Sunday, December 18, 2011

Well, that sucked!

I'm back in business!   Hooray!

Some of you may have noticed (perhaps due to my constant tweets and Facebook posts regarding the issue) that my entire Google identity was wiped off the face of the internet yesterday.

I have no idea what happened.  All I did was publish this blog, reminding you all to take part in the Give-A-Little Giveaway, and immediately after I shared the post to Google+, this appeared on my screen where my Blogger dashboard used to be:

Click  to experience my horror.

What, now?

I felt like a child who'd been sent to the principal's office.  What did I do?  Am I not allowed to give things away?  Does Google hate do-gooders and homemade scarves?  Whyyyyyyyy????

Tears welled up in my eyes as I tried, unsuccessfully, to log into my Google+, YouTube, and Gmail accounts.  All are owned and run by Google, and they all told me that I was unworthy of their services.

I clicked on the "contact us" link, filled it out, and hoped that someone would respond to my plea of "I'm a nice girl!  I didn't do anything wrong!  Help!" before it was time to draw a winner for my giveaway on Wednesday.

The Hubby is friends with a few Google team members on Google+, and he sent them all a message asking for help.  As I waited, I tweeted repeatedly to Google and Blogger.  I read horror stories of people who lost their entire life's work as a result of being locked out of Google Documents.  Some people got their accounts back after four or five days, some didn't get them back at all. 

I was freaking out.  Maybe I did violate the terms of service.  Maybe I did something bad and didn't realize it.  Maybe someone hijacked my accounts and was using them to take down the government!  Maybe, unbeknownst to me, I'm an internet criminal!  So many possibilities! 

When I woke up this morning, I checked my Facebook and I had the best message ever:  a note from my wonderful friend SJE saying that my blog was back in business.  I signed back into my email on my phone and, lo and behold, my inbox began to fill up.  It was a Christmas miracle!

When I checked my home email, I had a message from the Google Team stating:

"We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. The issue you described should now be resolved."

Thanks a lot, guys.  Not to be ungrateful, but what the heck?  No explanation?  Why did you suspend me in the first place?  I think a lot of people would agree with me that Google needs to put into place some sort of warning system instead of just revoking all access right away.  Perhaps the whole thing could have been resolved without such drastic measures being taken.

Did I overreact?  Maybe.  Would my account have been reinstated so quickly if I didn't know people who knew people?  Possibly.  All I know is that I am happier than a fat kid in a candy shop to have it all back. 

I'll be backing everything up today and looking around at other non-Google options for email and such so that this doesn't happen again.  I may even move off of Blogger, though that's a big decision to make since I really enjoy the Blogger community and they've been good to me in the past. 

If I've learned anything worth sharing out of this whole debacle, it's this:  BACK UP YOUR BLOG.  

Don't know how?  Go to your Blogger dashboard, click on Settings > Other > Export Blog

That advice is my Christmas gift to you all. 

Thank you for not un-following me when it appeared that my blog had poofed out of existence.  You all are the best followers in blog land, and I love each and every one of you.  :)
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