How to Survive Bloggerpocalypse (Update: …Or Not)



  • {UPDATED to reflect new developments. See below}

    So, the moon known as Google has finally begun its descent into the Termina that is the adult content community. This week, the search titan threw adult users of Blogspot/Blogger under their white buses by sending letters to all users that post adult content have to set their blogs to private or face deletion, effective March 23, 2015. Needless to say, most of the artists that contribute here, let alone most artists that do adult content (or anyone who writes up "adult content" that isn't porn/erotica) are being burned, and that's putting it mildly.

    But before I rant, let's not forget that many of the artists that we support on this fine site are suffering from this the most, and I write this to offer help. For that, steps must be taken to get everything off Blogger, and then plans should be made to move everything onto a new site or blog. If you're a 3DX artist, or simply someone who produces adult content on Blogspot, read on.

    Getting Out of There

    The first thing artists should do is get everything out of Blogspot and backed up. Thankfully, despite all it's done to spite the erotica community among others, Google has two tools in place that allow people to do just that. The first is to export your entire blog into an .XML file. That will allow you to archive posts and commentary.

    The second and more viable option is Google Takeout, which will allow you to create an archive of every single file made for your Blogger page, including all media. Use this function to get all images, animations and videos off there. Then take the time to either place them in backup or on some cloud storage service until you can start up the new blog. Mega, MediaFire and Dropbox are perfectly acceptable free solutions unless artists have a lot of data.

    Once that is done, artists should now take the time to figure out where they're going. Here are some options.

    Free Options

    What makes Blogspot's backstabbing so heinous is that it's another free option that's disappearing. There are not many free options left for 3DX artists. Here are the few suggestions that are left.

    [caption id="attachment_56063" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Example of a Tumblr blog, courtesy of My Pet Tentacle Monster. Example of a Tumblr blog, courtesy of My Pet Tentacle Monster.[/caption]

    Tumblr

    The Tumblr platform is what I use since I started having a presence on the Internet. It works, but it will feel a lot different for many artists who are used to the blog-like structure that Blogger/Blogspot had. There are some free and pay themes that are more blog-friendly, but it's essential to remember that Tumblr is a social media platform designed for sharing stuff, so it won't be perfect. This is something to keep in mind if you move to the site. It also has some restrictions on searchability, in part due to Yahoo's malfeasance. In addition, there are bans on more extreme forms of adult content.

    Hentai Foundry/Renderotica

    Hentai Foundry and Renderotica are also places to consider setting up shop. Notably, both have very few restrictions on what can be posted. However, it's important to remember that these services are more galleries, and RE's primary function is to sell props to artists. There's no place for you to really discuss your business, except in the forums. They're very impersonal sites as a result. These may best serve as a secondary outlet, or a place where you can host images that are more graphic than Tumblr allows.

    DeviantArt

    DeviantArt is similar to HF and RE in function, but with better blogging functionality. However, DA has pretty strict rules on porn. Nudity is acceptable, but no gentalia can be shown, for example. This leads to some amusing censorship art (thanks Vianca!), but more importantly, some people may have a hard time putting anything up there.

    Important Note!

    Some will cite using WordPress as a free service. However, there's a distinction here: WordPress as a platform is free and has no posting restrictions, but has to be hosted elsewhere. However, WordPress.com as a site to blog content doesn't allow adult content except some forms of nudity. Do not use WordPress.com, but feel free to use WordPress. I hope that doesn't confuse people.

    Affordable Pay Options

    For a few of you, either due to personal reasons or because your content is too extreme, this may be the end of the free rope. You will have to host your own website. It sucks, yes. But here are at least some affordable options that aren't too concerned what you post.

    [caption id="attachment_56065" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Example of a hosted site, run on WordPress. Courtesy Dizzy Dills. Example of a hosted site, run on WordPress. Courtesy of Dizzy Dills.[/caption]

    HostGator

    HostGator offers VERY affordable options for their hosting services. Its most basic service, which offers unlimited space and bandwidth, costs only $4.95 a month on a three-year contract, $8.95 per month on a month-to-month basis. It is barebones otherwise, but does offer the means of installing WordPress and Joomla instantly, so you don't have to do major setup just to get it to function properly.

    OrangeWebsite

    For our more European or paranoid brethren, OrangeWebsite is also an option. While it has limits on space and bandwidth, many artists are unlikely to get more than 100 GB of monthly traffic on a regular basis. The most basic tier costs €3.40/$3.85 per month. Based in Iceland, where censorship rules are barely existent, it has advanced security measures such as being allowed to sign up anonymously and anti-DDoS systems. It also has site builders and installers for WordPress and others.

    Important Note!

    No matter which host you choose in the end, remember to review the guidelines and terms of conditions to confirm that it's okay to post your porn. It's always best to stay safe rather than spend money and time on something that gets shut down later because you violated the rules.

    A Whole New Era of Erotica

    Forgive my (brief) personal rant, but still: Google's actions are inherently disgusting, but unsurprising. I say this as someone who until last year lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. I saw what the white buses their employees rode in did to a lot of lively neighborhoods, to communities of heroes and weirdos in Oakland and San Francisco. To call it gentrification would make it seem orderly. It's more a cancerous whitewashing that turned metastatic. Some in Silicon Valley would call it "disruptive" as though it were good thing. Despotic would be a better term. Blogger's now-inevitable demise as a result of this rule change is just more proof of that.

    It's a sad end for a site that once took pride as being a formal yet carefree alternative to other free blogging sites like the LiveJournal clones and WordPress, and being the one place the erotica community could go to not post their wares as well as their thoughts. But we must not lament for long. As many move to new sites, it may be time to show that the community can not only overcome this, but transcend it. We can grow from all this and do better. The next few months will be tumultuous for many, but we may come out of this one defiant and unbowed.

    Update: Everything Will Be Okay?

    As it turns out, Google surprisingly decided to backpedal on the rule change. Good on them, I guess. Perhaps there were some developers on the site doing exactly what they were trying to get rid of. Who knows?

    But if there's anything from this week that we learned, it's that when you have someone like Google at the reins, you're very much at their whims. Who is to say they won't come back to this, or decide to shut down Blogger permanently like they have with other bought or made services? We're keeping this post up to inspire people of ways to move on, just so that they're safe. Read this, keep a bookmark on it. Maybe you'll decide to leave Blogger on your own terms. At least then you'll have control.

    (Special thanks to Supro and Hibbli for their input)
    Check out the front page post How to Survive Bloggerpocalypse (Update: ...Or Not)


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