Well, wasn't that fun.
If you haven't heard, last Friday I got locked out of The Online Photographer. When attempting to post I got a dire Warning! message that informed me that Blogger's Spam-Fighting Robots had identified TOP as a spam blog (whatever that is...and please don't tell me, I'm quite sure I don't want to know). So for three days—thank the stars and the Blogger Team it wasn't more—I haven't been able to post here or to even tell you what was going on!
I've been almost ill over this. I feel I've worked hard for my traffic—you, that would be, and thank you—by giving you something new every day. In nearly a year and a half I don't think I've ever gone three days without posting new content. That was the original idea behind TOP—to give photo enthusiasts a place where they could reliably find something fresh.
And I have to say I've been pretty happy with Blogger for this purpose...up till now.
But apparently I have just run headfirst (and, yes, ow) into one of the major failings of a free-service site: namely, no Customer Service. I did everything I could think of to find someone to help—even tried to call Google in California. No luck. Good as it normally is, Blogger is a take-what-we-give-you type of arrangement. Don't like it? Tough tiddlywinks. Once I'd made the request for reinstatement, all I could do was wait. My only option was to sit on my hands. You can imagine how I felt when I heard the news (from reading in the Blogger Help forums) that TOP might have been out of commission for as long as a week.
I did get the "thanks for your patience" reinstatement this afternoon, and here I am posting again. Fine. But in the meantime, I did something I probably should have done a long time ago—built a new version of the blog, and registered it under my own domain name.
It's looking pretty rough yet, but I think it will end up being an improvement. See what you think: the new URL is www.theonlinephotographer.com (same as before, just without the "blogspot" in the middle there).
For now, until the DNS servers catch up with us, you may have to access the new site HERE.
I'll be interested to hear comments. And my apologies for abandoning you over the weekend—it wasn't voluntary, believe me.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON