Exiled for ‘spam’? Is your Blogger blog next?

July 9, 2008 at 2:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

On June 25, I received the following email from Blogger:

Dear Blogger user,

This is a message from the Blogger team.

Your blog, at http://burningtaper.blogspot.com/, has been identified as a potential spam blog. For an explanation of what spam blogs are, please see Blogger Help.

You will not be able to publish posts to your blog until we review your site and confirm that it is not a spam blog. To request a review, please fill out the form found here. [Link deleted.]

We will take a look at your blog and unlock it within four business days. Please note that if we do not hear from you within 20 days, we will remove your blog. If this blog does not belong to you, then you do not have to do anything. Any other blogs you may have will not be affected.

Since you are an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not spam. We find spam by using an automated classifier. Automatic spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and occasionally a blog is flagged incorrectly. We sincerely apologize for this erroneous result. By using this kind of system, however, we can dedicate more storage, bandwidth, and engineering resources to users like you instead of to spammers.

Thank you for your understanding and for your help in our spam-fighting efforts.


The Blogger Team

It’s now approaching two weeks, and I have not heard anything — not one thing — from Blogger. The original Burning Taper blog remains online, and can be read by anyone, but I cannot access the blog to post new articles or edit older ones.

Bros. Dean Kennedy and Tom Accuosti graciously pointed out Google help sites where I could get additional help from Blogger/Google. I have followed those links and submitted those forms, but still, no word from Blogger, and The Taper remains locked.

If you’re a blogger, you might want to create a plan should you find your blog exiled. At minimum, creating a backup blog at WordPress or another Blogger-competitor might be a good idea. If you’re using the new Blogger version, you can import its content into a WordPress blog.

Since I have control of the domain name BurningTaper.com, I’ve re-set it to point here, to the new “Burning Taper in Exile.” You can still read the older Taper content at http://burningtaper.blogspot.com.

If you currently link to The Burning Taper, please change your link to http://burningtaper.com, omitting “wordpress” and/or “blogspot.” This way, your links will always point to The Taper, no matter where it is hosted.

Thanks for making The Burning Taper a part of your regular blog-reading.

— W.S.


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Replication, re-creation, and resurrection

July 3, 2008 at 11:17 am (Masonic) (, , , )

It’s rather daunting trying to create a new blog out of an old one.

Google/Blogger has proven to be unreliable, having blocked my publishing access to a two-and-a-half year old blog because a robot tagged it as a “possible spam blog.” Inadvertent though it (probably) is, not having the ability to write and post at will after doing so for nearly three years is… well, incredibly restricting as well as incredibly liberating.

For quite a while now, whenever the mood strikes, or an idea hits, or something newsworthy happens, I’ve been able to sit down and immediately write and publish an article. Not being able to do that the past week or so has been an odd feeling, as if my creativity has been dammed up.

On the other hand, though, being locked out of my Blogger-based blog has given me an impetus to stretch out and see what else is available — like WordPress. And it has also given me the opportunity to decide if and/or how much I want to redesign the layout, content and perhaps even purpose of publishing a Masonic-themed blog.

There is a lot of Masonic-related news happening right now. Some of the things I’ve wanted to write about have been picked up on by other Masonic bloggers; some has been totally overlooked.

And then there is wondering what will become of the 900-plus articles I’ve posted on the original Burning Taper? If the bozos at Google/Blogger don’t unblock the blog within the 20 days mentioned in their letter, will the blog and all its contents simply vaporize? I don’t have the time to copy and re-post all those articles. Most of them weren’t that important in the Great Scheme of Things anyway.

But some of the articles, the ones listed under “Burning Taper Backstory” and “Worth Reading Again” had some merit, at least to me. I think I will soon being the task of reposting them here to this new WordPress version of The Burning Taper.

If you’re just stumbling into this new version of The Taper, or if you’ve been reading the old version a while but haven’t checked out the backstory and the “Worth Reading Again” sections, please do so. The articles there are pretty much what I consider “The Best of The Burning Taper.”

The Burning Taper Backstory:

Worth Reading Again:

and my favorite,

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The fire still burns

July 2, 2008 at 11:52 am (Masonic) (, , , )

The Burning Taper logoAfter 2.5 years of regularly posting to the Blogger version of The Burning Taper at burningtaper.blogspot.com, the powers-that-be — namely the mindless robots — at Google/Blogger have decided that, until proven otherwise, The Burning Taper is a “spam blog.”

Though a two-second review would satisfy anyone over the age of seven that The Taper is not a spam blog, I’ve now been blocked from editing or publishing the blog on Blogger for nearly a week. A little bit of research showed that this happens quite often to non-spam blogs, thanks to the robots, and there is no quick-fix among the geniuses at Google. They get around to unblocking blogs when they get around to it, not sooner.

So… I’m experimenting here with WordPress in anticipation of migrating from the insane Blogger service to here.

If you are a blogger or website operator that has graciously linked to The Burning Taper at http://burningtaper.blogspot.com, please change your links to read simply http://burningtaper.com. This has always been an active link to The Taper. Linking to simply BurningTaper.com without the added “blogspot” or “wordpress” will keep your links active, no matter which blogging service The Burning Taper eventually settles down with, or moves to in the future.

Until I decide what to do regarding various hosting options, the link to the original Blogger-based Burning Taper blog is http://burningtaper.blogspot.com, and the link to this, the new WordPress version, is https://burningtaper.wordpress.com. Currently, http://burningtaper.com points to the old Blogger version, but may soon be re-pointed to the WordPress version. I have not yet decided.

Thanks for your continued support of The Burning Taper and the entire Masonic blogging community.

— W.S.

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