Priya Venkateshan made her way to the GB Net centre after one hour of gruelling Su-Doku aka Operating Systems class. It being a Friday afti when most people are busy with their washing or with classes, the net centre was free for once. As she tried to check her mail, it dawned on her why the damn place was deserted – Trip-C personnel had gotten tipsy and blocked every possible site [including Google]. After fifteen minutes of her and her friend at the next comp cursing, the sites started to open. She made her way to the WordPress site to check on her progress in the Google Event at Shaastra. For the uninitiated, this event involves making a website/blog that tops google search for a set of search strings. She was hoping to have made considerable progress today as she had used The NITK Numbskulls Page to link up to her entry for the event [Also on WordPress] using every possible combination of the keywords to be used.
On clicking the “Write Post” tab, the browser returned nothing but a message saying
This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.
Okay, the David Copperfield and Alex-inspired third-person narrative doesn’t sound good anymore, so back to first person.
I was shocked, shaken, flummoxed, and a series of other things I was too overwhelmed to put in words. At first, I thought it was a TripC error, but Vinay told me the same thing.
Then I figured it might be a problem with WP, and so I tried opening The NITK Numbskulls Page, with the same result. To double check, I opened some other SEO [Search Engine Optimization] entries, which opened without a glitch. That did it. My face contorted with agony, shock, trauma and well, words failed me.
I tried the WordPress Help tab, but TripC was acting up again. “It CAN’T be!!”, I yelled. “But it ees! Accept it, wumman!” was all the f(r)iend next to me said, doing nothing more than rubbing salt on my wounds.
Fifteen minutes later, after a refreshing gossip session with Ms. SK, I was back in the net centre and so was the server. I mailed WordPress Support about my SEO blog, and this is what they said:
Blogs created for SEO are removed.
The tags needed for that contest are being actively searched for several
times a day and every blog with them is deleted immediately.
WordPress.com is for bloggers, not contests.
That gave me some solace. It was not an isolated event, hopefully. But Numbskulls seemed gone forever! One year of scribbles and all GONE! No Way, I told myself. And what the heck would I tell Tuhina?
So I mailed WP again saying:
> my blog was not meant for SEO from Shaastra. it existed long before
> that, since June 2006.
> i did use those keywords, but it wasnt an entry for the contest.
> I would please like to have my blog back, as it was a group blog and a lot more for us.
> please do the needful
Ten anxious minutes later, I got a reply saying:
I see you are right and I have reactivated the blog.
But you must remove ALL information about that contest.
I replied saying:
And I did.
Phew! Close Shave!