Let me start by saying that even all the crap below notwithstanding, I still think weblogs.us is a valuable service to the blogging community, and if any of you are looking for a technically solid, responsive, free blog host, they deserve your serious consideration. If you need any proof, see J.D.’s polite response to my ranting (down a ways in the post).
On with the show
My old blog at (beest) (dot) weblogs.us got hijacked by the owner of the service yesterday. Here’s how it went down:
Apparently, my blog (beest.weblogs.us) got hijacked today. Someone
logged in and posted something with my username. I’ve reset the
password, but what else should I do to help keep that from happening
And he said:
Thanks for your email. My apologies, I think we thought your blog was
abandoned/moved. A friend of mine (Doug) asked to use some of our old
abandoned blogs for SEO purposes. In return he helps with our monthly
bandwidth costs. I am sorry that you were not notified beforehand, that
was my mistake. This shouldn’t have happened to you.
Now there are a number of options:
#1 If you plan on continuing to use your blog, I’ll make sure nobody
tries to mess with your blog again.
#2 If you’re abandoning your blog, and you’d like your blog content
wiped clean, we can do that to
#3 If you’re abandoning your blog, and you don’t care what is posted
then I’ll hand the blog over to Doug
let me know what option you prefer, or if you have any other avenue
you’d like to pursue.
This week or next there will be a formal posting on our frontpage and
status blog, detailing what’s going on with abandoned blogs along with
more steps to prevent this type of problem from occurring in the future.
Again, my apologies and sorry for the inconvenience AJ.
And I was all like:
I guess I don’t know what to say. I mean, I know weblogs.us is your
service, on your servers, and you have to pay the bills, but it’s my
content and online identity that you and your friend snatched. For
(potential) financial gain. In the best light, I could look at this as
a practical decision you made based on uncertain facts. In dimmer
light, it seems more like mugging someone for a cheap watch.
While you’re right in that I’ve moved my primary online residence, I
had hoped to leave my content in place on weblogs.us to point folks to
my new home since the weblogs address is still important to my *own*
SEO efforts. It was a poor decision on my part to do that without
letting you know my intentions; I appologize.
I think I’d like you to wipe my content from your servers. That seems
to me to be the most efficient solution to this quandary. Then I won’t
be using any of your resources, and you won’t be using any of my
I’d also submit to you that using other seemingly abandoned blogs on
your servers in a similar way without the owners express permission,
regardless of whether you post something on your front page or not, is
a lot like hot-wiring a car that seems to be abandoned by the side of
the road: You just can’t know what’s going on with it until you talk
to the owner.
I’ve really admired what you’ve offered the world with weblogs.us, and
I’m sure most of the bloggers you host are in the same boat as me when
I say I haven’t thanked you nearly enough for what you’ve done for us.
But the way you’ve implemented this new plan of yours really pisses me
off. I guess I’m just one of those jerks that are mostly quiet, but
who really gets fired up when one of his heroes stumbles along the
Thanks for everything you’ve done for me in the past, and by all
means, let me know if I can help with finding a fair resolution to
your current situation.
A.J. Van Beest
And that’s the way things stand at the moment. Oh, don’t fret, gentle reader; I’ll fill you in with any future correspondance, but J.D.’s a nice guy who’s just trying to keep his service free to end users. I sure the fireworks (which were all lit by me) are done.
Update 12:20 2007-Aug-02
Just like I figured, J.D. got back to me with a very nice, sincere response (see below). And like he mentions in his response, he and his team have always been very responsive and helpful when I needed a hand with something. He said:
Thanks for your response. You are welcome to leave your content it in place for perpetuity even if you don’t plan to use it.
I checked up on your Weblogs.us blog and saw the post that one of the SEO writers had made. Your concern makes a whole lot more sense to me now, I had no idea that they were going to write them as if you were writing the post. I had assumed that they would post your standard SEO type article and not something in the first person blogger style. I guess it was naive on my part and intelligent on their part. Obviously for the most SEO bang for the buck their approach is good. Unfortunately it’s the most repulsive from my standpoint.
However, ignorance is no excuse, the blame still lies squarely on my shoulders. I am ultimately responsible for what happens with Weblogs.us Since I am responsible for the problem, I am taking steps to fix this problem and make sure it doesn’t occur again.
I realize that last sentence seems vague, but I’d like to save the specifics until I can fully evaluate what is going on and make an official frontpage and status page post. I truly believe their is a medium path where blogger rights are fully respected and yet some of the expense of hosting blogs (for free) can be recovered. If you have any suggestions on how this might be accomplished, please let me know!
I’ve enjoyed talking with you over the past two years AJ, I counted 16 helpful emails back and forth between us. I hope that you’ll remember the good times like when we helped you with our FTP setup, or when you were installing phpMyAdmin and we helped with SQL backups.
PS Please let me know at your convenience if you prefer to keep your blog up, or to have it deleted.
Update 18:32 2007-Aug-5
I imagine this oughtta be the last of this particular soap opera…
Thanks for your reply. Let me reiterate how much I’ve enjoyed my weblogs.us account in the past. Thanks for all the work you do and expense you go to in providing that service for free. Oddly enough, even though I’m still extremely upset by this breach of my trust, I still find myself recommending weblogs to other bloggers (see for yourself at http://blog.ajvanbeest.com/archives/448). I still think weblogs could be valuable to someone who’s actively blogging on a small (read: personal) scale.
That said, I’d still like my account deleted and all my content permanently wiped from your servers. I’m not interested in feeling like I have to keep checking back with my weblogs account to see what’s happened to it. I’d rather take the SEO hit than keep looking over my shoulder.
To begin this process, I’ve already deleted all the files in my weblogs directory. I’d appreciate it if you’d remove my content from your database. I appreciate your help in resolving this matter, J.D., and wish you luck in your future endeavors.