Until recently I never thought much about how dangerous blogging can be. You start a blog and decide to share what interests you. But what if someone doesn't like it? What if someone is offended by one of your posts and leaves a nasty comment on your blog? Worse yet, what if your blog is reported and subsequently suspended and you suddenly don't have access to months or years worth of work?
Depending upon the comment left at your blog, your online reputation could be damaged and there is little way to know how many people heard about the incident. Yes, blog stats will tell you how many people read it on your site, but who knows how many people your readers told about it or how many people the commenter told?
In addition, bloggers are at the mercy of the sites that host their blogs. Yes, we read the Terms of Service, but who ever thinks there will be reason to worry about them. They're standard and rarely do they apply to you. Right? Well, that's not always the case, as my experience this week shows. You can read more about it here.
The incident above came on the heels of a challenge that some users who are hosted by Blogger recently experienced. Google decided to place a 2000 label limit on blogspots. Well, after blogging for years, I exceeded that limit and for a week or so I wasn't able to take advantage of SEO to drive traffic to The Book Connection because it wouldn't let me use any labels--even ones that I had used in the past.
Google increased that limit to 5000 unique labels, which will be helpful, but what happens when I reach that limit? Do I have to start a new blog every time I can no longer use unique labels?
The WordPress incident truly sidelined me for a couple of days, but more importantly, that combined with the Blogger issue made me realize how little control we have over what happens with our blogs. Somehow, that doesn't seem quite right.
Where does that leave bloggers? I guess, like authors who send books out for review, we never know what we're going to get. We never know when our happy world will be interrupted by some blogging issue outside of our control, like the author whose happiness is destroyed by a negative review. It doesn't mean we stop trying to get our names out there, but it does mean we open ourselves up for some knocks that non-bloggers may never know.