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Why Are Some Music Blogs Disappearing?

Published: Fri February 06, 2009  News Feed

An unsettling report from the LA Weekly states that some posts hosted by Blogger have been vanishing without warning...but why?


Illustration by Fred Noland

Ryan Spaulding, the proprietor of Boston-based music blog Ryan’s Smashing Life, noticed something odd happening to his archived posts a few months ago. His blog, founded in 2006, has expanded to include four contributors and now rakes in about 25,000 hits a month. Chump change compared to megablogs like Nah Right or Stereogum, which average at least twice that daily, but enough to attract a modicum of ads and a devoted community of readers.

But in November, some of Spaulding’s posts, both recent and older, long-forgotten ones, started disappearing from his site. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. One moment they were there, the next they were gone. Confused, he started comparing notes with other music bloggers, and they noticed a trend. A lot of posts across the Web, on everything from Abba to Zappa, had vanished.

That, of course, sparked countless e-mail-conspiracy theories. Blogger chat rooms buzzed with speculation about the mysterious force behind the surge in disappeared posts. Open e-mails to the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA] began popping up at such a rapid rate that you’d think they contained new Justice mp3s.

Eventually, though, a consensus emerged: Each post takedown occurred on a blog hosted by the Google-owned Blogger platform, the publishing system used by the majority of mp3 sites, particularly those founded prior to 2007, when the open-source WordPress software became the vogue. Google, the bloggers believe, has quietly changed the methods by which it enforces its user agreement. Whereas in the past, a blog owner would receive a warning before a post’s removal, Google is now simply hitting the delete button. In Spaulding’s case, this means that posts written over the past year or more on Wilco, the Annuals, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matisyahu and Earth, Wind & Fire are gone.

Read full story on the LA Weekly website

Dolphin Music Blogs:

Fortunately, all of our blogs are hosted on Wordpress, so you don't need to worry about missing posts (and neither do we!)

The Keyboard Player Blog

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