Blog Host Ugliness [en]

[fr] Une amie Serbe s'est vu poser un ultimatum par son hébergeur de blogs: 24 heures pour supprimer commentaires d'un autre blogueur et liens vers ses sites, ou voir son blog disparaître.

L'hébergeur en question (qui utilise WordPress multi-utilisateurs, comme WordPress.com) avait en outre désactivé la fonction d'exportation de blog.

On s'en est sortis comme on a pu (voir ici).

Mis à part le côté technique de l'affaire, il est absolument scandaleux qu'un hébergeur de blogs se permette d'agir ainsi. Certes, tout hébergeur est libre de "virer" des clients -- mais déactiver au préalable la fonction d'exportation des blogs, cela atteint des sommets de mesquinerie. A bon entendeur.

Edit: sur Seesmic, l'histoire en français et en vidéo.

***Note:** I’ve updated this post as I gathered information allowing me to see more clearly in this whole mess. **Please read the comment** if you’re going to jump in the conversation or blog about this.*

Wednesday night, my friend [Sanja from BlogOpen](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/11/12/blogopen-in-novi-sad-serbia/) (she was my very kind and competent hostess) pinged me on IM. She had less than 24 hours to export her blog before her blog host shut it down.

It was a blog hosted by [WordPress multi-user](http://wordpress.org/) [**Edit:** [not WPMU](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/01/26/blog-host-ugliness/#comment-381845)]. Easy enough, I thought. There is an export function. Unfortunately, when I logged in (the interface was in Serbian, but I can find my way through WordPress with my eyes closed), this is what I found:

WordPress (MU?) with no Export

Even if you don’t understand Serbian, you can see there is a missing tab. I tried calling `/wp-admin/export.php` directly, but the file had been removed.

Well, after a bit of poking, prodding and thinking, this is what I came up with (reminder: WPMU means that you can’t there was no possibility to install plugins and no direct access to the server):

Last Hope Export of WordPress MU Blog

I went into Options > Reading. I set the feeds to “entire post”. As there were 110 posts in this blog, I set the home page to display all of them, with a little margin for error. There were more than 1400 comments, so I set the maximum number of items in a feed to 1500.

Then I did three things:

– saved `/feed` (an RSS dump of the blog posts)
– saved `/comments/feed` (an RSS dump of the comments)
– scraped the blog (with single blog post pages) as an extra backup by running `wget -r -l1 -w1 BLOGURL` (thanks, [John](http://twitter.com/urRaku)) from my server (also to save the images).

The blog was saved. I couldn’t import the RSS dump of blog posts into WordPress.com, where I told Sanja to open [a new blog account](http://aurorineavanture.wordpress.com/), so I quickly set up a regular WordPress install on my server, imported it there, and exported it in WXR format. Great.

Comments, however, are [another story](http://wordpress.org/support/topic/153722). If you’re in a hackish mood, any help would be appreciated.

We’ll probably have to deal with the images too once the blog has been completely wiped off the 381.com server — for the moment it seems like it was [disabled](http://auroraborealis.blog381.com/), but the images are still there (see [this one](http://auroraborealis.blog381.com/wp-content/uploads/3/34/auroraborealis/2007/12/windowslivewriterizubbolikadjeupalj-93aaanti-stress-therapy-posters-thumb3.jpg) for example).

There, that was for the technical part.

Now for a personal comment. I find it **utterly disgusting and shocking** that a blog host owner would give people an **ultimatum to leave** and **disable the export function** in the blogging software. Sanja tells me that they had the export function until a few days before the ultimatum.

Of course, a blog host can choose not to host certain people. But trying to lock people in by disabling export of *their own data* is simply evil. If you’re kicking people off your system, you damn well better make sure they can take their data with them.

**Edit, 27.01, 12:00**: I’m happy to learn that [it seems the disabling of the export function was not related to the ultimatum](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/01/26/blog-host-ugliness/#comment-381845), and that the blog381 people were not *actually trying to actively lock people in*. However, it remains that it’s pretty delicate in a conflictual situation to tell people to “submit or leave” when they don’t have a way to export their data on their own.

