So here I am, in my new location on Word Press. Or WordPress; not sure about the spelling. You know how it is when you move into a new neighborhood–the neighbors all are strangers, and you’re sure they’re staring at your lawn, judging you, and then one of them brings over a plate of brownies and it turns out there’s actually one other Democrat down the street. So anyway. Here I am! Yay, me!
See, here’s the thing. I was on Google Blogger, fat and happy and blogging merrily away. And then one fine day, not a cloud in the sky, I thought I’d check out my stats, because, you know, that’s what we veteran bloggers do. And Blogger wouldn’t let me. I’m there, on the dashboard, and all I got was this error message: BXiaPQt2O2. Or Beexputquattwo, to pronounce in proper Klingon.
And so I went through heck–I’m not kidding, actual heck– for four days, trying to figure out what I’d done wrong and how to fix it. Forever. And it turns out Google/Blogger had no interest in helping me. I did get this automatically generated email, explaining why you can’t call someone for help. Like, on a telephone.
This email is a work of art. It starts off by sneering at you: “Many bloggers believe that their personal problems with Blogger are urgent/unique, and that discussing their problems with a Google trained representative, by telephone, is the only way that their problems can be resolved.” Stupid me, with my urgent/unique problem! How foolish to want to talk to a human being about it!
See, though: “Before the Internet existed, any company wishing to provide support to its customers had to rely on verbal communication using real time voice service (“telephone”), or written communication using virtual time postal service (“mail”).” Don’t you love the quotation marks around ‘telephone’ and ‘mail’. I can actually see the guy, making those air quotation marks as he dictated the email to the fourth of his nine slaves.
Also yes, as a matter of fact, I remember such things as ‘mail’ and ‘telephones.’ Also ‘gramophone’ and ‘motorcar.’ But that was in the old days, back when mail was delivered by horseback and dinosaurs roamed the earth. This ‘phone’ stuff never worked all that well, and couldn’t possibly work today.
“With the coming of the Internet, and globalisation of products like Blogger, a single language, one on one strategy became unworkable. If Blogger is to serve all citizens of the world, and support all problems, equally for everybody, they simply can’t provide real time, one on one support.”
The email then elaborates:
“If you were to contact a Blogger representative by telephone, you would reach a single person, who would speak a limited number of languages, and who would be familiar with a limited number of Blogger issues. And, you’d be subject to a constant “Please hold, while I transfer you to a different specialist.”, or “Please call back during business hours”, as you repeatedly explained your problem.”
Well, gosh, been there, done that. And yes, it’s frustrating and annoying and it takes forever. It also works. Every time. Now comes the sales pitch:
“By using peer based support, such as the Blogger Help Forum, you can benefit from virtual contact with an infinite number of individuals worldwide, each with different backgrounds and available at different times of the day.”
Translation: You’re on your own.
Second translation: Lotsa nerds out there: maybe one of them can help you.
Third translation: Even though we’re Google, the richest and most successful company on earth, providing tech support would cut into our already ginormous profits. So we’re not gonna do it.
“Peer support is the way of the future. It’s far better than one on one, limited support.”
Uh, no. Not true. Because here’s the thing, when you call someone employed by the company, the person who you talk to owns the problem. It’s their job to help you. Your problem becomes their problem. Peer Support, nobody owns your problem except little old you. And you don’t know nuttin’ from ‘nuttin’, unless and only if, some nice person who is better at computers than you are (in my case, any nine-year-old) condescends to help you.
Well, turns out, I have a friend, a wonderful guy, who helped me out. By showing me how to register my own domain name and switch to WordPress and transfer everything over. I am so terribly grateful. Not going to tell you his name, because I don’t want him inundated with everyone’s problems, but I am thrilled with my new home.
As for Blogger and Google, I have just one, heartfelt thing to say: