Monday, June 05, 2006

Brooklyn Ramblings Released From Blogger Robot Prison

My blog has been in quarantine since last Tuesday, when the Blogger spam detection robots decided that my blog might be a spam blog. Despite their promises that an actual human would review any flagged blog within "one business day" and would unfreeze blogs run by other actual humans, this, alas, proved to be less than true.

Countless emails and almost a week later, I concluded that Blogger's tech help website might be little more than a rubber room for frustrated users to pound the walls where no one would hear them.

Then I remembered an old technology tool: the telephone. Although Blogger provides remarkably little information about their company online, I was able to determine that they've been acquired by Google, so I called Google up (
650-253-0000). By pressing zero, you'll be connected to the operator. Google's staff has been well trained to direct everyone back to the online help desk. However, they did give me two leads that in the interests of community service, I pass on to you, my loyal friends who may at some point find yourself in the same boat.
  1. Google provided me with a special email address ( and told me to put a specific keyword in the subject line (bongo). They told me that this would get me a faster reply from tech support. I imagine that they change the keyword and the special email address periodically, so I would call Google and ask for this information if you need it. [Update: I received a response to my Bongo email almost exactly 3 days after I sent it, and after my account was unfrozen, so I don't think this is what resulted in action on my account.]

  2. After explaining my situation to another staffer (to wit: help, I've been in lockdown for a week and no one in tech support has responded to any of my emails), she sent an email to tech support herself. I believe that this is what resulted in action on my account, so this is what I'd recommend asking for. But, try it all and hopefully something will work.
The end of the story: I'm glad to be back, and I hope that I didn't lose too many people because of this snag. I really hope that Blogger can improve their response time, or at the very least, give a more accurate estimate of when blogs will get reviewed. (Update: I just clicked on the link they gave in my initial email, and see that they've just edited their post so that it no longer holds out any false hope of when you might be unblocked.)

I can understand what Blogger is trying to do with the spambots, and it makes sense for them to be over-inclusive rather than under-inclusive, but they're going to lose users (and really piss people off) if they aren't able to get us real users back up and running more quickly.


Phil said...

Glad that you're out of blogger prison, it seems that you managed to resolve the problem yourself, and some great tips for others!


hey, hi there

i've been over at Phil's and that's how i got linked to your blog.
i want to thank you for the tips and your post sure gives me a bit more confidence on recovering my blog.
i hope to be as pesistent as you and Phil... but if i don't have any response soon i guess i'll have to move on... and get myself another blog...
it's not fair... but can't stand here waiting forever.