Saturday, March 20, 2010

Back up and running

I am happy to announce that our blog is back up and running.  Now that things have been restored, I can share with you the story of what happened, as well as why some of you may not have even noticed that the blog was down.
When we first decided to start a blog, we did not know anything about the blogging world.  Which free blogging site is better to go with?  What things do we have total control over, and what things can the blogging site control?  Most important to me, since I would be the main person updating and taking care of the look of the blog, was how easy it was to use and update.
For whatever reason (really, I don't even remember at this point) we decided to go with WordPress.  That was going fine and we were starting to build a following, but we really wanted to be able to put advertisements on our site for businesses we support and could help consumers.  We found out that we were not able to do that with our WordPress site.  And that is when I started to look at Blogger. 
Blogger is a part of the Google family, and allows you to easily place Google AdSense onto your blog.  Since we already had an AdSense account, which we use on our main website, this was a simple process for us.
For a while I would post each and every article/blog entry on both our WordPress site and our Blogger site.  I did not want to abandon the followers that we had already gained at WordPress, and I knew that it would be against the rules to simply put a post that said "We have moved to . . . . " since this would be seen as using the blog as a redirecting site.  After a while it got to be a lot to keep up the posts at both blogs, and I began to use the Blogger site as our main site.  I had links to this site and it's articles coming from our website and message board, and it directly updated to my Twitter feed and to our Facebook Fan Page.  Things seems perfect, until March 3rd.
I was at work (yes, scam fighting does not pay the bills so I have a regular day job) and a co-worker who also has a Blogger site which I follow informed me that I was no longer listed as a follower on her site.  WHAT!?!?!  So over my lunch break I logged into my Google account to see what was going on, and I found out that my account had been suspended because one of my blogs had been deemed as "spam".  I was even MORE shocked to find out that is was my Scam Victims United blog that was the one under investigation. 
I was easily able to get my Google account back up, so then all of my other blogs were fine and I showed up as a follower again on all of the sites I enjoy checking out, but I had to jump through some hoops to try and get the Scam Victims United blog back up.  After a few days of the blog being down, and no idea of when or if it would ever be up again, we decided to begin using the WordPress site as our main blog again.  I updated links and feeds that I could, but remember there were some posts that were JUST on the Blogger site, and I could not even view our Scam Victims United Blogger site.  Luckily, I could still see the text of the posts in the Notes section of our Scam Victims United Facebook Fan Page, so I copied the posts that were just on Blogger from there and saved them on my computer with the intention that at some point when I had time I would re-post all of those at the WordPress site, and then search out the links to individual articles and change them to the WordPress links.  Sounds like a LOT of work, right?  Yes, but there were some articles that I did not want to be gone forever, so this was the only way to bring them back.
Then on March 18th I found out that our Blogger site was back up and fully restored.  Now I would not have to update links that I sent to victims, or posted on our message board to specific articles!  This was great news.  The bad news is that our blog was down for over two weeks, and I still don't have any idea what parts of it Google deemed as "spam" to make them take it down in the first place.  I worry that they could do this again with no notice.
So that is the story of our blog going down, and why you may not even have noticed since I had a "back-up blog"

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