Musicblogocide 2010: Google shuts ’em down

When Public Enemy released their classic hit Shut 'em down, they were criticizing authorities. Yet recently, Google has given the track's title a completely new meaning: without any prior warning, the company shut down at least six renowned music blogs hosted on Blogger/Blogspot. Or, as Paidcontent.org puts, it, “wiped them from the internet”:

“We'd like to inform you that we've received another complaint regarding your blog,” begins the cheerful letter received by each of the owners of Pop Tarts, Masala, I Rock Cleveland, To Die By Your Side, It's a Rap and Living Ears. All of these are music blogs sites that write about music and post MP3s of what they are discussing. “Upon review of your account, we've noted that your blog has repeatedly violated Blogger's Terms of Service … [and] we've been forced to remove your blog. Thank you for your understanding.”

Among those “silenced” blogs are some of my favorites – passionate, dedicated music bloggers who lost years of their work in a moment. It's sad and there's no doubt that this incident shows how incapable major labels are of adjusting their relationships with online publishers. I've worked as a music journalist for more than 10 years: major labels cater journalists' needs well, but they don't understand that the old media era is over and that bloggers are the best promotion partners they can wish for. But merely writing about music on the net is like “dancing about architecture”: harnessing multimedia capabilities, aka giving visitors the opportunity to listen to the reviewed music makes the overall experience so much richer… it's a shame.

But this incident does not only highlight a problem of the music industry: anybody who puts effort into producing content and running any online media must be aware of the fact that relying on convenient, even free 3rd party hosting puts them in a very weak position. Self-hosting requires some effort, but in my opinion it's a vital part of any longterm online-projects – therefor I got one very important advice for you: Take one big step and stop relying on 3rd party hosting services if you're running a long-term online project. And please do it before the milk is spilt!

2 replies
  1. Tayo
    Tayo says:

    My blog one neck, two chains (onenecktwochains.blogspot.com) was also deleted. We had over 3000 posts, 250,000 impressions and 150,000 visitors. All gone, just like that.

    Reply

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