Well, I was feeling quite pleased with myself this morning when I came downstairs. But not for long. There was an email from Gavin Lloyd Wilson over on the newsblog to tell me that the blog had been deleted. I checked with blogger.com and apparently our new Press Releases blog has gone the same way.
I received notification from blogger on both accounts reading:
'Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What is a spam blog?) Since you are an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy and we sincerely apologise for this false positive.
'We received your unlock request on 29 December 2009. On behalf of the robots, we apologise for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam.
Find out more about how Blogger is fighting spam blogs.'
Spam is certainly a problem, and as events stand at the moment, one cannot take issue with blogger for having done what they have done. That is ASSUMING that normal service is indeed resumed as soon as someone realises that a collection of over 2,000 press stories, and another collection of 38 press releases are hardly spam in any sense of the word.
However, there is another more disturbing possibilty. Gavin asked me:
"Do you think someone may have maliciously 'reported' the blog?"
And I am afraid to say that I think that it is very likely. For various reasons (some of which I know, and others of which I can only guess at) we have fallen foul of various movers and shakers within the crypto-community. These people have, for the last year or so, done their best to cause us (and me in particular) as much trouble and distress as possible. Presumably this is working on the principle that they believe that if they carry on tormenting a manic depressive like me, then eventually I shall crack and close the CFZ, whereby more people will buy their books, and attend their conferences rather than ours.
That is what it all boils down to... money.
But it is not going to work. I am tougher than they think (I shudder as I write this, knowing that it will only heap more coals of opprobrium upon my head) and I have a bloody good team behind me. So bring on your worst. The CFZ is here to stay.
NB: Oh, how I hope that I am being paranoid, however, and that this latest problem is merely the result of an over zealous anti-spambot.
Watch this space.