So, people, please. If you need a blog host, choose a *serious one*. [WordPress.com](http://wordpress.com) for example. Or [Blogger](http://blogger.com). Or [Typepad](http://typepad.com). Putting your precious blog between the hands of an individual is risky (weblogs.com, anybody? and if you remember, people on weblogs.com at least had the guarantee they could export their data…)

How did this happen?

I got some details about the situation, but a word of warning about that, first. The source material to this Serbian blogosphere drama is all in… Serbian. I’m relying here on what my friend Sanja told me about the situation, and I do not doubt her good faith. I know, though, that stories do have multiple sides, and that there might be more to the background than what I’m telling you here — but whatever the background story, it cannot justify the behaviour of [this blog host](http://blog.blog381.com).

From what I gathered, what brought about this crisis is a quarrel between two bloggers: [Tatjana aka Venus aka Lang](http://www.laluve.com/) *(**Update**: Tatjana is not happy that I’m linking to her and has redirected visitors to this site elsewhere; to see her blog, copy-paste the link http://www.laluve.com/ in your browser)*, the owner of the [Serbian blogging platform blog381.com](http://blog.blog381.com/) (**not** the [Tatjana](http://www.mooshema.com/) who organized [BlogOpen](http://blogopen.eu/)!), and another pretty [popular blogger](http://bruh.org/ludizmaj/). At some point, Tatjana decided to forbid the people using her platform from linking to this other blogger or harbouring his comments.

Here is the warning she posted on the community forums:

Vlasnik blogova

http://bruh.org/ludizmaj/,

http://www.blogoye.org/pecina/,

http://www.blogoye.org/Mudrosti/,

http://www.blogoye.org/sujeta/

(ima verovatno jos ali ne mogu da trazim)

je ovom blog sistemu naneo stetu laziranjem glasova oko izbora za najblogera (na kom je on bio ‘pobednik’), ‘miniranjem’ sledeceg izbora, sirenjem neistina, traceva, vrbovanjem novih blogera sa tri osam jedan sistema, a sve u cilju da se naskodi ovom sistemu a poveca sopstveni traffic i “ugled”.

Za one koji nisu dovoljno informisani i sve ostale koji su slusali ili nisu, samo jednu stranu price od gore pomenutog, necu dodatno iznositi nikakve detalje, niti vise imam nameru da se borim sa provincijalizmima pojedinih ljudi koji su bili ili jesu na neki nacin u komunikaciji sa blogom381 i njegovim korisnicima.

Slobodna volja svakog od nas da pise kako i gde hoce, ali oni koji se odluce da i dalje pisu ovde nece moci da imaju linkove ka ovim blogovima niti komentare vlasnika istih.

Ukoliko imate zelju,nameru ili potrebu da ostanete na ovom blog sitemu, obrisite linkove i komentare gore pomenutog blogera u roku od 24h.

Translation (Sanja was a bit tired, so forgive the wobbliness):

> The owner of these blogs
http://bruh.org/ludizmaj/,
http://www.blogoye.org/pecina/,
http://www.blogoye.org/Mudrosti/,
http://www.blogoye.org/sujeta/

> has caused damage to this blog system by faking votes for the election of “The best blogger” (where he was “the winner”), and was undermining the next election by spreading gossip, lies, and recruiting new 381 bloggers, with only one aim: to damage this community and increase his own blog traffic and “reputation”.

> For those who are not informed well enough, and all others who were listening or didn’t, only one side of the story of the person mentioned above, I will not give any additional details, nor do I have the intention to fight with provincialism of some people who were or in some way are connected to blog381 communication and their users.

> It is the free will of each of us to write how and where we want to, but those who decide to keep writing here, will not be able to have links to these blogs or comments by their owner.

> Those of you who have the wish, intention or need to stay on this blog system, should delete links and comments of the blogger (mentioned above) within 24 hours.

Sanja learnt about this because the owner of the blogging platform left a comment on one of her posts (not the most recent) to let her know about it. Given that the “other blogger” in question is a friend of Sanja’s, she wasn’t going to comply.

Other bloggers have also seen their blogs deleted, or at least de-activated (actually, before the 24-hour limit was up). A dozen or so, says Sanja.

