While I’m pretty sure that WordPress is a nifty place to start-off a blog, and considering all of our awful experiences with blogspirit certainly better than that, there is so much wrong with the way it imports content from existing blogs.Â If the guys who make wordpress are as clever as they seem, it is unethical to release software with “features” that fail so often and so silently.Â It would be better if the manual just said “Content can be imported directly into the database by advanced users using SQL,” rather than pretend there is a functioning point-and-click interface.Â Current status:
Â I wasted 6 hours today attempting to make the categories/tag thing work right. The transition is smoother for users who enter the blog (less supposedly valid URLs giveÂ 404s), but
I had to disable both the category list and tag cloud because they both generate links that 404.
Further, I discovered that many of the comments were imported correctly — to the wrong post!
At present, the transition to WordPress is exactly the nightmare I expected it to be.Â I do not have time to waste babysitting PHP that, because it runs without generating errors, some halfwit associated with the WordPress project figures is error-free.
Now, the reason for my jump to WordPress remains; Blogspirit has been eating obviously valid comments for a year, and denying that fact.Â WordPress is “free software,” so it’s reasonable to expect Microsoft-level lack-of-concern-for-users from them.Â Additionally, because WordPress (unlike blogspirit) exposes its implmentation to administrators, I at least have a chance of figuring out what’s going on.Â Blogspirit, meanwhile, charged for subpar service, denied problems existed, and prevented access to any method that would allow bloggers to fix those programs.
At least from the perspective of someone moving over to WordPress, it is not a good service.Â WordPress has given me one of the worst user experiences imaginable.
It has now been about 48 hours since blogspirit stopped along comments that require user authentication through, and about six days since I last heard from customer support on any of my six outstanding tickets.
This is unacceptable.
I am currently in the process of migrating off of blogspirit. Blogspirit makes this as difficult as possible, but I believe I have managed to back up the current site, and I am currently writing the scripts that will be necessary to import all the posts, comments, and everything else from this site to a new home for tdaxp.com.
It appears that many, if not all, comments that require verification (in general, long ones or those with links) are being silently held and/or deleted by blogspirit. Very disappointing, but typical of the user-hostile, unhelpful, and generally low-quality service I’ve experienced from Blogspirit over the years.
Not only does blogspirit eat comments, the laughably terrible blog service provider now won’t even let me access my own blog! I can log in, receive email, edit the administration panel, etc, but going to tdaxp.com or www.tdaxp.com must times out.
This is from my home. I can access it from my office just fine.
Whenever blogspirit acts up in this sort of way, I think how many other people it’s also effecting. It must be quite a number.
Blogspirit’s service is slow and often hostile. Their “premium” support is a joke: you find yourself running in circles again and again. With the eaten comments, for instance, blogspirit first claimed that it didn’t happen, then acknowledges that it happens, then asks for evidence that it happens: and then repeats. This has been going on for more than a year.
I started this site on blogspirit because at the time blogspirit had the easier administration I can’t imagine that this is the case anymore. Simple things require complicated hand-coding of HTML plus blogspirit’s unique “smarty” template technology. Other things are just impossible.
S.M. Stirling isn’t just the international best-selling author who has made a permanent mark on science-fiction and fantasy literature. He isn’t only a major influence on how I think about history, as a result of his Draka trilogy.
He also joins the ranks of those unlucky enough to have their comments eaten by blogspirit’s awful spam filtering system.
Fortunately, Mr. Stirling sent in his comment through email, so I could manually publish it. However, whenever people complain to me about blogspirit’s brain-dead anti-community “spam” filtering, I think of the dozens or hundreds who give up, and whose voices are never heard.
First, it provided a self-regulating population-control mechanism because marriage (and birth) rates tracked the economy, with a lag. When times were hard by customary standards, people married later and more never married; for example, the population of England stopped growing in the 1640′s and didn’t start up again until the 1720′s, for exactly that reason — as many as a quarter of the women in late Stuart England never had children, and the average age of marriage was as high as 26….
Hence the Industrial Revolution in England didn’t have to pry people out of time-encrusted customary communities of peasants ‘rooted in the soil’, because if any such had ever existed they’d been dissolved a long, long time before.
Probably a hundred false “track backs” — a type of spam that hurts blogs — have been getting through my blog service provider’s (blogspirit’s) filters a day. This has been going on for a week.
What’s most annoying is blogspirit’s terrible (read: nonexistent) communication with its clients. What’s going on? Technical incompetence? An attempt at installing a new system? A shakedown by the internet mafia? What?
After being unable to access my blog for a few days, I checked it again today… and noticed that the page was taking a long time to load. This was strange, as I could go into HTML source view and see that everything appeared to be there. I quickly discovered the answer: wiredminds.com. The bottom of all blogs on the blogspirit network, including mine, now include code of the following sort:
An update is available below the fold
All emails used with permission: Reply from Phillippe PINAULT
Thank you for your concern. The slowness no longer occurs. The slowness was not the result of the HTML itself downloading slowly. A “view source” would show the entire page, down to the tag. However, Firefox’s status bar read “Waiting for WiredMinds,” or else a similar message. The google analytics tracking code also appears to come from blogspirit, as I do not have it in any of my templates but other blogspirit pages observe it. I have removed the sitemeter tracking code for its own slowness. Thank you again for your response,
Sorry for no post last night. Yesterday saw another unannounced and unexplained service outage at blogspirit (www.tdaxp.com’s blog hosting provider). Unlike dreamhost there does not appear to be a “blogspirit blog” that explains what goes on. Traditionally, blogspirit support is officious and curt, so I’m not expecting any explanation to come from them.