM on June 15, 2004


you fix your own car and plumbing, tracy?
posted by andrew cooke at 3:31 PM on June 15, 2004


What is tech-macho bullshit?

Why, it's bullshit like saying that people don't deserve to have site integrity unless they earn it with the sweat of their geekish brains.

It's an attitude that holds lesser beings in contempt for their lack of interest in what they might rightly consider irrelevant detail.
posted by lodurr at 3:34 PM on June 15, 2004


Were any of the blogs worth the webspace they were occupying, anyway?

I'm thinking the loss of 3000 blogs is kinda like the loss of 3000 plankton from the ocean: B.F.D.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:44 PM on June 15, 2004


i, for one, felt a great disturbance in the blogosphere, as if millithousands of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced... /obiwan
posted by kliuless at 3:52 PM on June 15, 2004


five fresh fish:

You shoulda visited lambda.weblogs.com.

There's nothing I know of that filled that particular niche. (If anyone knows of something similar or better, I'd be thrilled to hear of it.)
posted by AmaAyeRrsOonN at 4:04 PM on June 15, 2004


you fix your own car and plumbing, tracy?

uhm, bad examples andrew 'cause yah i can :-D (one of my bday presents this year is a cute mechanic's jump suit, or whatever you call 'em, with my name embroidered on it) i understand that point... and i'll say this, if you can't figure shit out for yourself then you better have yourself a back up plan or 2. like knowing a great plumber or mechanic, or where other free hosts are. and when you call that plumber or mechanic you don't expect them to do the work for free do you...? just like how i don't expect my webhosting company to, say, install MT for me for free.
posted by t r a c y at 4:37 PM on June 15, 2004


tech-macho-bullshit.

uhm hum. CuteFTP. NotePad+. Filling out an online form to buy a year of hosting for $3/month. Dragging a file from one list to the other. the tech-macho-bullshit is just fucking astounding.
posted by quonsar at 5:10 PM on June 15, 2004


When did serious tech journalism turn into the combination of several webblogs and a blender?

they have serious tech journalism now? since when?
posted by quonsar at 5:12 PM on June 15, 2004


Backup plans are great.

Do you have one for everything?

And did you always?

And does the presence (or absence) of a backup plan by itself define the value of what's being protected?
posted by lodurr at 5:17 PM on June 15, 2004


the tech-macho-bullshit is just fucking astounding.

As is the dry, sarcastic smart-ass bullshit. Sure a lot easier than actually thinking much.

Big grins to ya, tho....love your show....
posted by lodurr at 5:18 PM on June 15, 2004


/me curtseys.
posted by quonsar at 5:39 PM on June 15, 2004


yah i've always had back up plans for my various online dealings. even when i built my first website in '95 i kept a copy of it on my h/d, and when geocities changed their user agreement in such a way that made me uncomfortable with their free hosting i went elsewhere, and when the first paid webhosting company i used suddenly and without warning went tits up i moved on to a new one the next day - i kept a list of affordable companies in my bookmarks because i figured hey i better be prepared. and yah in real life i always have back up plans too, because we all learn pretty quickly that shit happens all the damn time, don't we...?

at any rate, we can go around and around on this topic, but why bother. if people want to be helpless and leave their shit unguarded that's their perogative, but don't expect too much sympathy from me when it's just so damned easy to be prepared.

dave's unintentionally done a lot of folks a big favour... there are aprox. 3000 more people out there now who've hopefully learned some valuable lessons - always back your data up, always be on the look out for better services, learn mad skillz as you go along (if i can, anyone can)

quonsar, you're so preeeeetty.
posted by t r a c y at 6:14 PM on June 15, 2004


it's so erotic when you say stuff like "tits up", t r a c y!
posted by quonsar at 6:23 PM on June 15, 2004


you fix your own car and plumbing, tracy?

Do you freak out and run around helplessly when your car runs out of gas, or when your toilet gets clogged with poopie-paper?
posted by majcher at 6:52 PM on June 15, 2004


(Coming late to the game...)

You're very welcome, Gen -- and honestly, if there's anyone here who actually backed up their Manila site from weblogs.com (and thus has their .root file hanging around), I'd be happy to convert it into a MovableType import file for you.
posted by delfuego at 7:08 PM on June 15, 2004


Geez tracy, human much?
posted by dame at 9:42 PM on June 15, 2004


You think you're annoyed at Dave, wait until you meet his brothers, Doug and Dinsdale Winer!

They're mean.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:40 AM on June 16, 2004


"You say Dave Winer deleted your weblog?"

"Well, 'e 'ad to, didn't 'e? I mean, to be fair, there was nothin' else 'e could do! I mean, I 'ad trangressed the unwritten law!"

"What exactly did you do?"

"Uh, well, 'e never told me that."
posted by DrJohnEvans at 5:42 AM on June 16, 2004


For perspective, what would happen if Microsoft pulled the plug on Hotmail without giving any advance notice?
posted by mikeh at 7:04 AM on June 16, 2004


There's nothing more macho than a bunch of thin, pale-faced geeks FTPing!
posted by hyperizer at 8:06 AM on June 16, 2004


For perspective, what would happen if Microsoft pulled the plug on Hotmail without giving any advance notice?

I'd be on EBay with my bag o' gmail invites in two shakes. :-)
posted by oissubke at 9:05 AM on June 16, 2004


...what would happen if Microsoft pulled the plug on Hotmail without giving any advance notice?

Idiots that don't archive their email would be burned pretty badly, I imagine.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:53 AM on June 16, 2004


Dave-Bashing? Intra-blogular trauma? Dodgeball, the Movie? It's like we're entering a Golden Age.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 11:27 AM on June 17, 2004


The key point here is simple...

Do what you want with your servers and your service, but damnit, have a little civility and give people some notice. Imagine if this had been a simple planned migration from 3 months ago? It wouldn't have even made news.

I think a person's actions, and how they treat others (especially, in this case, how they treat other's creative and intellectual property), says far more than their words do. All Winer needed to do was to respect those 3,000 logs he hosted and give them the notice they deserved to move off of his servers first. His lack of notice and pulling them down in one fell swoop was a big "F*** you" to the blogging community.

Everything else is just rationalizations and bulls*it that allows him to sleep at night...
posted by docjohn at 1:00 PM on June 17, 2004


There'a an update to the situation now, and it appears rcade has come through Huge in bringing this matter to a favorable conclusion for everyone involved. Everyone's being moved to a new, dedicated server, 90 days free hosting, backups freely avaliable from a backup server, everything (theoretically) ready by Monday, oh, and rcade is now the proud owner of a Manila hosting biz. Congrats. That's a seriously impressive job of turning around an unfortunate situation.
posted by boaz at 1:58 PM on June 17, 2004


What can I say? I got carried away trying to win a bet.
posted by rcade at 3:15 PM on June 17, 2004


Yeah, yeah, looks like that's a sure loss. But hey, I bet on the Lakers in 5, so this is only the second stupidest bet I've made this month. Is Paypal ok?
posted by boaz at 3:28 PM on June 17, 2004


Are you on SportsFilter? I'm freeing you from the obligation of actually paying, but we wouldn't turn down alms for the server poor.
posted by rcade at 3:41 PM on June 17, 2004


Done and done. I wish you all the best in your hosting endeavor.
posted by boaz at 3:48 PM on June 17, 2004


Awww. Warms the cockles, that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:37 PM on June 17, 2004


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