If you want to chime in on the “political” side of this story (particularly if you’re involved in this story or a direct witness), you’re welcome to use my comments. However, I ask (as always) that everybody remain civil and refrain from personal attacks (commonsense blogging etiquette, y’know).

Update: It seems that since Sanja’s blog was deactivated, the whole blogging platform has been shut down, with a message that people can e-mail the administrator to get an export of their blog. This message was not there during the ultimatum period.

In a [comment to this post](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/01/26/blog-host-ugliness/#comment-381722), Tatjana aka Lang asked me to remove the link to her blog, http://www.laluve.com/ , which I had placed upon her name. As I have [refused to remove it](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/01/26/blog-host-ugliness/#comment-381724) (linking to the people involved in this story is perfectly relevant, and on the web, you can link to who you want, anyway), she has set up a redirection which sends visitors from this site straight off to CNN. So, I’ve left the link in, of course, but provided you with a handy copy-paste if you want to go and visit her all the same.

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53 thoughts on “Blog Host Ugliness [en]

  1. Derište aka JaneDoe, i personally invested $5000 in this, how much have you ? Just try to put yourself in my position.

    I feel like idiot spending time on this project, instead of spending more time with my daughter.

    End of story.

  2. Stephanie, why do you think i have something against Sanja? And why i would not give her export? She just need, like everybody else, to ask for export by email, and she will receive it.

    Also, i see Sanja is in constant contact with you, why you need to speak in her name and defend her ?

  3. I am lucky to know people like Stephanie, and Pedja aka Blogowski, and honored that Tatjana aka Mooshema is reading my posts. These people have bloged about my temporary disappearance from blogosphere, and things that happened , not just to me, but also to 8 other blogers. They have mentioned me and my blog in their posts, and unfortunately, it seams that this story has gone into a wrong direction.

    The problem is not my conflict with blog381 administrators and owners.

    8 other blogers have the same “destiny” like me. And about 7 more have decided to leave that system. The main issue here is ultimatum which we’ve received.

    Mihailo,
    you have my e-mail address. If you are wiling to send me my own posts, you can do that.
    Insisting that I send a request is a power game.

  4. If you are interested to hear other side of the story, you can contact me via email.

    Also, please ask your friend Sanja to read and translate the text on the blog381.com front page. There was a much easier way to export posts and comments from hers blog.

    Mihailo.

  5. As far as I know this is not a result of a quarrel between Tanja and another popular blogger, and I happen to know the stories from both sides. So this is not as personal as it has been presented. And as far as I know the export function is not disabled, and bloggers can still retrieve their blogs, if they want to. I’m not on this or that side, and I’m not in the middle of all of this. I just think that the only fair thing to do is to present things truthfully and objectively.

  6. “admin”, you're welcome to post the other side of the story here if you wish, though I have to say I'm not that interested in the internal details. One thing surprises me, though: if you were willing to let people export their blogs, why remove the export function from WordPress? Doesn't seem to make much sense. Ah, and telling us right away what that line says would be simpler than asking me to ask Sanja to do it… no?

    Also, please be kind enough to comment with your name. I don't like it when people hide behind roles. Thanks.

  7. Katherine: thanks for your comment. Look at the first screenshot I posted. The export function has been disabled. Normally there is an extra tab after “Import” which gives you options to export the blog.

    You're welcome to give a little insight what brought about the situation, particularly if you've heard both sides of the story.

  8. Would you please be so kind and do not link my blog in your post, because my private blog is not related to the 381 system. Therefore, I don’t see the relevance of linking my private blog and present it in such a way.
    Thank you very much.

  9. Dear participants in the discussion,

    It appears that all the fuss is about a simple misunderstanding. If we look at the home page at http://www.blog381.com, it is obvious what the procedure is. Export function must be turned on manually for every blog. Unfortunately, it is the characteristic of the system, as I understand (please forgive my ignorance here, I have to go by administrator’s advice that it is).

    As there are numerous blogs on the system, it is only reasonable, and I would personally do the same, to service keenest bloggers first. The most efficient way to do so is by requesting export function be enabled by email. I have done so, and got it without any delay. I personally do not see it as a power play in any way, although in these unfortunate cirucmstances it may appear to be so, especially if there is a bit of emotion involved.

