Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Warning to Other Writers About Using Blogger

Some of you may know that I have another poetry blog that is not kept under a pseudonym.

There are several reasons I use Bud Bloom. Here are four.

1. A pseudonym is psychologically liberating. Each time I write as Bud Bloom, I re-enter the world with no other role other than to tackle the subject matter at hand.

2. If you know who I am, you are probably a "friend", someone I have chosen to share my identity with. In this way, Bud Bloom is like a secret hand shake. I get to share thoughts that come from the real me with those of my choosing, those I trust.

3. Alternatively, I may choose that certain people have no clue that I participate in this activity. It's not something that happens often, but every once in a while, I meet someone I would not like to share that I have this blog as a reflective aspect of my personality. This has nothing to do with shame, by the way, although for other writers, I could see that it could.

4. With a pseudonym, I may be bold and say things, take political or religious positions that others may hate. If they hate these ideas, they may want to look me up and bring me harm. When I am not Bud Bloom, I am the easiest person to find, a sitting duck.

A serious fault in the Blogger conversion program, has merged my two identities. When I am not blogging as Bud Bloom, it is important that people know who I am. This is different from my day job that makes me the easy mark. It has to do with poetry, and goals. Therefore, I would like to be able to be "looked up" and easily identified. As relatively popular as this blog has become, the other is both more popular and more relied upon by others. I must be able to have my real name when I choose to blog with it.

By merging the two identities, it is as if Blogger is forcing me and other writers to make a choice. The problem is that I had already made my choice to have both.

If all my posts at my other blog and around the Blogger world were by "Bud Bloom," it would be very clear who Bud Bloom really is. My pseudonym, which I have had for years before blogging ever existed, would be revealed in the blogosphere. It would then be obvious who Bud Bloom was in other realms as well. In fact, last month, Blogger was responsible for revealing this to the entire blogging world through their Blogger conversion program.

I may have to delete this blog. I imagine that writers around the world have not complained, but simply felt the heat and deleted the blogs that put them at risk, hopefully before their identities were revealed to the wrong people, hopefully before they were marked for death or an investigation was opened that would imprison them for ideas they expressed.

Why not convert to WordPress or something? Because the new blog precludes this conversion to other software. I imagine the reason is that Blogger will be charging for these services soon, and does not want anyone "escaping". I may have folded if it had to do with such economic hijinks. But, when it has to do with my freedom of expression. I cannot. I write.

I have been e-mailing Blogger "support" for weeks now. They took weeks to respond, and once Karl started in, he failed to read what the issue was, and converted all my posts everywhere to Bud Bloom again. He e-mailed me, telling me he fixed the problem. I immediately e-mailed him back, and he changed things such that I could only post elsewhere as "Bud Bloom"--another shallow reading of the problem, and another quick "fix".

I have e-mailed him every other day since for over a week, and he does not respond. It is as if he has written on a docket "problem fixed by yours truly, Karl superstar, once again" or this issue has been placed into another queue as I await another member of the Blogger Team to take over. I should not think through this situation so much. Maybe Karl is just on an employee-of-the-month vacation or something.

Bud

6 Comments:

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Beau Blue said...

Or maybe he isn't paid enough to care. Or he's in India and this doesn't take any skin from his shoulder. Or he's a lost cog in the new tech-stock bubble. A recalcitrant with an idea of postal work, two 357 magnum pistols, an assault rifle and a whine in his head ready to go BOOM!

No, it's really just their way of saying, "Blog elsewhere!"

A Go Daddy! account is cheap - you can create as many blogs as you'd like with as many names as you like and each could have their own www.aliasname.com address. The extra admin work will be offset by the diminished aggravation tweaks.

Just a thought.

-blue

 
At 8:17 PM, Blogger Bud Bloom said...

Hi Blue,

Good to see you. I am going to over-respond to you, because you open up doors to thoughts that need to be brought out, thoughts not evident in the post above.

If I had known the Blogger people were this bad, I would not have put my work up on their bandwidth. I own some of my own now, and if I had before, I may have structured things differently. Or maybe I still may have gone with budbloom.blogspot.com. At the time, I had a favorable view of both Blogger, and Google which took over.

It's the latter I am so very disappointed in. They own it, but will not own up to it. There was this really neat development in search engines that some clever people called "Google." This does not give them the right some years later to be so exhaustively arrogant.

Less than a year into blogging for me, and it is a too late to get the commitments from people who have allowed me to publish their valuable and historic works here. And it will be an awful lot of work to take what I have here and bit by bit post it elsewhere. I have many other projects and commitments, and this should set me back six months at least. And I am not sure about how to take the special work of others with me. So, this will probably be the second-rate resolution.

