October 17, 2005

Below Whose Radar Screen? Blogspot: The Low Rent District

I own several domains. I host a couple of sites. I have my own site at sessum.com with extra space on the server.

And I keep my blogs on blogspot.

I pay them too.

Chris Pirillo finds the fact that a large population of legitimate bloggers live on blogspot unfathomable. He says that's because Google's spam problem is out of hand. I appreciate that problem, believe me. I have to deal with it for my clients too.

But the splog deluge has nothing to do with who's "LEGITIMATE" on blogspot.

Chris has said he thinks blogspot hosts 99% crap. Even in what Ev says in defense of blogspot residents, you can hear a hint of the prevailing attitude among some that the po-folk need a home too.

In case you don't get what I'm saying, I'll put it this way: The opinion among the big guys is that blogspot squatters are the undesirables of the net. We are also-rans. Not needed. Part of the problem. And, you're no one if you don't have your own blog.com.

I've known this for a long time. I've heard it first hand. In email. At an Atlanta blogger's gathering. I've heard it over and over again: "Jeneane, what are you doing on blogspot? No real blogger stays on blogspot. Why don't you move off that sewer?" Try this tool. Try that tool. At least host it someplace else. The blogspot domain pulls your readership down. They're not trustworthy. on and on.

Well-meaning people have been trying to pull me off blogspot for years -- some because they care about this blog, others because they can't believe a "legitimate" blogger would want to live here. I appreciate that. But stop.

Thank you very much--I have no intention of going.

The subtleties beneath the discussion over Splogs (the spam blogs littering the blogosphere--especially prominent on blogspot) offer some interesting attitudes and perceptions among the blogerati on blog real estate. If the old location-location-location adage works, then blogspot is the ninth ward of New Orleans. It's the ghetto. Take Pirillo's approach and pave it over.

Well news flash folks:

More than 50-percent of the blogs worth reading are on blogspot. And 80 percent of people who want to test the blog waters (some who stay, some who don't) take their leap of faith on blogspot.

THAT'S why this place is so important to me.

If you want to make blogging a place for professionals only, then get your own sandbox. You don't own this one. You want a place without splogs? I WANT a place that's free, and a tool that's easier than any other tool on the market so that Aunt Sophie and Barbara and Stanley and Joey and Leroy and Tarnjan and Stella and Martin and Martina can all play around and maybe Sophie posts a poem that makes me weep and Martin writes about his baby girl who died from SIDS, and maybe they stay and maybe they go, and maybe in the mean time you're pissed off you have to wade through VIAGRA VIOXX XANAX, but fucking fuck you.

Halley is on blogspot.

Tom is on blogspot.

Jessica is on blogspot

Blog Sisters has been on blogspot for four years.

Will's on Blogspot.

Every fourth or fifth blog on my blogroll is on blogspot.

So Google, hear what these guys are saying about the spam problem and fix it. It's not all henny penny, but it's really important. And yes, I'm willing to type in an authentication code for each post. That's not a bad idea from Chris Pirillo

The rest of blogland, hear the subtleties of what's being said about blogspot, and don't buy into it.


cfollymacher said...

I think the main reason for moving off blogspot, supposebly, is for more control. Peoples wanna be puttin in fancier schtuff than what is allowed w/ Blogger. If/when i return to blogging, if/when i shift to another host, it'll be for those reasons and not for some cheesy stigma/vanity.

Some of my favourite blogs are on blogspot as well, and there's lots more coming in. For people who want to concentrate on writing and not fussing over fussy xhtml/css2/mysql/ajax and blablabla, this is an awesome tool. Despite the new infiltration of spambots, to this day there is no better value.

Shelley said...

I suggested it because the performance has not been particularly good lately, and it's hard to get to your site and/or leave comments. No assertion of low-rent district was implied.

To be honest, I also don't trust that blogspot is going to live forever.

jr said...

I don't think Chris was taking you to task for being on blogspot, it was more that Google has left a door open that allows for someone to automatically and systematically create spam content on many blogspot accounts in an attempt to "capture the flag" so to speak.

Besides the obvious down side of even more spam being put to search, the spambots devaluate your blogs by making it harder to find amongst the noise. Someone at Google should be paying attention to this fact and should be doing something about it. If they can't then we have a problem. What he is suggesting (and leaves something to be desired) is that to post you may need to go through a process like you do when posting to Blogger comments, You may have to enter a word verifcation to post on your very own blog.

Will said...

I'm all about content over fancy tricks and stuff I don't use the blogger comment option or run adsense banners I get next to zero spam but that's just me. I could buy a domain and geta "real" site but I enjoy having a free forum to put stuff up.

Lisa said...

It's silly to draw all these rediculous distinctions between bloggers as if we were all in the court of Louis the 15th and someone whose collar was just a millimeter more fluffy was higher on the totem pole. WTF? That said, I don't really think Chris is that kinda guy. I left Blogger because I had eight million add-on widgets that were broken all the time and they were giving me agita.

Anyway, I do wonder:
Blogspot is part of Blogger.
Blogger is part of Google.
Spam blogs on Blogspot screw up Google rankings.

Why doesn't Google make it their business to nuke the spam blogs? Something they own and pay for is biting them in the ankle, why haven't they squashed it already?

Jeneane Sessum said...

Okay so let me say--I am glad that Chris is challenging Google, and you can see in his post, someone actually responded pretty quickly. Glad he's who he is--wonder if it would have happened otherwise.

HOWEVER in his original rant where he let on that he thinks 99% of blogspot is crap, it's a low-rent discussion I've seen come up before over blogspot, and have had people say to my face when I was in a crowd of other bloggers: eeww--you have to have your own domain.

Shelley, I have always taken your suggestions to move as kindness and frustration as a reader and I understand that. But I have a lot invested in this neighborhood and I'm riding it out. I just resent Chris' implication of 99% uselessness. It's like, you're on blogspot? Get a real job.

Well fuggit. No.

Google will do something because they have to.

and i already said in the post, wouldn't be no big thing to type in a verification word. i'm game. I hate that you all have to do it in comments. I hate that.

Unknown said...

Spam makes me emotional. ;) When I say that Blogspot is a crapfarm, I'm talking about it being fertile ground for exploiters.

Google has known about this for MONTHS and has taken noting more than baby steps to curb its impact. It got so bad this weekend for some of us that we (in a very uncoordinated way) decided to put our foot down.

Google's not gonna kill Blogspot - but it's a headline that got deserved attention.

Check out Danny Sullivan's review of this situation today, as well as Jakob Neilsen's post on "Top Ten Design Mistakes."

Lis Riba said...

Gee, aside from complaints about the reliability issues, I haven't seen much disdain for blogspot. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place, because mostly I see most of the elitism expressed towards LiveJournal users.

Maybe somebody needs to come up with a version of the Geek hierarchy for the blogosphere, with those who code and host their own blogs at the top feeling most superior...

Jeneane Sessum said...

Lis--Now THAT I would hang on my wall!!!

Shelley said...

Well, as a lot of people are beginning to realize, this is only impacting only on a specific small group of people. I didn't even know there was a problem, but then i don't do ego searches, nor do I subscribe to my own name in PubSub. I never even thought about doing so.

But several people are now filtering on Blogspot, including all of IceRocket, which just happens to filter out the 'noise', I believe someone called it recently.

Between all of this, there will be one small group of men heard -- and they'll point to the technology and what not and shrug their shoulders and say, "They had to do it--noise, you know, spam, you know."

This spam problem is no more an disaster threatening the integrity of blogging, then there's 20 some billion blogs served ("Is that with or without frieds?")

So good for you for staying Jeneane. BTW, I like the new design. We should add a bit of that blue/green into your Sessum site.

Shelley said...

Sigh. "Well, as a lot of people are beginning to realize, this is only impacting on a specific small group of people."

Jeneane Sessum said...

The men talking at other men thing is amazing. It's in full gear since Web 2.0. If they weren't so stupidly blatent about it, I'd almost think they had a secret blood pact. But no, I think it's just good old fashioned dickheadedness.

Denise said...

You're on a roll, girl. I'm still on blogspot for all the reasons you so succinctly mention.

Denise said...

P.S. Also, because I signed up for blogspot plus back when it was available, for me blogspot is, and acts pretty much like, any other hosting service. It's been really reliable under Google, it's super easy to use, and I point other domain names at it (e.g., bagandbaggage.com). They'll get the splog thing sorted out. By this time next year (probably much sooner) it'll be under control and something else will be the iBogeyman of the moment.

Joe said...

Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crud.

Translation: 90% of all non-Blogspot blogs also suck. ;-)

Collin Kelley said...

Christ...pissing contests over blog domains? Don't people have anything better to talk about? I've been on Blogger since I started mine and my traffic continues to increase. I have my own website at collinkelley.com that drives most of the traffic to the blog. Now that Blogger has added the anti-spam verification, spam has totally disappeared. I'm not planning to move either.

D.B. Echo said...

As I posted to Chris Pirillo's site this morning, the question has to be asked: "Who benefits?" Who benifits from the preponderance of crap blogs that are clogging up the blogosphere and giving Blogspot a bad name?

My conclusion? The pay-to-blog services benefit the most. Might they have a few people in their employ whose only task is to generate fake Blogspot blogs and pour a teaspoon of sewage into Blogspot's tankerful of wine?

I'm happy to stay here in the Blogspot ghetto. I don't really give a damn what the Chris Pirillos of the world have to say. Well, maybe a little. But I'm not going to let him dictate what I do and where I blog. Screw him.