    I plead to all involved to remain calm-headed, as I understand that everyone will get their blogs and no one will suffer any loss. I have faith in owners and administrators of http://www.blog381.com system that they will stand behind their word and allow the retreival of all data owned by bloggers.

  10. Lang/Tatjana: I'm using your personal blog to link to you as a person, who happens to be behind 381. That seems perfectly relevant to me.

  11. Oh, and Tatjana/Lang: redirecting my visitors to CNN is not a good idea. I've added a note to my post explaining to my visitors that they'll have to copy-paste your link.

  12. First of all, greetings to you, Steph.

    As a matter a fact, I think it's really nice that you took interest in this particular case. I used to have blog on 381 for quite some time (almost 9 months), but since I've refused to delete some “infamous” comments (like the one in which “popular blogger” you've mentioned wishes me happy new year), my blog was removed.

    So, there are few things I'd like to point out… 1. there used to be an export function – it's quite obvious that it was intentionally removed; and 2. even though 381 is now closed, some of the 381 blogs are still on-line. I'd really like to know what was the criteria? Obviously, some of the bloggers still have to ask admin for export, while the others still have full access to their blogs. Talking about fairness and equality.

  13. I am really trying not to be sarcastic here, but how far you can understand if you do not understand Serbian?

    We worked for free on this project, and we have invested our time and our money (just think of servers costs). Simple, our goal was to bring blogging closer to Serbian internet users. Unfortunately, our system was under all kind of abuses, and we just couldn't continue anymore.

    Stephanie, you did not ever support us, and i really do not understand why you need to show us as bag guys.

  14. Right, 10pm, time for bloggers and trolls alike (emotional appeal and other red herrings seem at work here) to go to bed. I'm turning on comment moderation during the night, given the tone of some of the comments left on this post this evening. I'll publish your comments in the morning.

  15. Hello to all.
    I just wanted to explain why my blog on blog381 iz on. When I saw the whole system was down, the first thing that got on my mind was to email the administrator to ask what was going on. As a result, my blog was enabled, with an export option of course, and it will be on untill I set the things up for a new domain and host.

    I don't need to be told what to do to retrieve my data, I just asked. As simple as that.

  16. Thanks for the information, Ivana! However, if I understood correctly, I think Sanja/Aurora's blog was deactivated before the whole system was shut down. Correct me if I'm wrong here.

  17. I think it's sinking in: you e-mail the administrator, and they re-activate your blog with an export function so that you can remove your data. Did I understand that right?

    So, if Sanja e-mailed the administrator (who is Mihailo, if I still understood correctly), he would reactivate her blog so she can export it? (Leaving aside the somewhat incongruous demand that she send in an e-mail for that, when he knows very well that she'd like her data back.)

    Have I understood things correctly?

  18. Apologies for comment in Serbian included below. I will attempt to translate it in not too distant future.

    The essence of my thesis is that the bloggers, who are sole benefactors of a blog system such as blog381 (which do not charge fee or have advertising or any other income from blog activity), have moral and ethical responsibility to be loyal to the system that provides them with life support for their blogs. Otherwise, the owners of the system have the moral, ethical and “hygienic” right to exclude disloyal users in order to protect the vitality of the system. Nothing strange, nothing unusual, nothing to be concerned about. No one wants children to let thiefs in while parents are not at home… Or perhaps children have ethical right to exercise “democracy”?

    [Edit: snipped long exposé in Serbian; given the character of the discussion and the introduction here, I'm not willing to publish words I don't understand. Also, essays of this length are better hosted on somebody's blog rather than in my comments. Steph]

  19. Ozon: I appreciate your call to level-headedness in your last comment — I hope it is heard. I think you are partly right only, however. There are two problems here:

    • the blog381 system is closed: how do users retrieve their data?
    • before closing down, blog381 shut down a certain number of blogs for “violation of terms of service”: what were the circumstances?

    So, for the first problem, you’re very right. It’s quite clear that there is a message stating one simply has to contact the administrator to have the possibility to export.