And now that all those items have been published as Bud Bloom, and now that this pseudonym has been what looks like both carelessly and arrogantly revealed by the Blogger Team, how do I post those items elsewhere by any other name? I ethically cannot.

The only real resolution is for Blogger to own up and rectify as quickly as possible. I had been asking for immediate assistance. My complaint was rated with five stars at the complaint forum by others there. But it is like the old joke, "If you're calling with a complaint, please dial one, then hang up."

Valuable responses to posts will be lost, or I will need to fudge other identities as if those respondents posted at the new blog--something that cannot ethically be done, so I will not do. Lost.

As small potatoes as this blog has been, some readers have used it for great purposes. Some have linked to what I have here, including at colleges, but just as importantly at sites with groups of people who love poetry. You want Donald Hall? Mark Doty? More? That's what I want to give.

I am currently going through all 2000 something poems by Wilcox, looking for a selected works post, her gold nuggets. She has many, but they are not popular these days. I want to get word out.

These things are important. "Blog Elsewhere" from a company that provides blogging, is a horrible attitude--yet, what I am running into. Boy, was I surprised when I posted what happened over at their issues link, and saw the complaints about responsiveness:

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-publishing/topics

There is no excuse for them being so unresponsive. I am not the only blooger who has serious complaints that are not being addressed.

There is no excuse for their taking it upon themselves to reveal pseudonyms. That will always be a writer's decision only.

Thanks, Blue.

Bud

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger CoralPoetry said...

Hi,

I found something in common. Beta Google has been taken over by aliens. BetaGoogle refuses to update feeds because they are aliens and we are bloggers. BetaGoogle aliens set our profile age to 250 years. Beta blogger deletes visiting profile photos at random and turns visitors into anonymous entities. Beta Google refuses to accept comments unless one double and triple posts. Beta Google is good for changing the template every five minutes. It has an array of coloring crayons, but, having carried out these various html tricks, the finished Website stalled and couldn’t cope with such activity, so I reinstalled the old blogger template.

Regarding your complaint about the various pseudonymous identities, you have a valid point and you have been exposed without forewarning. I already knew your identity before the conversion! Using pseudonyms for the purpose of creating faux Shakespearean characters in the blogger theatre is harmless enough. But using the pseudonyms as a way of harassing people on the net is a federal crime. (Not saying you abused the Internet this way, but some people did - without detection or being brought to justice). Using hundreds of different pseudonyms for the purpose of generating competitions and winners is also downright dishonest and much of this still happens. Usually, no cash changes hands so it isn’t a crime, but the aim is to place these ‘winners’ on a pedestal for future promotion.

During the blogger conversion, you were given no choice about the user name. It is your email address. Unlike the old Blogger, one cannot use anything other than an email address. Once a site has your email address, in theory, they have access to your original identity and they will lump all the blogs together under the current email address that you provide.

Regards,
Coral

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Bud Bloom said...

Hi Coral,

Thank you, for both your edification, and understanding. That is excellent. I only wish that the Blogger people were as sharp you.

I was pleased to be able to convert the Bud Bloom posts over to WordPress last night. For instance, the above post is here: Clattery MacHinery on Poetry: Warning to Other Writers About Using Blogger. It took all comments as well, so what I had read about converting was either outdated or simply incorrect. My work will be in the formatting with centering and pictures and such.

But, there was that critical moment when WordPress could have selected the identities for all the posts. It gave me the option of designating which identity would be the author of the posts.

By the way, I try to select pseudonyms that, once someone gives them consideration, they come through as pen names. Consider: both Bud Bloom and Clattery MacHinery should become suspect enough as pen names in any contests.

Thanks again.

Bud

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger CoralPoetry said...

Hi,

I've been searching around for other alternatives to blogger. There are many to choose from - and you are probably happy with your switch to another.

Artima.com recently started hosting weblogs, with membership by invitation only. With people like Guido van Rossum and Ward Cunningham already signed up Artima looks set to become a very interesting corner of the blogging world.


http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=4128


I don’t know how efficiently it is run, but it is something new to think about. Trouble is, it’s by invitation and I don’t know what criteria would qualify your blog, or conversely, disqualify your blog.

Regards,
Coral

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger M. Shahin said...

I could relate to you on the pseudonym aspect in many ways. I shorten my first name to M. as you know and my last name spelling is a variation of my real last name. I also use it for safety reasons like you, because the Internet can be a crazy place at times.

It is a shame that blogger doesn't know how to take care of this simple request.

I hope you will keep this blog up and running, because it has a wealth of poetry and poetry information that I've found very useful and informative. I've discovered a lot of poets from your blog too and many wonderful poems. I left blogger a while ago because I was dissatisfied with the service. I'm glad you made the move to Wordpress. Will be visiting your new blog there soon.

 

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