Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Fail & Fall of Blogger

When I started my blog on Blogger almost three years ago, I knew it was going to be epic- much in the way that I find gourmet french toast to be epic. It was meant to be a personal indulgence. I had always loved to write, and a blog of my very own would grant me a forum to spew the words that were spilling into unseen notebooks and trapped inside my head. A blog seemed like the perfect diary, if you will.

What I didn't realize on that fateful October day was that my blog would become epic in the way of readership and sponsors, friends and partnerships. It wasn't long before my 5 real life readers turned into 5 more random readers. It floored me when I began to see the faces of strangers filling the Google Friend Connect widget on my sidebar!

Within my first year of blogging (which coincided with my first year of selling my art prints on Etsy), I had half a thousand readers and a few of them were asking if they could pay me for advertising. Woah! That kinda-sorta made me a paid writer- in a way.

In my second year of blogging, companies started reaching out to me for giveaway hosting and product reviews. My readership has been sky-rocketing all year long, I'm connecting with readers on Twitter and I couldn't be more happy about being a blogger!

But here's the thing: I'm a blogger who blogs on Blogger and, if you are too, you know that's a sad shame right about now. Blogger once offered us a platform to write freely (quite literally) and was as user-friendly as platforms come. I've certainly had my fair share of technical issues in the past, but none compare to the hell that is the current state of Blogger.

In the past two weeks, the Blogger platform has corrupted in a way that has left most of us with missing posts, missing comments and now missing followers via the Google Friend Connect widget.

Having our writing disappear from the blogosphere felt like a slap in the face for most of us, but thankfully the missing posts and comments returned after a week. No harm, no foul. The GFC followers is a different story though. While only missing for three days (so far), not knowing how many followers Haute Whimsy has actually affects my partnerships. Companies make snap judgements upon that number and I've noticed a dramatic decline in business inquiries since the number become unknown. Blogger is officially costing me money. And do you know what they're saying about this? Nothing!

My favorite social media platform is Twitter. In fact, I love it so much that I actually offer social media artist management for artists who don't have the time to run a Twitter account themselves. I believe that Twitter is the BEST way to connect with customers in an honest and authentic way. That being said, Twitter is the perfect place for Blogger to quell our frustrations and give its users some hope.

But rather than give users the simple courtesy of acknowledging that there is in fact an issue, they continue to post "Todays Blog of Note" (yep, poor punctuation and all) each day. No personalization. No humanity behind their Twitter account. Just an auto-post a day. And here's what Blogger users have to say:






It reminds me of when Kevin Smith was kicked off a Southwest flight for being "too fat" for the airplane seats. He took the issue to Twitter and his followers rallied behind him within a day. The key difference here, though, is that Southwest Airlines took the initiative and apologized with an explanation of policy via Twitter. The company avoided a massive PR nightmare by using the social networking platform to do right by its customers.

Blogger needs to take a lesson from Southwest Airlines and answer for itself.

*Update- my GFC widget finally came back, but there's still no official word from Blogger. I have to wonder: what's next?


5 comments:

  1. Wow, that was so well said and written, thank you for that! I have had some problems as well with blogger recently and with the followers situation, and was wondering why on a lot of pages I could never see the followers or follow new blogs I liked...interesting!

    Thank you for the bit about Twitter too because I swore I would not get on Twitter, at least personally, but so many of my followers have asked if I have a Twitter account or could get one and I get more and more e-mails about it, even from companies who want to sponsor or partner with me, so, I might just have to do that!

    I hope aside from the blogger issues that you are having a lovely Memorial Day weekend!

    Liesl :)

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  2. I am just about fed up with Blogger. I wish they would get their issues straightened out. I don't want to have to switch to Wordpress or Typepad....I don't know if these venues are any better but anything has to be better than the issues I am having with Blogger!

    xoxo

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  3. I was against twitter too, but it's a great business tool. I would however feel like a tool using it for anything else. ;-)

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  4. I've also had a number of issues with Blogger lately and am, in fact, struggling with one at the moment. While I've been through all those mentioned above, I'm currently struggling with the fact that they will let me draft and save posts but the "Publish" command isn't always working. Frustrating to the nth degree!!! By the way, I've done Wordpress in the past. Let's just say, "The grass is not always greener..."

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