    However, I’m not with you when you say it’s a limitation of the system that it has to be turned on manually for each person. Just to make sure, I quickly installed WordPress MU on my server. It’s the software that WordPress.com and blog381 run. Well, I wasn’t too surprised to see that the “Export” function is there, out of the box:

    WPMU: I can haz export!

    So, when I see this:

    WordPress (MU?) with no Export

    Well, unless I’m missing something painfully obvious, this means the export function was disabled at some point by the blog381 admins. And I have two people here, one being Sanja, the other being Derište (whom I do not know), who are telling me that there used to be an export function on blog381.

    So, maybe somebody from blog381 will, finally, explain why this export function was deactivated.

    As for reactivating it, well, let me put it this way: I’d know where to start to reactivate the function for all blogs in the system, with a script (shell/PHP) or an SQL query (depending on how it was deactivated). So I’d be very astonished if the person administrating the blog381 system was not capable of doing that.

    The request that people send an e-mail is an administrative requirement, not a technical one. From a technical point of view, it would be quite possible for the administrator to generate an export of each blog on the system and e-mail it to the owner of the blog.

    So, some explanation on that would be interesting — but actually, this is not what my blog post is about. My blog post is not about the shutting down of the blog381. I don’t care about that one bit, actually.

    So, what’s my blog post about? My blog post is about the second point in my list. Now, forget all about blog381 closing down, and go back 24 hours from that moment. (Unfortunately I don’t have an exact timeline.)

    What I know is that Wednesday at 11pm, Sanja told me she was under ultimatum to “clean up her blog, or…”. You’ll note that I’m not saying “or her blog will be deleted”, because based on the warning in the forums that I have here in this blog post, it is not that clear. But what is clear is that she would not be allowed to remain on the blog381 system, as she had no intention of removing the links and comments in question. Obviously, what was going to happen to her data was quite uncertain, and given the circumstances, she had every reason to worry that it might be destroyed, and trying to figure out how to retrieve the data from her side was a rather sensible thing to do.

    Yes, she probably could have e-mailed the administrator. But look at it from her perspective: there used to be an export function which had been disabled. What does that seem to point to? Well, for me, it’s a rather clear indication that the owners of the platform/system do not want users to be able to retrieve their data (if there is another explanation, well, it would honestly make the owners of the platform way better in this story if they shared it with us).

    It’s very delicate for a blogger to be in the situation where one has put one’s data between the hands of people one is now in conflict with. In a general way in the web world, be it for blogging platforms, social networks, or any other kind of tool where people create content and put it in the hands of a third party, it is a widely accepted consensus that the users should have the possibility to retrieve their data themselves, should they wish to.

    Blog381 denied that to their users, and this is the reason I wrote this blog post and diapprove of what the blog381 owners did.

    It is the combination of giving certain users an ultimatum to leave and denying them the right to export their data themselves.

    You will not that I am not talking about the shutting down of blog381, here.

    I will answer your other comment in a separate comment.

    I also ask from the people participating in this discussion that they keep their responses on-topic and refrain from evasion tactics like not answering questions that are directly asked from them, or bringing up irrelevant (personal, emotional or provocative) topics to steer the conversation away and make people react emotionally. This kind of attitude is called trolling and I have already tolerated more than enough of it in this thread. (To avoid misunderstandings, I’m thinking in particularly of Mihailo here.)

  20. On retrieval of data, it appears that both you and I agree that all users shall be able to get their precious data. End of story. I am a blog-lay man, and the fact that I had to ask for an export function to be enabled seemed like nothing exceptional. I obliged, and got my data within minutes. People with more expertise, such as yourself, may have seen this as a burden. I personally have not.

    I am sorry because I have to continue the second topic, as there is a factual error in your statement. Following is my reply:

    I disagree that there is a “contract” between a blogger and the owners. Let’s remind ourselves what a contract comprises – an offer, an acceptance and CONSIDERATION. Certainly there is a service provided by the blog owners, but there is no consideration as such, as the membership is free (there is not even a peppercorn paid by the blogger for the service). Hence, although there are certainly conditions of use, we cannot speak of a “contract” in the business sense. As this relationship effectively goes beyond business (in my opinion it is actually completely outside it), we must start including other factors such as morality, ethics, loyalty, good manners, etc. And that is what I am talking about here, what we disagree about. Yes, relationship indeed goes both ways – the blog owner agrees to protect and publish data, and the blogger agrees to be loyal to the host system. Simple, clean, moral, ethical… ideal.

  21. Now, Ozon, responding to your first comment (and I will not accept further discussion on the topic, as it is in my opinion a red herring — blog about it in your own space if you're really interested in pursuing the issue):

    The essence of my thesis is that the bloggers, who are sole benefactors of a blog system such as blog381 (which do not charge fee or have advertising or any other income from blog activity), have moral and ethical responsibility to be loyal to the system that provides them with life support for their blogs. Otherwise, the owners of the system have the moral, ethical and “hygienic” right to exclude disloyal users in order to protect the vitality of the system. Nothing strange, nothing unusual, nothing to be concerned about. No one wants children to let thiefs in while parents are not at home… Or perhaps children have ethical right to exercise “democracy”?

    Do you really believe what you say? That bloggers have to be loyal to their blog host? Honestly, this is a pile of horseshit.

    Bloggers trust their host with what they have most precious, their data.

    The bloggers do have a duty to respect the terms of service of the blogging platform they are using, because the relationship between the blogger is based on a contract. But a contract goes both ways. The blog host also has a responsibility towards the bloggers they host. Keeping the system online, for example. Not exerting censorship. Allowing sufficient freedom of expression, as determined by the terms of service.

    There is nothing moral or ethical in there. It's a business relationship based on a contract where both parties have rights and duties.

    So, Ozon, your parallel with children and parents is really out of place and brings nothing to the understanding of this situation. I'm not even going to respond to your “question” about children, thieves, parents and democracy — because it's totally irrelevant.

    The only thing that could be interesting here is if blog381 had terms of service, and what they were. And also, what the conditions where for a change in terms of service — which is clearly what happened here with the request that bloggers on the platform refrain from displaying certain links and comments on their blog.

    But even if what happened here is within the terms of service of blog381, it's still my right to state that I think such conditions/behavior is unpleasant.

  22. I have to say this:
    1.
    I was user of 381 blog system. There was export option, I have a proof for that, ‘couse I exported my posts and comments a while before “case” in matter, and import those files to WP. If that option did not existed, how that was possible just a few days before?
    2.
    We’re not familly or friends with the owners, we were just users, and it’s sneaky to impute something like “loyality” or good maners…it’s a two-way street. I don’t want to dispute any longer, have a nice day.

  23. FYI, we were not using WordPress MU.

    Export feature was disabled. Several blogs were hacked (due to weak passwords) and posts were exported.

  24. Mihailo: thanks for the information. (Though WPMU or WordPress, what I said about the export function being in there out-of-the-box remains.)

    Glad to know there's a “reasonable” explanation for deactivation of the export function — though I'm not sure it's the course of action I would have taken.

    You have to admit that the timing is pretty bad. If people are under ultimatum to clean up their blogs and they notice that the export function, which was there previously, is not there anymore — well, it kind of looks scary from their perspective, doesn't it?

  25. Ozh, we had several things different than wp.com

    Besides, technical support in local language, unlimited disk space and bandwidth usage per blog, we had one nice feature that is not available on wp.com (nor wordpress mu). Bloggers were able to fully customize WP themes. They could fully modify CSS and all themes PHP files absolutely free. This feature provided great flexibility, so blogger could install all kind of gadgets, widgets, etc.

  26. Very important thing:

    The announcement of the export possibility appeared at 381system on Friday ,
    AFTER the whole system was disabled.

    There was an discussion at the 381forum, on Wednesday and Thursday. This is where the owner of 381 has given us “explanation” for the ultimatum (showed above, in this post) But not even once she said that we can export our data. On Thursday afternoon, the blogs of us who refused to remove those links, were disabled. On Friday, the whole system was shut down. After that, on www. blog381 .com was this text:

    For the export of your data contact admin@********

    When Mihailo, the 381 administrator, wrote here in the comment that I should sent him the e-mail with a request of retrieving my own data, I did it. I've sent the e-mail.

    But!

    Late last night, I've posted a comment at blog http://www.blogowski.com, where Blogowski was writing abut all this fuss, and it was followed with a comment of the 381 owner, where she said :

    “…..Because of the rudeness and sassy comments on this and some other blogs, the export at 381 will not be possible any more…”

    So, if anyone didn't menage to ask for it's own data in past two days. . .well, it is too late now.

  27. Good evening Stephanie, I thought you said decisively that the discussion about loyalty is finished. Why selective moderation of my comments, and none of whisperer’s? If you have closed the discussion on this off-topic (for which I fully took responsibility), please close it for everyone and moderate accordingly. I am sure you strive to remain objective, and wouldn’t you agree that fair moderation suggested herein would be a reasonable way to achieve this?

  28. blog381 good luck …

    You can’t force anyone to stay on your system. Disabling export function doesn’t help. because if someone can read posts they can be also saved and moved somewhere
    else.

    BTW I do regular backups #:))) so restore shouldn’t be a problem ….

    It’s my pleasure to host LudiZmaj….

  29. Ozon: you’re right. However, note that I let slip your first post “continuing” the subject I didn’t want to discuss. We we’ll leave whisperer’s too, but you’re right. I won’t accept anything more around that.

  30. Hey Matt, thanks for stopping by. Thankfully, the situation seems less dramatic than I thought at first, as it seems the blog381 hosts are letting bloggers export their posts if they wish (if that’s still the case — haven’t heard from my friend Sanja, so I don’t know if she got hers).

    Quite a few of these bloggers have moved over the wordpress.com, from what I’ve seen.

  31. I’ve thought about this a bit more, and I’d be happy to purchase or assume the costs of blog381.com from its owners if they’d be willing. We could re-enable the export globally and provide redirects to help ease the transition of the people to other hosts. If the owners are interested in this, feel free to contact me.

  32. I have to say THANK YOU twice:

    To Matt, thank you for offering help to ex-381 bloggers. I was sooooo happy when I saw your comments here! :)))

    To Dossy Shiobara, thank you for WordPress WXR. I think that Stephanie will e-mail you tomorrow, because my knowledge about computers and WP isn’t “very good” 🙂

  33. I've thought about this a bit more, and I'd be happy to purchase or assume the costs of blog381.com from its owners if they'd be willing. We could re-enable the export globally and provide redirects to help ease the transition of the people to other hosts. If the owners are interested in this, feel free to contact me.

  34. Tu peux dans des cas pareils essayer un soft d’aspiration de sites comme HT Tracks… ça suit tous les liens et ça fait une copie de la page html sur le disque.

  35. I was sure some part of this story should be kept from the public, but after receiving a ton of bad publicity, i have to add a few more words.

    Anyway, I was contacted by the police. They have been asking questions about ‘pretty popular serbian bloger’, and his activity. I was told they are investigating credit card fraud.

    We did not want to support any criminal activity, and we asked (or blackmailed?) bloggers to remove links and comments related to ‘pretty popular serbian blogger’.

    Now when Mr Matt is here, I am sure he can check their records why zmajcek.wordpress.com has been suspended on their system.

  36. OK, Mihailo. If that’s a truth, why you couldn’t write something else in the announcement to 381 bloggers (which is above in this post) ?

  37. You absolutely can question my comment, and that is fine with me. There is a reason why I asked Mr Matt to check their records (if possible), about that one specific blog that is closed on their system. There is a chance that blog is closed due to credit card fraud. I am sure, we all here, take credit card fraud seriously.

    According to our Terms of Use, we had every right to close any blog for any reason, even without notice. If you check wordpress.com terms of use, they have the same thing there.
    We took actions the way we thought it was best for us at that moment.

    I am also very interested to hear other blog platform owners on this one.

  38. I had a blog on blog381.com, and I am sorry that I can not export my blog to a different location. I hope we will have a chance to do that and to try to continue on WP blogging.

    And Stephanie, you sad it wright,
    qoute
    ” if one of your users is the object of a police investigation, how does that justify “punishing” other users? I can understand you removing his blog from your system, but forbidding people from linking to him or letting him comment on their blogs seems a little extreme”

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